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Wine Spectator School

Class 1: Before You Taste -- and See and Sniff


Wine has numerous features that can be evaluated. They can be grouped in a number of ways.

One common way to group features is by the sense used to perceive them:

Sense Feature Sample Descriptors
Vision Color Straw yellow, garnet
Smell Aromas and flavors Lemon, black cherry, toasty
Taste Tastes Tart, sweet, bitter
Touch Mouthfeel Smooth, refreshing, astringent

This method of grouping wine features leaves out a few important aspects. A more technical way to consider wine features is by separating them into

Specific Features such as color, aroma and taste
Configural Properties such as balance, structure and finish. These properties are determined by the interactions between a number of wine components including acidity, fruit and tannins.

Class 2 offers in-depth explanations of your senses and...

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