Wine Tasting: A Crash Course

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Learn the important bits about wine tasting to help maximize your wine drinking pleasure! Salud! Wine For Fun

Transcript of Wine Tasting: A Crash Course


    A crash Course

    w i n e f o r f u n

  • !Why do we taste wine?

    ! Assess the quality of wine Assist in the description of a wine to others Provide a personal record of wines tasted Monitor progress of wine and just for fun, of course!!

    !!Ideal Conditions for tasting!

    A clean palate (no coffee or chew gum before) Good natural light No distracting odours (do not wear perfume!) Clean white surfaces Tasting glass (ideally ISO or INAO glass)! !!


    ! Clarity: Wine must be clear and bright. This

    means that the wine is healthy. Haziness might be a fault. !

    Intensity: Different grape varieties tend to make deeper or lighter coloured wines. !

    Colour: Indicates development, some oxidation, barrel maturation, barrel fermentation (in white wines). A deep colour also indicates youth, long maceration and a thick-skinned grape variety in a red wine. Red wine loses colour with ageing while white wine gains colour.!!!

    Hold the glass by the stem or base in a 45

    angle degree against a white background

  • !Palate!

    Sweetness: The impact of this on the palate is influenced by factors such as acidity, tannins, carbon dioxide and temperature. !

    Acidity: It is a vital part of the structure of wine, holding the flavour together and balancing the other components, making it a refreshing drink and acting as a preservative. !

    Tannins: Found mainly in red wines, produce the drying sensation in the mouth. They give an indication of the grape variety (thick skinned varieties= high tannins), the development of the wine (rough tannins may indicate a very young wine). !

    Body or mouthfeel is an assessment of how heavy the wine feels in the mouth. !

    Finish or length: The longer the flavours linger in the mouth the better the quality of the wine. !!


    Condition: Wine must smell clean (like wine!) otherwise can present a fault, most common is the cork taint. !

    Intensity: Indicates the grape variety and development. !

    Aroma characteristics: Aromas can come from the grape variety, fermentation or maturation. Try to describe what you smell (use the list of aromas of the next pages)!!


    Quality factors: ! Balance Length Intensity Complexity! !!

    Swirl the wine in the glass and give a

    gentle sniff

    Take a good sip Salud!

    Rinse your mouth with the wine, bring it to the front

    of your teeth. Open your mouth and

    draw air into it, slurping 2 or 3 times, then, and only then, spit out (or swallow

    if you like).

    The more saliva you produce when you

    taste, the more acidic is the wine.

    Body is related to alcohol content. A wine with more

    alcohol content feels heavier in the mouth.


    Price is not always directly proportional to quality

    Always judge a wine in its category: a supermarket - daily/easy drinking wine can be of excellent quality in its category.

  • Winemaking, Maturation and Fault Characters





    VolatileAcidity Fault

    Pine Butter Toast Cherry stone Nail polish removerResinous Butterscotch Biscuit Kirsch Model glueSawdust Yoghurt Buttered toast Banana VinegarRaw wood Milky Honey Confectionery PungentCitrusy Condensed milk Toffee Bubblegum AceticDusty Cheese Caramel CinnamonVanilla Caramel Lanolin Violet Sulfide FaultCoconut Vanilla Quince JasmineCedar Nutty Fig Incense Boiled eggsPencil shavings Rancid butter Raisin GarlicSandalwood Lactic Walnut Botrytised OnionOak Fetid milk Nutty CabbageCigar box Whey Almond Dried apricot RubberPeaty Sauerkraut Smoke Candied orange Dirty socksIncense Wet dog Kerosene Marmalade Cooked cornCinammon Wet leather Madierised Orange peel Stagnant waterClove Sweaty Aldehyde Cumquat Boiled potatoNutmeg Butyric MouldyAllspice Aged Reds Cork TaintSpice Lees Contact Other DessertCashew Leather MustyRoast almond Yeasty Tobacco Honey MouldyWalnut Dough Forest floor Toffee Wet hessianNutty Bread Mossy Caramel Dank cellarBacon Bread crust Tea leaf Molasses Old booksToasty Malt Savoury Golden syrupSmoke Creamy Soy Raisin Brett faultCharry Cheese Earthy Dried fruitCharcoal Savoury Ink Sultana Band aidCold ash Bonox Tar Fig HorseyBurnt Marmite Chocolate Nutty Horse stableSardine Sweaty Coffee Nougat CreosoteRoasted Lager Cigar box Wool greaseCaramel Leesy Prune Oxidation fault MedicinalToffee Walnut DaturaCoffee grounds Solids Ferment Chestnut AldehydeChocolate Barnyard Sherry Mousy faultMocha Cucumber Gamey Bruised appleStale water Green fatty Truffle Peanut Mouse cageBilgy Green tea Fungal Nutty Mouse urineAlmond kernel Parmesan Salami Wet paper Corn chipMusty Pungent Grilled meat Beer towel PopcornDank Fusel oil Bacon fat Dull Bread crust

    Coloured italics indicates the character is considered a fault. 2002 Recognose Pty Ltd

  • White Wine Varietal Characters

    Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc Riesling Semillon Gewurztraminer

    Cucumber Lantana Herbal Lantana GrapefruitCelery Cats urine Mineral Asparagus CitrusMineral Boxwood Flint Green bean CologneFlint Broom Green apple Pea pod PerfumedGreen apple Tomato bush Grapefruit Herbal Cold creamGrapefruit Blackcurrant bud Lemon Gooseberry RoseCitrus Elderflower Lime Cut Grass MuskLime Nettle Citrus Gooseberry LavenderPerfumed Asparagus Orange peel Green apple PotpourriHoney Artichoke Citrus blossom Lemongrass FloralApple Capsicum Rose Lemon LycheeNectarine Green bean Jasmine Citrus PassionfruitWhite peach Pea Pod Musk Hay MangoPineapple Vegetal Honeysuckle Apple GuavaPeach Cut grass Floral Pear Tropical fruitMelon Dill Perfumed Tropical fruit SpiceMango Celery Bath salts QuinceQuince Gooseberry Cold cream Fig MuscatFig Green apple Apple HoneyHazelnut Grapefruit Pear Lanolin GrapeyChestnut Citrus Pineapple Biscuit PerfumedTobacco Passionfruit Passionfruit Toast Musk

    Melon Guava Smoke Jasmine

    Viognier Mango Tropical fruit Flint Ylang ylangTropical fruit Quince Floral

    Citrus Mineral Kerosene Pinot Gris Orange peelOrange blossom Flint Fruit saladViolet Gunpowder Chenin Blanc Rose Dried fruitsIris VioletYlang ylang Verdelho Cut grass Floral ColombardFloral Herbal PerfumedPerfumed Cut grass Green apple Lychee Cut grassMusk Citrus Citrus Apple Green appleWhite melon Honeysuckle Perfumed Pear LemonLychee Pineapple Hay Nectarine LimePear Passionfruit Apple White peach CitrusPeach Melon Peach Apricot HoneysuckleApricot Guava Tropical fruit Passionfruit FloralTropical fruit Tropical fruit Hay Guava PassionfruitMarmalade Spice Spice Honey MelonHoney Musk Sweaty Nutty Tropical fruit

    2002 Recognose Pty

  • Red Wine Varietal Characters

    Pinot Noir CabernetSauvignon

    Shiraz Zinfandel CabermetFranc

    Stalky Tomato leaf Black olive Herbal TarragonSappy Dusty White pepper Tomato CapsicumPickle Asparagus Black pepper Pepper DustyRhubarb Capsicum Spice Spice CherryCranberry Green bean Raspberry Raspberry BlackberryStrawberry Leafy Redcurrant Cherry BlackcurrantRaspberry Herbal Cherry Loganberry PlumCherry Seaweed Mulberry Blackberry VioletBlackberry Black olive Blackberry Blackcurrant MuskPlum Cherry Briar Briar PerfumedViolet Blackberry Plum Plum MintRose petal Blackcurrant Jammy Fruitcake MineralGamey Mulberry Menthol Walnut Pencil shavesRoast lamb Bramble Eucalyptus Cola TobaccoBarnyard Plum Aniseed RaisinBacon fat Mint Licorice Earthy GamayEarthy Menthol Gamey TarBeetroot Eucalyptus Grilled meat StrawberryTree bark Aniseed Salami Merlot RaspberryForest floor Violet Earthy RedcurrantMoss Fruitcake Chocolate Sappy Boiled sweetsFungal Beetroot Leather Black olive CherryTruffle Prune Soy Sage BananaCola Tea leaf Tar Herbal IrisTar Tobacco Mint PeoniesPrune Grenache StrawberrySpice Tempranillo Raspberry Nebbiolo

    Pepper CherrySangiovese Herbal Spice Mulberry Green tea

    Raspberry Raspberry Bramble Dried roseRhubarb Cherry Confectionery Blackberry VioletCaper Blackberry Bubblegum Blackcurrant CamphorRaspberry Damson Cherry Plum CherrySour cherry Bramble Blackberry Violets PlumCherry stone Plum Briar Perfumed AniseedPlum Balsamic Plum Anise TrufflePerfumed Earthy Orange peel Earthy ChestnutSpice Spice Gamey Beetroot MochaGamey Cold tea Meaty Fruitcake TobaccoTobacco Tobacco Earthy Spice TarFarmyard Brown sugar Prune Tobacco Burnt toffee

    2002 Recognose Pty Ltd

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