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Wine taste notes

  Copyright (c) OINOS '96-'97

In this issue of Taste Notes we examine wine rating. Although it is a subject with a lot of descriptive words and phrases, we think it will be of interest to you.

During a wine rating review the wine-tasters use an evaluation form, called "Tasting sheet".  This form defines a guideline for the quality rating of a single wine or a series of wines.  The answered form represents the wine-taster's feelings about the wine under each rating review. 

The form is divided into sections. Each section represents a rating step grouped into categories:

  • Visual quality

  • Nose quality

  • Mouth quality

  • Overall quality

In the following lines we will try to summarize each category's  aspect of  wine rating. Reference to words or phrases used for rating is in italics. 

Visual quality evaluation:

An examination of the color properties of the wine and how they  relate to the region produced,  its  grape variety,  and  its vintage. The rating defines:

  • the Appearance of wine (transparency, viscosity, effervescence, foam formation)

  • the Brightness in color when wine is viewed against light (clear, brilliant, limpid, and  hazy).

  • the Color  intensity when wine is viewed against light  (lively,  intense, correct,  and  weak).

Nose quality evaluation:

An examination of the aroma complexity,  its intensity and how both relate to the region produced and the grape variety. The rating defines: 

  • Smell  by aroma (floral, spicy, fruity,  earthy, vegetation, vinegary, woody, chemical, animal),  and  

  • Intensity  (powerful, medium, weak).

Mouth quality evaluation:

An examination of the flavor, its presence, strength, balance, the aroma perceived in the nose directly from the mouth, the smoothness, tasting temperature and the sensation left in the mouth after wine has been drunk. The rating defines: 

  • Taste by flavor examining the wine's content. The sugar (dry,  off dry, sweet, very sweet),  astringency (tannic, hard, closed ), acidity ( green, sharp, refreshing, balanced, flat), body (full body,  medium/full, medium body, light, very light) and length (aftertaste -  long, medium-long, short).

Overall quality evaluation:

An examination of the sensation produced by the wine as a whole and not as in the previous evaluation steps. The wine is evaluated on how typical it is of the region produced, its vintage and ageing.  Some other points are also evaluated like the quality of the stopper, the cork, the label and the bottle type. The rating defines: 

  • Quality :  remarkable, very good,  good, fair

  • Character:  attractive, correct, neutral

  • General comments and the value for money

In the next issue we will examine the grading system used during some wine reviews.


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Copyright  (c) 1999-2001 by Lysp Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Any trademarks referenced in this presentation are the property of their respective owners. The origin of the information presented may be internal or external to Lysp Ltd.