This year The Mercury Wine week is celebrating 40 years of SA’s finest wines. The event takes place between 29-31 August at Sibaya Casino.

Here’s a few tips to help beginner wine tasters go on a journey of taste discovery:

1. Swirl & Sniff: Swirl the wine in your glass, then lower your nose to the rim and inhale deeply before tasting. The swirling action allows oxygen to enter the wine and become more fragrant.

2. Swish & Spit or Swallow: Take the wine into your mouth, allow it to swish and dance over your tongue as you consider the flavors, and then swallow it. Or spit it out. Spitting the wine out is necessary to remain sober throughout the entire tasting.

3. Ask Questions: Some people may know the names of popular wine regions and showy grape blends but most won’t. Winemakers love talking about their products.

4. Take Notes: You may be tasting many different wines, so make notes of your favourite ones.

5. Don’t only consume wine: Drink water between the tastings, to clear your palate and to keep you hydrated. Eat small bites as well.