What Do Wine Reviewers Look For?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Blog, Wine Blog | 0 comments

What Do Wine Reviewers Look For?

There are quite a few things that wine reviewers look for when picking an award winning wine, among those are the color, the clarity, the aroma, the overall appearance and, of course, the flavor. In order to have an award winning wine the reviewer must be able to differentiate these things and will grade the wine accordingly.

Appearance of Wine

The appearance of the wine is of major importance. There are three overall colors that wines are placed in: gold, pink and red. The reviewer will take a look at each of these wines and distinguish how long it was fermented for, how many grape pressings there were and, sometimes, may be able to differentiate between the type of grapes used based on this. The color of the wine is also dependant on the oak barrel it was stored in and the amount of time the wine has been aged. Color isn’t the only thing that reviewers look for, they also judge for the clarity of the wine. The cloudier a wine is (typically) the worse it is. A wine that is very cloudy is most often made in unusual or poor conditions and will not get a good review by a reviewer. That is not to say that it is the case with all wine- some reds that have been allowed to age for long periods of time will collect sediment at the bottom of the bottle. While this is perfectly acceptable, it is not something you would want to drink.

Aroma of Wine

The aroma, or smell, of the wine is one of the major things that wines are judged upon. You can tell a lot about wine from the smell. When a reviewer is looking at a wine they will typically sniff and look for specific odors from within the wine. Some of the most pleasant odors that can be found when smelling a wine include flowers (like honeysuckles or roses), herbs, fruits (like cherry, currant, blackberry, etc.), wood, spices and sometimes even yeast. These are the scents that make up a great wine and reviewers are delighted when a wine fits into this category. While there are certainly some great smells that a reviewer looks for in wine there are also some things that you need to watch out for. You can tell if a wine has taken a turn if it smells like mold or if it smells like rotten eggs- this means that the grapes became moldy when they were being pressed and the wine should absolutely not be consumed. Another thing you want to watch out for is the smell of vinegar. When a wine has been aged past it’s prime it slowly begins to turn into a vinegar–this is a good thing when trying to cook with a wine but something you need to watch out for if you are trying to get your wine reviewed.

Taste of Wine

The last thing that a wine reviewer will look at is the taste of the wine. Does the wine leave a good mouth feel? Does it have a good flavor? Is it tart or sweet? Does it have a nice aftertaste? How long does the flavor stay on your palate after you have finished with it? Does it have a nice balance? Can you taste the tannins in it? These are some of the questions a reviewer will need to answer when looking at a specific kind of wine and judging it. A good reviewer will know, based on these questions, whether a wine is a good or bad. An award winning wine will receive the highest reviews based on the appearance, the aroma and the flavors described above. Every wine is different, every wine is unique, it is up to the reviewer to judge which is best.

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