How To Cleanse Your Palate Properly For Wine Tasting Success

To cleanse your palate properly during a wine tasting, you’ll need foods and drinks on hand that serve the purpose of neutralizing the flavors between each tasting.

Guys, you can’t underestimate what a crucial step this is in the wine tasting process in order to distinguish between the notes and flavors of each wine. Whether you are a newbie to wine tasting, a connoisseur, or a sommelier, you’ll appreciate the finish far more without overlapping flavors! The key to choosing a palate cleanser or intermezzo- as it’s often referred to as in Europe is that displays a light, clean, and refreshing taste that leaves very little or no aftertaste. While neutral flavors are highly favored, some bright flavors such as fruits are quite popular options as well.

In no particular order, let’s take a look at the 16 highest rated foods to cleanse your palate. We’ve also included a few drinks to cleanse your palate that you may have never suspected!


bread to cleanse your palate


White Bread

Believe it or not, plain white bread or even french bread is considered the best way to cleanse your palate because of the simple, starchy flavor. It works wonders at absorbing the flavors from the previous wine. It is also very neutral and won’t leave any remnants in your mouth.



Due to their plain, neutral taste, crackers work similarly to bread for palate cleansing. For both bread and crackers, avoid putting anything on them as it will likely interfere with the wine flavors. We also suggest you take sips of room temperature water in combination.



There are many fruits that are said to have palate cleansing properties. Pineapple works particularly well because of it’s dry, acidic quality. This combats the tannins in the wine and keeps them from overlapping. Just cut a small slice of a not quite ripe pineapple and you’ll be on your way to wine tasting victory!



We know! It’s a little unorthodox but hey, it works! Seriously, if you’ve been tasting a bunch of various wines your gonna need a real palate reset. Don’t rule out a beer, it just might do the trick. The flavors are so completely different it will give you a fresh start but won’t overwhelm your senses. Beware though, opt for something on the lighter side!


Coffee Beans

In wine tasting, your nose is often just as important as the taste of the wine. We all know how rich and dense coffee beans smell. Just a small sniff of coffee beans is an effective way to cleanse your palate in the tasting room. Use this method to hit the reset button on your nose!  Remember to pair it with a palate cleanser for your taste buds as well.



Another palate cleansing fruit you’ll love is the good ole’ banana! Their unique flavor works extremely well to cancel out any previous flavors. You’ll have a fresh start for the next wine. Keep in mind, the unique banana flavor needs to be complemented by taking a few sips of water.



It was only fitting to keep apples and bananas together, right? Bite into a crisp apple- it serves as a wonderful way to cleanse the palate as well. They have a nice, light flavor that doesn’t interfere with the wine. It also will absorb what’s left behind from the previous drink.


Tortilla Chips

The saltiness of this popular snack helps cleanse the tannins and flavor of the previous wine. Tortilla chips basically function like crackers, but with a bit more kick!



Wine and olives go together like, well…wine and olives! They not only compliment each other but olives are a favorite palate cleanser. Graber olives, specifically, are used in wine competitions. Sommeliers swear by them, thanks to their distinct, nutty flavor. 


cleanse your palate



You can use a light cheese in small amounts as another good option for cleansing your palate between sips. Another popular pairing, wine and cheese go well together and light cheeses absorb the tannins. Again, take a sip of room temperature water afterward.



If you prefer veggies to fruit, you can’t go wrong with celery. Celery is frequently used as a wine tasting amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule. This is due to its incredibly light flavor plus it doesn’t leave an aftertaste. Furthermore, it can absorb the flavors left behind by the wines you’ve just tasted.


Rare Roast Beef

Many professional wine tasters or sommeliers are adamant that rare roast beef is the best way to cleanse your palate. This is because it contains tons of fat and protein which naturally absorb the flavors in the wine. It’s especially good for tasting with heavy red wines so next time you indulge in red wine, try it.



Another light and refreshing fruit to cleanse your palate if your tasting wine is the pear. It absorbs the tannins and primes your palate for the next wine.


Lemon or Cucumber Water

If you want some fruit flavoring in your water, try adding a dash of lemon or cucumber. These both can serve as an effective palate cleanser.


Lightly Brewed Tea

A few sips of certain lightly brewed teas can be used to quickly cleanse your palate during a wine tasting. Opt for lightly colored teas such as green, black, or mint tea with minimal or no sweetener.


Room temperature water
Sometimes when nothing else is working, take a few sips of good ole’ water! It’s important that the water is room temperature, however, and not too cold or too hot. If it is, it might numb your taste buds and make it hard for you to pick up on important flavors. Also, stay away from spring, flavored, or carbonated water, stick to flat!

So, now you know the importance of cleansing your palate and the many options! The next step is finding the ones that work best for you! Go ahead and experiment and get nerdy by taking notes on the results! Different palate cleansers are more effective for different people so when you’re in the wine tasting room, you’ll need to know which to choose. Having a good palate cleanser will help you make the most of your wine tasting experience. Additionally, it will keep your palate from becoming fatigued.

So, order a bottle to practice with at home and when you join us at our next wine tasting event you’ll know exactly what works for you!


McClain Cellars

1 Comment

  • amitsww
    Posted May 7, 2024 11:29 pm 0Likes

    The art of palate cleansing — an essential ritual for any wine enthusiast embarking on a tasting journey. This blog beautifully underscores the importance of preparing our taste buds for the nuances of each sip, whether it’s with a crisp slice of apple, a refreshing sip of water, or a delicate bite of sorbet. for more information visit: [Link deleted]

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