This will list the things I have learned so far. I’ll update this list as necessary. If you happen to disagree with anything this list, leave a comment as to why and I’ll investigate.
Color: You’re supposed to look closely at the color. In a well lit room (against a light background) you are supposed to view the wine’s color. Is it clear? (Clear is good) Is it cloudy? There’s some other stuff with the color. I’ll update this as I understand it.
Swirling: Swirl the wine around the glass (by holding the stem, not the glass itself). This is supposed to release aromas by aerating the wine.
Smell the wine: Sniff the wine. What does it smell like? What aromas do you detect?
Taste (in mouth): Roll the wine around in your mouth so the wine flows across your taste buds several times. What does it taste like? What flavors can you detect? Do you like it? What do you like about it?
How long can you keep opened wine?
From what I have read so far, this is a big sticking point between two sides:
Whites, Reds & Rosés (using a regular cork or bottle closer, refrigerated)
“two to three days is the absolute maximum you’d want to keep an opened bottle. After being open for a couple of days, a wine’s aromas will go flat, its native flavors will subdue, and the wine may appear overly sour or acidic. For best results, finish the wine within two days of being opened.”
Whites, Reds & Rosés (using an oxygen evacuation system or nitrogen system, refrigerated)
You can keep a bottle for at least a week.
I only have regular corks, so I think I’ll go for the safe bet of 2 days, max.
*This is a reference to a Dr. Seuss book I read years and years ago as a kid. Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family was actually written for adults (and is chock full of very unsexy, very prim nudity). I haven’t read it since I was a kid.