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Wine Spectator School

Class 3: Thinking and Talking Wine


Evaluation Parameters
Aroma, flavor, taste and mouthfeel
Ability to mature

Aroma, Flavor, Taste and Mouthfeel
Harmonious and pleasant

Structural components-sugars, alcohol, acidity and tannins-are harmonious and integrated
Different wines have different balance points

Many aromas and flavors; layered and nuanced
Wine evolves in the glass
Only top grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon can make most complex wines

Length of time flavors and tastes linger after swallowing
Great wines have long, lingering finishes
Flavors may evolve or fade slowly
Nature of finish also important
Acidity = clean, crisp, refreshing finish
Phenolics = "smooth and silky" or "rough and coarse"

Ability to Mature
Only greatest wines can improve for decades
Most best consumed as soon as reach store shelves
Requires sufficient extract and balance

Wine should be typical of its grape variety,...

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