Log In / Join Now

Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Tasting Reds

SUMMARIZE: Finish, Balance, Complexity

SUMMARIZE involves examining a wine's Finish, Balance and Complexity, and coming to a final evaluation of quality and appeal.



  • Finish refers to the length of time a wine's flavors linger in the mouth after swallowing or spitting and, like aftertaste, is an important indicator of quality.
  • In general, the longer the finish, the better the wine.




  1. Swirl, sniff, sip and swallow the wine.
  2. Pay attention to the length of time the flavors linger:


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
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

Job Opportunity

Wine Spectator is hiring an assistant tasting coordinator at its New York office. Get more details.

Free Email Newsletters—Sign Up

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.