Monday, April 20, 2020

Tasting Notes

There are basically two ways to write tasting notes. The first is to identify as many aroma and flavour descriptors as possible. This is the favoured approach by professional wine writers. This has two issues, in my opinion. If you read a large number of descriptors, you may actually not have a good picture of how the wine in question tastes. The second is that you may not know a substantial number of the fruits or spices mentioned. Five minutes ago, I read a review which mentioned prominently 'Meyer lemons'. Sorry, I have never heard of it. The objective here seems to be how differentiated someone can taste and how smart they are in comparison to the consumer.

The second approach is the one I favour. It describes the main features of the wine, for example citrus or stone fruit or tropical fruit in Chardonnay, oaked or not, level of acidity; red or black fruit, intensity, ripeness, secondary notes, tannins in Cabernet or Shiraz. The reader then gets a picture, and if he tastes the wine, can flesh it out as he/she would experience. Also, at the end of the day, we are drinking wine, not eating a fruit basket. In France, some people just stick to masculine vs. feminine.

What do you think? What do you prefer to read?   


John Coady said...

Hi Tom,
I prefer your wine reviews and check your website a couple of times a month. They are direct and you use language that I can resonate with. Two on your most recent this month that I am planning to seek in my cellar to try with a meal while socially distanced, are the Bass Philip pinot noir 2014 and Woodlands Margaret 2014.
Long may you review!
John Coady

Alontin said...

Thank you, John - and good choices!