Just beyond Saint Helena is a wet and cool appellation that is known for producing premium wine. Spring Mountain AVA produces varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc, along with other Bordeaux varietals. If you are a wine aficionado or would just like to learn more how to appreciate wine, read our tips below.

Wine Appreciation 101


You can tell the color of wine by angling your glass against a white background. The amount of opacity for reds gives clues to the grape variety and aging process used; wood cask aged wines have a deeper hue. Other characteristics that affect the color of different wine varieties include vintage, acidity, and balance. Appearance and aromatics are the first wine assessing determiners before you take a sip since a red can be deep or intense while white and sweet wines tend to be dense.


The essential components of wine are its bouquet. The bouquet reveals information such as faults by oxidation due to age, overexposure to oxygen, cork taint or the lack of preservatives. Does it smell okay? Does it smell metallic? Does it smell like caramel and crème? Does it smell funky?


Tasting means getting all the four steps of wine appreciation down through appearance, wine in glass aroma, wine in mouth sensations and the finish or aftertaste. When you sip, the wine reacts with the heat of your mouth, and the flavors are nasally transported to the olfactory nerve receptor. This complex characteristic of wine begins here, at the base of the nose where you determine its clarity, expressiveness, complexity, varietal character, connectedness, and integration.

Does it seem balanced? Is it acidic? Is it sweet? Can you pick out any distinct fruits or other flavors?

Finish or Aftertaste

Expressiveness means that its aromas are clearly projected and well defined which depends on how the flavor multiplies on your palate.

Try swirling your wine glass, doing so gently exposes it to more oxygen, releasing the overall bouquet. Now how does it taste? Are you able to pick up additional flavors?

Every wine bottle holds an aromatic tale and tells a story of passionate labor and deep love for the vine.  There is no right or wrong way to appreciate wine as each palate is different.  If you don’t like a particular taste or bottle, pour it out and try again.

Visit us on Spring Mountain and taste our Sherwin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and our Cellar Scraps. Our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is full bodied with a beautiful bouquet; an excellent example of what Spring Mountain reds have to offer. Our Cellar Scraps is a fun blend of our Cabernets across different vintages, which makes for a unique experience every year.  We look forward to seeing you!