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Wine Spectator School


Class 1: Before You Taste -- and See and Sniff


Sensory Evaluation Class 1 Summary

WHAT MAKES A WINE EXPERT?

What Experts Do
Observe = perceive, identify and measure stimuli
Describe = use vocabulary and knowledge
Compare = recall similar wine types
Evaluate = synthesize observations and judge wine

Expert Know-How

Perceptual Expertise
Experts do not have superior senses, but have turned up the volume on existing taste buds and scent receptors so can hear messages more clearly. They know

  • How their senses work on biological level
  • Which wine components trigger which senses
  • How their senses respond to each component
  • How to interpret those sensory responses
Cognitive Expertise
  • Consistent tasting methodology
  • Vocabulary
  • Framework that helps wine experts identify and remember wines

SENSING WINE

Wine Features

Grouped by sense used to perceive feature

Sense Feature Sample Descriptors
Vision Color Straw yellow, garnet
Smell Aromas and...

Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
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  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
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