Log In / Join Now

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...

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.

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.