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Wine rating

valutazione del vino (I)
valoración de vino (ES)
wine assessment, wine evaluation (GB)
cote d'un vin (F)

There are numerous names for testing and evaluating wines by "smelling and tasting", some of which are, for example, tasting, tasting, wine tasting and wine tasting. It is one sensory (Organoleptic) testing of a wine with a descriptive explanation of the knowledge gained according to defined rules and criteria using generally applicable and understandable terms (see under Wine address ). At the relevant events, this is not done in a scientific-analytical manner with technical or other aids, but “only” through the sensory organs such as the eye, nose, palate and tongue. This may result in the evaluation by awarding points according to different systems. In addition, there are also possibilities to carry out an objective measurement using exact, chemical analyzes. For example, this is the determination of Alcohol content, Total extract, Residual sugar, Acids, sulfur and other substances in wine.

Wine rating - Wein-Plus: good, very good, excellent, large, unique

sensory and analytical testing

Nevertheless you can come without a "subjective" test sensory Tasting not by humans, but the two methods complement each other and only result in a "fair" assessment when combined. A person can determine the taste "sweet", but never exactly how many grams of sugar are contained in a liter of wine. By analytical testing again, however, it cannot be determined whether a wine "tastes". There is the phenomenon of national preferences and rejections. Generally Austrians and Germans prefer acidic, Italians bitter, American sweet and French astringent Taste, although such generalizations should be viewed with caution. The lighting in a room also influences the taste of a wine: For example, it tastes better in red and blue light than in green or white light, according to scientists from the Psychological Institute at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz found out. The study found that the test wine tasted about 1.5 times sweeter under red light than under white or green light. The fruitiness was also rated the highest with red light.

professional tasting

Professional tasters can, however, ignore such influencing factors and judge a wine “fairly” and “objectively” by, of course, ignoring their personal preferences and dislikes as much as possible. However, this can only be achieved through years of practice and experience. In order to eliminate influences from external circumstances such as the lighting mentioned above, professional tastings take place in a sparsely furnished, neutral environment. The famous English taster Michael Broadbent (1927-2020) tasted over 70,000 wines. But he does not use any of the point systems described below in his ratings, but awards one to five stars. The well-known wine author Hugh also uses it Johnson its own scheme with 12 levels. In addition to theoretical knowledge, the following skills are required: olfactory acuity, ability to differentiate and remember, ability to concentrate and the greatest possible objectivity. It plays an important role Perception threshold. This is the limit in mg / l range and smaller, from which you can identify and name a substance.

Well-known wine critics: E. Peynaud, R. Parker, J. Robinson, M. Broadbent, H. Johnson

Professor Emile Peynaud (1912-2004), who is one of the most famous tasters, writes the following in his standard work "High School for Wine Experts": The statement that something is sweet is an objective statement; it characterizes the product in question. To say that for example a cup coffee be enough or not enough sweet; is a subjective expression; she is personal; it depends on a person's drinking habits and taste. But if you say that sugar tastes unpleasant; that you loathe everything that is sweet, you express an affective opinion.

The professional taster must be able to switch off his affectivity. He shouldn't say whether he likes or likes a wine. You don't want to know that from him. He has to study the wine, describe it, assess its good or bad organoleptic properties and draw conclusions. While these will be subjective, they should not be based on personal preference, at least as little as possible. This is the big and decisive difference to the untrained wine drinker, whose judgment is purely affective. "

different evaluation results

Nevertheless, even with absolute specialists, the rating for the same wine can be different, although that usually (if at all) accounts for only a few points. With several scales from different manufacturers, one can very well assume that when weighing an object up to at least a tenth of a gram, the same result will be obtained. Because the scales are all calibrated. But this cannot be the case with people, because the palate and tongue, as well as the experience and preferences of different people are certainly not identical. A different result is therefore not necessarily, but also not surprising.

As an exemplary example for an extremely different evaluation, the rating of the red wine from Chateau Pavie of the 2003 vintage mentioned by Robert Parker 96/100 points and by Jancis Robinson 12/20 points were awarded. Below is the formula for converting points between the 20 and 100 system. Accordingly, Robinson's 12/20 points correspond to 76/100 points - that means a "simple wine without mistakes". Parker's 96/100 points mean "great world-class wine". However, the two did not taste from the same bottle. Two Bottles can have quality differences for different reasons, what one as Bottle variance designated.

As a rule, wine ratings are not scientifically valid. If you were to repeat the competition the same day with the same judges and the same wines, the results would not be completely different, but most likely the results would be different. In terms of a scientifically recognized result, however, they would have to be repeatable, that is, at best, completely identical. One can assume that the differences between two rounds of evaluation are smaller, the higher the knowledge, experience and professionalism of the tasters. See also the result of a legendary international battle between France and California under Paris Wine Tasting.

Occasion of a tasting

A wine is tasted to determine its quality for various reasons. As part of an official inspection, professional control bodies determine, among other things, whether the wine meets the wine law requirements. This is for example when awarding the Official test number (Germany) and State test number (Austria) for Quality wines the case where in addition to the analytical testing using chemical and technical aids sensory (organoleptic) through the sensory organs. Another reason can be a competition in which different wines are tasted, rated and ranked awarded become. The third reason can be purely private. Either to further educate yourself, to enjoy wine with friends and to talk about it, or to find the best value for money when buying wine. However, the criteria are very similar, in any case they must be precisely defined and known beforehand so that all tasters start from the same basis.

The best time for a tasting is in the late morning because the human body or sensory organs are the most receptive and “fresh”. A runny nose, medication taken, spicy or spicy foods, coffee, sour fruits, tobacco -Goods, chewing gum and perfume are bothersome during a tasting or can have a negative impact. The room should be well lit and free of foreign smells. The ideal space temperature is around 20 ° Celsius. A white table background for checking that colour is a requirement. The rule of thumb applies when ordering different wines: dry in front sweet, young before old and fewer before great wines. Regarding the wine color: dry light White wines from severe Red wines, but young, light red wines in front of extract-rich white wines. Since professional tastings do not swallow in principle for good reasons, suitable containers (spittoons) should be available. Between the wines, the taste buds should always be neutralized by enjoying crackers and still water.

Procedure / processing

In addition to the colour are evaluating the odor and the taste important criteria. For a long time, there were only four taste sensations perceptible by the tongue, namely bitter, angry, salty and sweet. Now are officially fifth umami (meaty) and as the sixth greasy added. Smells become olfactory perceived in the upper nasal cavity. However, there are two in the smell perception sensory Systems involved. In addition to the olfactory that is trigeminal System. There is a severe limitation with runny nose. One can recognize the taste, but no smells. During normal breathing, only a small part of the scents reach that Receptors. Therefore, you have to "sniff" deeply but not too firmly in the glass.

As a result, the air glides faster through the nose and the flow to the receptors increases. Repeated sniffing does nothing. The smell room is quickly enriched and needs at least two to three minutes for "regeneration". Therefore: the first impression is usually the best. When you exhale, the primary and secondary, and when you inhale, the tertiary Flavors perceived through the nose. The tongue (taste) is inferior with the only six directions of the nose (smell) with an estimated 10,000 perceptible scents. The smell and taste interact and influence each other; a complex overall picture emerges. An exact distinction between the two senses is not possible. A large part of the impressions commonly referred to as the taste of a wine is perceived by the sense of smell.

For professional tastings, an otherwise anonymous wine is assessed under standardized conditions by independent, trained sensor experts, knowing the geographical name or origin, the vintage, the grape variety (if known), the quality level and possibly special oenological processes (e.g. barrel aging). In order to achieve the necessary significance, the wine must be assessed either by a sufficiently large panel of examiners with at least five tasters or by repeated anonymous repetitions in different groups. A scientifically reliable statement can only be achieved with about 25 examiners / repetitions with 97% accuracy. A layperson cannot even begin to achieve all of this.

Rating systems

For verbal assessment - the Wine address - Some standardized terminology is used. For the tasting should be unstained, long-stemmed Wine glasses with a tulip-shaped goblet and a sturdy base - there are special ones Tasting glasses. In principle, the glass is taken by the stem (never by the goblet) in order to avoid heating by the hand. In this context, there is also the question of the amount of wine required per person. Usually a 0.75 liter bottle is enough for 12 to 14 tasters, that is about 0.05 liters per person. Then there is also a small amount for any subsequent tasting that may be necessary. There are different rating systems, but they are basically similar:

5-point scheme
For example used in quality wine testing in Germany. See under Official test number and German wine seal.

In Wine guides and magazines are often categorized in the form of symbols such as bottles, grapes, stars, glasses, corkscrews, etc. The rating goes from 1 to 3, 1 to 4 or even 1 to 5. In the Italian wine guide Gambero Rosso become 1 to 3 wine glasses, in the French wine guide Hachette 1 to 3 stars and in Gault Millau Award 1 to 4 grapes. In the vintage tables, individual years (or their wine quality - separated by country and wine-growing area) are often classified with 1 to 5 stars.

20-point scheme
Is still the most common in Europe (in similar forms). Among other things, this system is in the award of the State test number (Austria), as well as in the classification in Saint-Emilion (France) common.

50-point scheme
A rarely used variant of the 100-point system, in which the evaluation does not start at 51, but at 1.

100-point scheme
This system, which is used most frequently internationally, is the Wine critic Robert M. Parker (* 1947) became popular from the early 1980s. Above all, it is common and recognized overseas, but has also established itself internationally. Acceptance in the United States is also due to the fact that it corresponds to the high school grading system. Every wine gets 50 points right from the start. A wine up to 75 points has a more or less pronounced Wine defects. In the case of certain faults, this is tolerated in the case of low levels of simpler wines Quality wines but not without exception. The good qualities only begin above this limit. The rarely awarded 100 points are very few “ terrific “Reserved for crying, also called Century wine be designated. If you consider wines as an investment, for which there is a collector scene, then you concentrate on top wines with at least 90 points.

The range of the individual levels from faulty to grandiose is used somewhat differently by the individual wine critics. There are also different opinions today about how strictly this system should be interpreted. For most users of this scheme, there has been a gradual shift in the point marks upwards for several years, which leads to an unnatural upsetting of the system (one could also call this a favor rating). At Wein-Plus the original, strict version is used, in which the range of recommended wines starts at 80 points.





5 series



Wine with more or less
pronounced Wine defects

to 9.9

to 1.9

to 75


Neutral simple wine,
without affecting errors.

10 - 11.9


2 - 2.9



Cleaner, as harmonious as possible, at best
typical wine. Mostly one Drinking pleasure.
Above-average for base wine, for top
Product indicates certain weaknesses.



3 - 3.4


very good

Notable wine with personality,
Expression, as well as certain complexity and
Depth which deserves attention.



3.5 - 3.9



First class wine that is among the best of its kind
Kind counts. absolute Cleanliness, harmony,
Depth and character must be given.



4 - 4.4



World-class wine with depth, complexity
and expression for an unforgettable experience.



4.5 - 5


terrific and

Wine that is only different, but not better
can make. On Century wine.





Conversion of 20 and 100 system
The lowest limit for a still drinkable wine is 70 points for the 100-point system and 10 points for the 20-point system. This means that levels 11 to 20 correspond to levels 71 to 100. Every point in the 20 system above 10 corresponds to 3 points above 70 in the 100 system. The conversion example with 17 points: 70 + (7 x 3) = 91. This also applies vice versa.

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation itself is based on at least three to six criteria. A common form is based on the five criteria: appearance (but with a distinction in color and clarity), smell, taste and overall impression. The table at the end shows an evaluation sheet in the 20 system, whereby the criteria can also be used for all other systems or are valid. Half or tenth points can also be awarded. It is advisable to enter the individual results and comments on the form at all times. This then gives a total number of points according to the point system used. The five criteria in detail:

Color - clarity (max. 2 points each)
Wine rating - color - red wine bottle and glass Most experts measure that colour little importance, since a deep dark red wine is "beautiful", but does not mean anything about the quality - laypeople often rate this too high. For many consumers, however, color plays a very important role. An appealing coloring of a red wine means that you are less critical about the taste. However, the color shows the age; the outer edge is crucial. Old red wines have a brown tone. In the Aging respectively. Bottle aging red wines become lighter, with white wines the opposite is true. One of the causes of red wine is that Anthocyanins (red dyes) can be precipitated. Clarity and purity are much more important than a beautiful color.

A Cloudiness can on one Wine defects suggest. The surface must reflect clean and must not appear stained or matt. On depot with a red wine, however, there is nothing negative. For testing, you tilt the glass so that the liquid level forms an "egg". Now hold the glass against a light with a bright (at best white) background. A faultless wine is a must clear and a white wine should also be transparent.

As a rule, the color is determined organoleptically by the eye, i.e. without any aids. This is done rather rarely by comparison with color standards such as the color spectrum of the French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889), who divided the colors into 72 basic colors with 20 shades each. Although he never dealt with wine (but with the coloring of tapestries), his color table was later used for the color description of red wines. A third possibility is measurement using a spectrometer in the laboratory, which is the most objective and most precise form.

Smell (max. 4 points)
The glass is pivoted in the form of a 6 or 9 so that the wine swings just below the edge. With the nose deep in the glass odor checked and repeated several times. The grape variety can already be determined (at least with pure and typical wines). Furthermore, one can conclude whether the wine is young, mature, acidic or with Residual sugar Is provided.

Smell - olfactory system in humans

Taste (max. 7 points)
A small sip is taken, inhaled at the same time and the wine is rolled over the tongue. The taste usually confirms the sense of smell. Now he can Total extract of the wine in its entire range can be analyzed. The human tongue absorbs certain sensations in different places, but the areas are not clearly delimited, but flowing:

  • Tip of the tongue: Residual sugar (dry to sweet)
  • front tongue edges: saltiness
  • middle tongue edges: Acids (fresh, mild, acidic, acidic)
  • rear, middle area: Tannins (bitter to bitter)
  • the backstage area: umami (Glutamate)

Tongue with the flavors and receptors

Overall impression (max. 5 points)
In summary, it is assessed what overall impression (character) the wine has left, taking all components into account. The scale ranges from disappointment to Century wine. That affects the general quality that balance (Balance, harmony) that Typicality, the finesse, the Finish, as well as the development stage or the Ready to drink of wine.








not appropriate, faulty, unsightly
particularly beautiful color




milky, cloudy, dusty, matt, lackluster
clear, pure
brilliant, shiny, crystal clear


Aroma (Flower, fragrance, nose)




no smell recognizable, bad,
faulty, depraved
weak, diffuse, restrained, neutral
accordingly, clean, pure tone
very good, fragrant, fine
characteristic, particularly pronounced


Alcohol content, fruit,
Total extract (Extract),
body, structure, texture, Sweet, acid,
cleanliness (Cleanliness),
Tannins (Tannins)


4 - 5

no wine taste, strange
empty, thin, little expression
particularly clean, expressive
aromatic, rich, rich / full of character
outstanding in style, perfect


general quality, Typicality,
Finish, balance
(Balance, harmony), finesse,
Development stage or Ready to drink


0 - 1


poor, inharmonic
short finish, not very harmonious
round overall impression
medium to long finish,
balanced, typical, delicate
long lasting. Finish, very fine,
very harmonious, great wine

Tasting types

Which type of tasting is used with which rules results from the objective:

  • compare and identify to identify a particular wine or check factors
  • evaluate and classify for the purpose of official examinations or competitions
  • identify and determine sensory perceptions for the purpose Wine address (Description)

To check the objectivity and attentiveness of the tasters, too Duplicate samples (the same wine twice) usual, or will be Pirates smuggled in (for example a Pinot Blanc among ten Rieslings). There is a guide for the tasters Reference wine (Wine type) and the Level wine (Evaluation scale). The following rules and techniques are used in part:

Counter test
To the phenomenon of professional wine tasting Bottle variance or to rule out an unfair assessment by individual tainted bottles, cross-checks are made using Counter bottles carried out.

Any wine tasting, however professional, can only be a snapshot of the current state of development. Since a wine develops or changes in the course of its life cycle, a repeated or repeated tasting is necessary. See also under Ready to drink.

Trial of two
With this frequent type of tasting (also in pairs) two wines are presented together in two glasses and tasted for comparison and evaluation. There are variants that only one wine, both wines or none of the wines are known. The aim is to determine the differences between two wines. This can be concretized to the questions "which wine is sweeter", "which wine is more acidic", "which wine is more aromatic" or "which wine likes better". Other forms are the "Duo-Trio-Test", in which three glasses contain and identify the same wine in two of them, and the Triangle test.

Open tasting
The wines served in an uncovered bottle are well known.

Half-blind tasting
It is known what the wines are, but not in which carafe or glass they are. This form is often used at wine seminars and is also suitable for private tasting.

Blind tasting
In this mostly common form, there is certain information depending on the tasting or comparison goal. These can be common parameters such as grape variety, vintage or origin, but in no way information that refers to the producers such as brand names. To ensure maximum objectivity, appropriate precautions are necessary (see the main keyword).

Horizontal tasting
Wine from a vintage of a certain region is tasted.

Vertical tasting
Different vintages of a producer's wine are tasted.

Special forms
Depending on the objective, there are also special types of tasting. When testing for Master of Wine must they Grape variety, the origin and the vintage be found out. At first glance, the grape variety seems to be the simplest, but it is according to the University of California tests with professional tasters are not always the case. Certain grape varieties such as Muscatel were due to the variety typical Muskattons well recognized at 60%, but the success rate was at Cabernet Sauvignon relatively low at 40%. There were better results for the origin because certain cultivation areas are particularly characteristic. The color and maturity of the wine are the most important identifying factors for the vintage.

A new analysis method is increasingly being used for the sensory evaluation of wines. The "quantitative descriptive analysis" or "profile analysis" method, which has long been common in the food industry, enables a more objective evaluation according to precisely defined criteria. The result is shown graphically with a polar diagram. See under QDA (Quantitative Descriptive Analysis).

Sources / rights of the pictures

Wine glass: By Mick Stephenson mixpix , Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
Tongue (edited): Copyright: Peter Hermes Furian
Receptor (edited): By NEUROtiker - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
Smell: Von Chabacano - from Brain and mouth anatomy ,
by Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator, CC BY-SA 2.5 , Link

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