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Wine Spectator School

Class 1: Intro to Tasting: White Wine


SUMMARIZE: Finish, Balance, Complexity

SUMMARIZE involves examining a wine's Finish, Balance and Complexity, and coming to a final evaluation of quality and appeal.


Finish refers to the length of time a wine's flavors linger in the mouth after swallowing. The finish can be short, moderate or long.

In general, the longer the finish, the better the wine.



Pinot Grigio

  1. Swirl, sniff, sip and spit the wine.

  2. Do the flavors slowly diminish on your palate, or do they crescendo before starting to fade?

  3. Take another sip, swish and spit, this time paying attention to the length of time the flavors linger. Ask yourself:
    • Is it a "short" finish? Do the flavors disappear abruptly, within about 10 seconds?
    • Is it a...

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