How to Correctly Understand Wine Tasting Notes

You have recently made the foray into the world of fine wine, the chances are that you are starting to familiarise yourself with wine tasting and the detailed notes that often come as part and parcel of the process.

It can be somewhat daunting for newbies and even established wine experts need to refresh their skills every now and again.

If you have been to the Octavian Vaults site before, you will no doubt have read some of our great guides on everything fine wine, from the best destinations for producing the best red and whites to investment advice.

In today’s feature, we take a look at how to correctly understand wine tasting notes as you develop your knowledge of the best wines from around the world.

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What Are Wine Tasting Notes?

Wine notes are the traditional method of scoring fine wines and have been used for decades to give investors and wine enthusiasts more information prior to purchase.

Consumer ratings have become more popular over the last ten years due to the mainstream internet and review sites, but these notes are still used all around the globe to score the more expensive wines on the market.

How Does One Take Wine Notes?

Of course, vital to note taking of any sort is a knowledge of what you are writing about and this is very much the case with wine tasting. As you will know if you are seasoned investor or wine fanatic, a knowledge of these wines is built up over many years and a spotting a great wine is a quite an art.

Once you have developed these skills however, you will be well placed to take informative wine notes.

All About The Aromas

The bedrock of any wine tasting is identifying the aromas and taking notes that will inform others just how these are contributing to the quality of the wine.

These fall into three core categories.

Primary Aromas

These are the aromas from the type of grape and the terroir, which is a term used to describe a wine’s origin. Primary aromas are usually focused around the fruit as well as herbal and floral aromas.

Secondary Aromas

Secondary aromas emanate from the winemaking process.

These include at the very least, notes such as those similar to bread and beer due to yeast and sometimes sour cream and yoghurt, due to the malolactic fermentation that takes place within the finer wines.

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Tertiary Aromas

Tertiary aromas are the deeper smells which take place in the bottle and will therefore not be present in cheaper wines that have not been left to age.

Commonly these can include clove, vanilla, baking spices, roasted nuts and often include some smokiness. Fresh flavours and aromas can turn drier and these are the aromas that seasoned wine experts can often be more able to find and this will often be evident in their wine notes.

Where Can One Fine Wine Tasting Sheets?

If you have been doing wine tasting and creating these notes for years, you probably won’t need any assistance, but if you are a beginner there are cheat sheets available to get you started.

These are also perfect if you take the common step of hosting a wine tasting party as you are very likely to have guests who have never taken proper wine notes before.

As well as being lots of fun, this will enable you to see just how well your wines went down and which you should invest in again.

Wine tasting sheets will enable guests and of course your good self to score your wines through a simple system and one can set criteria such as appearance, aroma, body, taste and finish. You can download a great template here.

What you get from a fine wine is personal experience and not everyone gets the same primary, secondary and tertiary aromas, which is why many wine notes can differ a great deal from wine to wine. This is what makes wine tasting such a fascinating and enjoyable experience.

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