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Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Tasting Reds

SUMMARIZE: Finish, Balance, Complexity

A wine is considered complex if, each time you take a sip, you discover another layer or nuance of flavor.

By definition, all "great" wines are highly complex. In contrast, a wine with few aromas and flavors is called "simple."

Wine needn't be complex to be enjoyable - many simple wines are quite pleasurable to drink. A complex wine, however, will always be considered higher in quality.




  1. Take a last sip of the Beaujolais, swish and swallow.
  2. Do you notice more and more layers of aroma and flavor, or is the wine simple?
  3. Circle the Beaujolais' complexity on your Tasting Worksheet.

Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. One last time, sip, swish and swallow the Cabernet.
  2. Is it complex or simple?
  3. Note your Tasting Worksheet.


Which of the two...

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