1. Swirl, sniff and swallow the Pinot Noir, paying attention to how long the flavors linger in your mouth.
2. Note your tasting checklist and repeat the process with your Merlot.
A red wine that is in balance feels smooth and pleasing to the palate -- not too "hard" from tannin and acidity, not too "soft" from sweetness and not too "hot" from alcohol.
1. Sip, swish and swallow your Pinot Noir, checking for excessive roughness, puckering or burning from too much tannin, acidity or alcohol.
2. Note the Pinot’s...