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What to do

Wine tasting in five steps

Record the data of the tasted wine in the fields at the top of the screen, and follow the tasting process step by step.

For aromas, you can also select the intensity which will be reflected in the tasting profile. The tasting profile at the bottom of the screen can be changed fast and easily: Just click on the term you want to change.

And now: 1. Assess the wine with your eyes. Clarity? Perlage? Surface? Colour and depth?

  1. Now sample the wine with your nose.Purity? Intensity? Quality? Are floral notes dominant, or savoury or other notes? Don't strain yourself to find an aroma, sometimes wines have a simple or even nondescript aroma. On the other hand, there are wines in which you will smell wooden casks, flowers or fruit straightaway.

  2. Now it's the mouth's turn.First impression? Sweetness? Acidity? Tannins? Body? Finish?

  3. To wind up, summarize your sensations in an overall impression. Are they in harmony? Describe the wine's character – using the suggested terms or, with increasing practice, with your own descriptions.

  4. There are different scales for grading wines. A possible evaluation system is awarding a maximum of 20 points, according to the following scheme: Appearance: up to 3 points Aroma: up to 6 points Flavour: up to 8 points Overall impression: up to 3 points Total: 20 points

Wine characteristics

Wine is a natural product, dependent on many factors.

A Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance, can taste different depending on origin, terroir, vintage, processing, storage etc.

The detailed information on wine characteristics will lead you on the right track in most cases.

Some characteristics are clear pointers to a certain grape variety, a region or a processing technique. Others are mere hints, identifying possibilities, without being unequivocably interpretable.

Getting ready

For a successful tasting, we recommend to ensure the following:

A clear head

Wine tasting requires the full attention of your senses. A rested taster is a better taster.

A neutral palate

Your olfactory and gustatory nerves should not be exhausted by a previous meal or tobacco smoke.

The right time

Wine tasting is not a hectic activity. You need time to feel out the magic of a wine. The best time: just before lunch or dinner.

The ideal surroundings

The air should be free of alien smells. For optical evaluation of the wine, you will need good light and a white tablecloth as a backdrop.

The optimal glass

Colored glasses are useless! The standardized INAO glass is perhaps best for tastings. It is filled with approx. 40 to 50 ml of wine up to about the widest part. Try this: Sample the same wine with different glasses - you will be amazed how different it tastes.

The wine

Mass-produced wines are good for practising but not much fun in the taste section. Good quality opens new sensations! For direct comparison, sample bottles of different price categories at the same time.

The right temperature

Aroma and taste unfold differently at different temperatures. Therefore, drinking temperature is a central issue.

Tips and tricks

You will need a little practice to develop accuracy in characterization.

It is important that you proceed systematically to sharpen your senses. Nature and kitchen offer many possibilities to excite and educate our starved sensory organs.

Comparing flavours and increasing practice create a good base for understanding a wine. The more you've experienced, the freer you will be in using your own standards for tasting wine, uninfluenced by know-it-alls and beautiful labels.

Don't let the game of analysis and counter-analysis spoil your enjoyment of wine. Playful curiosity and pleasure in getting to know new wines are the best way for fast progress in tasting.