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Flashcards in Tasting + Assessing Wine Deck (23)
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The optimal tasting environment will have:

  • Good lighting
  • No strong smells (perfume, lotion, foods, etc.)
  • Space for glasses and note taking
  • Spittoon


What is the recommended amount of wine to be poured into glasses for tasting purposes?

1.7 fluid oz (5cL)


What are the 2 things you look for when evaluating a wine's appearance?

  1. Color
  2. Intensity


What is meant by 'color intensity'?

How saturated the color of the wine is.


When talking about color intensity, what's the difference between "pale" and "deep"?


  • a white wine that has a wide, watery, almost colorless rim
  • a red wine that has a light hue and is mostly see-through from rim to core


  • a white wine with color that reaches or almost reaches the rim
  • a red wine that has deep, concentrated color and is near-impossible to see through


What are the 3 colors used to describe white wines?


  • Water-white to yellow in color


  • Tinges of orange or brown


  • Noticeable browning


What are the 4 colors used to describe red wines?


  • Bright red


  • Blue or purple tinted


  • Obvious brick/orange or browning, but the wine is still more red than brown


  • More brown than red


What are the 3 colors used to describe rosés?

  • Pink
  • Pink-orange
  • Orange


What are the differences between Primary Aromas, Secondary Aromas, and Tertiary Aromas?


  • aromas that come from the grapes themselves
  • aromas made during fermentation


  • aromas made after fermentation (e.g. vanilla from oak contact, butter from malo)


  • aromas made from the aging process (e.g. caramel, hazelnut, dried fruits)


Describe the levels of the dry-to-sweet scale.


  • No sugar or no perceptible sugar


  • Barely-there or a kiss of residual sugar


  • Obvious sugar, but not sweet enough to pair with desserts


  • Sugar is the main driver of the wine


What does acidity do to your mouth?

Acidity makes your mouth water.


What are 2 things to consider when tasting for acidity in wine?

  1. What is the sugar level in the wine?
    • think about lemonade and how important it is to balance sugar and acidity
    • when in doubt, focus on how much and for how long your mouth waters
  2. Is that tingling sensation alcohol or acidity?
    • alcohol can sometimes trick your brain into thinking that sharp or searing sensation is acidity


What effect do tannins have on the palate?

  1. Cause your mouth to dry and make it feel parched and scratchy like a cat's tongue
  2. Tannins can sometimes leave a bitter taste on the back of the palate


What are the alcohol % levels for a low, medium, and high alcohol table wine?

Low: below 11% abv

Medium: 11% - 13.9% abv

High: 14% abv and higher


What are the alcohol % levels for a low, medium, and high alcohol fortified wine?

Low: 15% - 16.4% abv

Medium: 16.5% - 18.4% abv

High: 18.5% abv and higher


What structural components contribute to a wine's body?

  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Acidity
  • Tannin


What structural components can make a wine appear lighter in body?

  • Higher acidity
  • Lower tannin
  • Lower alcohol


What structural components will make a wine appear fuller in body?

  • Higher alcohol
  • Higher tannin


What does the "finish" refer to in a wine?

How long you taste the wine after you've swallowed it or spat it out.

Finish is more about how long flavors remain on your palate and less about the structural components.

If a wine's tannins are harsh and stick around your palate for a long time, you'd say the tannins are "persistent".  If the fruit and other tasty flavors stick around your palate for a long time, the finish is "long".


A wine that is high in residual sugar will taste more balanced if the wine also has a lot of ___.

A wine that is high in alcohol will taste more balanced if it has a lot of ___.

Wine high in residual sugar will taste more balanced if it also has a lot of acidity.

Wine high in alcohol will taste more balanced if it has a lot of fruit.

When considering these concepts, think about lemonade (an acidity to sugar ratio) for the first example, and fruity cocktails for the second example (the alcohol in cocktails is hidden by the fruity flavors of fruit juices).


Generally, the shorter the finish the ___er the quality, and the longer the finish the ___ the quality.

Short finish = lower quality

Longer finish = higher quality


What are the 5 quality levels of wine used for the SAT?

From highest quality to lowest:

  1. Outstanding
  2. Very good
  3. Good
  4. Acceptable
  5. Poor


When would you use 'outstanding' as a quality level when evaluating a wine?

If the wine shows exceptionally in these 4 categories:

  • Balance
  • Length/finish
  • Discernible characteristics + flavors (and the intensity of them)
  • Complexity

If a wine shows well in 3 of the above categories, it's Very Good;

If a wine shows well in only 2, it's Good;

If a wine shows well in only 1, it's Acceptable;

If a wine struggles for any positive attributes, it's Poor.