Are wine tasting note descriptors listed in order of prominence, like ingredients on a food label?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Are tasting note descriptors listed in order of prominence, like ingredients on a food label?

—Ed, Colts Neck, N.J.

Dear Ed,

No, it’s not that simple. Reviews and reviewers vary in their approach. To be fair, so do wines. Some wines have a dominating feature with details that emerge on the finish. Others might build into a crescendo, while others are all about harmony (or a lack thereof).

How a reviewer approaches writing a tasting note is up to them, and it usually varies from wine to wine and from taster to taster. But if you see a list of grapes at the end of tasting note for a wine that is a blend, they are listed in descending order of percentage, as reported by the winery or importer.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Tasting Descriptors

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