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Wine Spectator School

Class 4: Major Regional Varieties

see: clarity, color, intensity, legs


  • In young wines, we check clarity mainly for the warning signs of a spoiled wine - pronounced cloudiness, haziness. Most young wines are "clear." Unless a wine is cloudy or exceptionally bright, mark it as "clear" on your Tasting Worksheet.
  • If a wine appears "brilliant" or crystal clear, it may have been filtered before bottling. High volume, mass-produced wines are commonly passed through a filter prior to bottling to remove any remaining grape solids or yeast particles large enough to reduce their clarity.
  • Some winemakers believe that filtration reduces a wine's flavors, and for this reason, do not filter their wines - check the label for the word "unfiltered" - or else use a very coarse filter to remove only the largest...

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