What Do Wine Tasters Look For When Assessing Wines?

Wine tasting is an overall sensory evaluation of the wine being tasted. Tasters evaluate the aroma, the look, the taste, and feel inside the mouth. Experienced wine tasters can detect the maturity, quality, as well as faults that it might have as well as aromas and colors. This evaluation is often done in three steps; look, smell and taste.

What Are They Looking For When They Look At The Wine?

The taster, in visually examining the wine, looks for clarity as well as integration, expressiveness, complexity, connectedness and varietal character. It is preferable to against a white background, to better judge the color of the wine. The wine’s color is a good indicator if the wine is aged in wood or metal barrels. The color also gives the taster clues as to which variety of grape is used in the wine.

Most wines are red or white, however there are also variations within those colors as well. In white wines, the colors range from a green color to a yellow then to a brown color. The colors of red wines can range from a pale red to a deep brown red. While most white wines don’t necessarily improve with age, many red wines do. When a taster tilts a glass of red wine, they are looking for the “rim” color at the edge of the wine. A purple tint to the edge, indicates a young wine. An orange to brown color signifies a more mature wine. A wine taster will also swirl the wine, in order to observe the body of the wine. When they refer to a wine having “good legs”, that can mean a higher sweetness level, alcohol content or thicker body.

What Is The Wine’s Bouquet?

After visually evaluating the wine, tasters then evaluate the wine’s aroma, which is also known as the bouquet or nose. To do this, the wine taster will swirl the glass which releases molecules that enable them to smell the aroma. Some wine tasters take two whiffs; one quick one to formulate an initial impression and a second deeper whiff of the wine. Other tasters take only one deep whiff. The aroma is then contemplated for awhile before the wine is actually tasted. An experienced wine taster can pick out several different smells in that glass of wine even if there is one very strong aroma with other underlying ones. Tasters also remember aromas by naming them as well.

How Is Taste Evaluated?

Tasters take a small amount of wine and move it over their entire tongues so that all taste buds come in contact with it. Some also take a sip of wine, and while holding it on the tounge, inhale through the mouth. The aim is to allow the aroma of the wine to enter the nasal passageway at the back of your throat which will increase the experience of the wine. Both the body and the texture of the wine are examined and can be judged as smooth or harsh, or light or rich. Tasters also judge the aftertaste by how long the taste last and how pleasant the taste is.

Do People Get Drunk At A Wine Tasting? If Not, How Do They Stay Sober?

Wine tasting events provide guests with food and water, which slow the release of alcohol into the bloodstream. They also provide spittoons just in case water is not provided, as well as serving very small amounts of wine for each tasting. So the risk of getting drunk is lowered considerably.