A wine tasting is broken down into several stages: visual examination, olfactory examination and taste examination. At the end of each of these analyses, the taster issues a conclusion. But when the end of the tasting comes, you must be able to draw a conclusion by making an overall judgment on the wine. To succeed in this difficult exercise, here are some tips for concluding a wine tasting .
The objective of the tasting conclusion
Wine tastings always follow a precise ritual, for a complete and detailed sensory analysis. After examining the color of the wine, the nose of the wine, or even the aromas of the wine, it may then seem unnecessary to conclude the process, since you think you have already said everything.
However, a tasting sheet requires a general judgment , whether during a tasting at a wine show, in a tasting cellar with a winemaker, or even at home.
By gathering all the data about the wine, you will then be able to have an overall idea of its characteristics, its aging potential, the best time to drink it, or even the best food and wine pairing to offer. The conclusion is also an opportunity to compare it to other similar wines .
Tasting conclusion: a question of objectivity
The objective of a wine tasting is not to know whether you like the wine offered or not, but rather to make a sensory analysis that is as objective as possible . Forget the almost innate subjectivity that you perceive during the classic tasting of a wine (I like/I don't like), and concentrate on a systematic analysis which will allow you to judge the product for what it is .
Of course, you can't let go of your personal appreciation, and some wine tastings are more enjoyable than others. If you are a lover of rosé wine from Provence, you will be delighted to analyze a bottle of Château de Berne. If you are not a fan of Burgundy red wine, tasting a Latour vintage will be less pleasant, but this should not prevent you from focusing on the characteristics of the wine .
Estimate the quality of a wine
Estimating the quality of a wine is primarily based on very simple criteria, such as the presence of a wine defect (cork taint, cloudy color, bitterness, oxidation, etc.). Then, it's about getting rid of first instinctive impressions, to evaluate the deeper characteristics of the wine , without any personal judgment.
The evaluation of a red wine
The quality of a red wine is mainly assessed on its balance on the palate . The acidity of red wines must then be present, but not overbearing, just like the tannins, which must be round and structured. Finally, the alcohol content must be measured, and the fat must offer a velvety impression in the mouth.
The evaluation of a white wine
Here again, the balance between the alcohol level, the sugar level and the acidity must be perfect. As white wines do not have tannins, we concentrate on sweetness and acidity, in order to obtain a nice freshness on the palate.
Aromas in evaluating the quality of a wine
The aromatic intensity of a wine is also very important in the conclusion of the tasting. You can then analyze the primary aromas, secondary aromas and tertiary aromas, and determine if they are powerful, discreet, fruity, floral, or even if they have a nice length in the mouth.
Estimate the aging potential of a wine
Concluding a wine tasting is often a good time to assess a wine's suitability for aging . Several indications can then be useful to you to know if a wine should be drunk young, or if you can let it evolve in the cellar.
The wine dress
Generally speaking, visual examination of the color of rosé wines , white wines and red wines allows you to assess whether the wine has reached maturity, whether it should be drunk young, or whether you should let it evolve.
A young wine often has softer and paler colors than an old wine. Young red wines have a purplish tint, which, as they age, evolves towards a tiled or brown tint. Young white wines are a pale yellow color, with pretty green highlights, while as they age, they take on a golden yellow, even amber color. Finally, young rosé wines are generally pale, and become orange-pink over time.
Logically, the younger a wine appears, the greater its aging potential.
The nose of wine
The nose of the wine can also give you information about the degree of evolution of a wine . Depending on the aromas perceived, you will know if the wine is young, and therefore suitable for aging, or if it is already well developed.
- A young wine reveals a nose with fruity and fresh aromas, these are the secondary aromas. It has not yet developed tertiary aromas;
- A mature wine develops characteristic tertiary aromas of mushroom, undergrowth, truffle, humus, leather, game, nuts, caramel, fig, or even dried flowers.
The mouth of wine
The wine on the palate reveals its aging potential through its acidity and freshness . Indeed, young wines often have intense acidity, which diminishes with time. This is especially true for white wines, which have no tannins. In the same way, a high sugar level reveals a white wine that is already well developed.
As for red wines, tannins can actually help estimate the aging potential of the wine . If they are rough, astringent and dry out the mouth, you are dealing with a young red wine that can still evolve. As it ages, the tannins combine with the coloring pigments and therefore become more discreet and less rough.
Conclude the tasting by estimating the price of the wine
The final and optional stage of a wine tasting, estimating the price of the bottle of wine can be an interesting exercise to assess your knowledge of oenology. Depending on the qualities of the wine noted throughout the tasting, you will then be able to estimate whether the wine is cheap, if it has good value for money, or if the price is too high. This is an excellent way to find good small vintages at low prices.
The conclusion of the wine tasting is the final and essential step in this very difficult exercise. To achieve this, nothing beats regular training. Come and challenge your knowledge in the tasting cellar of the Domaine de Berne, and take the opportunity to discover our Provence wines.