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wine review

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

There are many names for testing and grading of wines by man-made "smelling and tasting", a few of which are, for example, tasting, tasting, tasting and wine tasting. It is this one sensory (organoleptic) examination of a wine with a descriptive explanation of the knowledge gained according to established rules and criteria using generally valid and comprehensible terms (see under wine address ). This is done in the relevant events not in a scientific-analytical way with technical or other aids, but "only" through the sensory organs such as the eye, nose, palate and tongue. This then results, if necessary, the evaluation by awarding points to different systems. In addition, there are also possibilities to make an objective measurement by exact, chemical analyzes. This is for example the determination of alcohol content. total extract. residual sugar. acids. sulfur and other substances in wine.

Wine rating - wine plus: good, very good, excellent, big, unique

sensory and analytical testing

Nevertheless, one comes without a "subjective" examination sensory Tasting by humans is not enough, but the two procedures complement each other and only in combination give a "fair" assessment. A person can determine the taste "sweet", but never exactly how many grams of sugar are contained in a liter of wine. By analytical test again, however, it can not be determined whether a wine "tastes". There is the phenomenon of national preferences and rejections. In general, Austrians and Germans prefer acid-stressed, Italian bitter, American sweeten and French astringent Taste, although such generalizations should be treated with caution. Lighting in a room also influences the taste of a wine: it tastes better with red and blue light than with green or white light, according to scientists from the Psychological Institute of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz found out. The study found that the test wine tasted sweeter by about 1.5 times under red light than under white or green light. The fruitiness was also rated highest in red light.

professional tasting

Professional degustators, however, can ignore such influencing factors and judge a wine as "just" and "objectively" by, of course, ignoring their personal likes and dislikes. 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 barren, neutral environment. The famous English Degustator Michael Broadbent (born 1927) has tasted over 70,000 wines. But he does not use any of the scoring systems described below, but awards one to five stars. Likewise, the well-known wine author Hugh uses Johnson a separate scheme with 12 levels. In addition to theoretical knowledge, the following skills are required: olfactory acuity, ability to distinguish and remember, ability to concentrate and the greatest possible objectivity. An important role plays the Perceptual threshold, This is the limit in mg / l range and smaller, but one can recognize a substance.

Known wine critics: E. Peynaud, R. Parker, J. Robinson, M. Broadbent, H. Johnson

Professor Emile Peynaud (1912-2004), one of the most famous degustators, writes in his multiple-edition standard work "High school for wine connoisseurs" the following: The statement that something sweet is an objective statement; it characterizes the product in question. To say that, for example, a cup coffee enough or not enough sweet; is a subjective utterance; she is personal; it depends on the drinking habits and taste of a person. But if one says that sugar tastes unpleasant; that one abhors everything that is sweet, then one expresses an affective opinion. The professional taster must be able to turn off his affectivity. He should not say if he likes or agrees to a wine. You do not want to know that from him. He must study the wine, describe it, judge its good or bad organoleptic properties and draw conclusions. These may be subjective, but they must 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. "

Occasion of a tasting

One tastes a wine to determine its quality for different reasons. As part of an official audit, it is determined by professional inspection bodies, among other things, whether the wine complies with the wine law requirements. This is, for example, in the award of the Official test number (Germany) and State test number (Austria) for quality wines the case in addition to the analytical examination by means of chemical and technical aids also just one sensory (organoleptic) takes place through the sensory organs. Another reason may be a contest in which different wines are tasted, rated and after the result awarded become. The third reason can be purely private. Either to educate yourself, to enjoy wine with friends and to talk about it or to find the best value for money when buying a wine. However, the criteria are very similar, but in any case they must be well defined and known beforehand so that all tasters are based on the same basis.

The best time for a tasting is in the late morning, because the human body or the sensory organs are the most receptive and "fresh". A cold, medications taken, spicy or spicy foods, coffee, sour fruits, tobacco stimulants, chewing gum and perfume are annoying at a tasting or can affect them negatively. The room should be well lit and free from foreign smells. The ideal room temperature is around 20 ° Celsius. A white table background for checking the colour is condition. In the order of different wines, the rule of thumb is: dry before sweet, young before old and lower before big wines. Concerning the wine color applies: dry light white wines before heavy red wines, but young light red wines before extract-rich white wines. Since in professional tastings for good reasons, in principle, not swallowed, suitable vessels (spittoons) should be present. Between the wines again and again the taste buds should be neutralized by the consumption of crackers and still water.

Evaluation criteria & Procedure

In addition to the colour are evaluating the odor and the taste important criteria. For a long time, there were only four taste sensations perceivable by the tongue, namely bitter. angry. salty and sweet, Now officially as fifth umami (fleshy) and as the sixth greasy added. Smells become olfactory perceived in the upper nasal cavity. At the olfactory perception are however two sensory Involved systems. That's next to the olfactory one trigeminal System. A severe limitation is caused by colds. You can recognize the taste, but no odors. In normal breathing only a small part of the scents reaches the receptors, That's why you have to "sniff" the nose deep but not too tightly in the glass.

As a result, the air slides faster through the nose and the flow to the receptors increases. The repeated sniffing brings nothing. The olfactory space is quickly enriched and requires at least two to three minutes for "regeneration". Therefore, the first impression is usually the best. Exhaling becomes the primary and secondary, and on inhalation the tertiary flavors perceived through the nose. The tongue (taste) is far inferior to the only six senses of the nose (odor) with an estimated 10,000 perceptible scents. The smell and taste interact and influence each other; it creates a complex overall picture. An exact distinction of the two senses is not possible. Much of the popular taste of a wine is perceived by the sense of smell.

In professional tastings an otherwise anonymous wine under standardized conditions by independent trained sensory assessors is assessed value neutral with knowledge of geographical name or origin, vintage, grape variety (if known), quality level and possibly special oenological practices (for example Barrique). In order to achieve a necessary significance, the wine assessment must be carried out either by a sufficiently large Prüferpaneel with at least five tasters or several times anonymous repetitions in each other groupings. A scientifically proven statement can only be obtained at 97% accuracy with about 25 examiners / repetitions. All this a layman can not even afford in the beginning.

Rating systems

For the verbal assessment - the wine address - a partly standardized terminology is used. For the tasting should be uncolored, long-stemmed wine glasses be used with tulip-shaped goblet and sturdy foot - there are special for it tasting glasses, The glass is principally placed on the stem (never on the goblet) to prevent heating by hand. In this context, there is also the question of the required amount of wine per person. In general, a 0.75 liter bottle for 12 to 14 tasters, that is about 0.05 liters per person. Then there is still a small amount for any necessary re-tasting. There are different rating systems, but they are basically similar:

5-point scheme: Used, for example, in quality wine testing in Germany. See under Official test number and German wine seal,

Symbols: In wine guides and wine magazines is often additionally a quality classification or categorization in the form of symbols such as bottles, grapes, stars, glasses, corkscrews, etc. The rating is from 1 to 3, 1 to 4 or even 1 to 5. Im Italian wine guide Gambero Rosso be 1 to 3 wine glasses, in the French wine guide Hachette 1 to 3 stars and in the country-specific Gault Millau Give 1 to 4 grapes. In vintage tables, individual years (or their wine quality - separated by countries and wine-growing areas) are often classified with 1 to 5 stars.

20 point scheme: 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) usual.

50-point scheme : A rarely used variant of the 100-point system, in which the rating is not started at 51 but at 1.

100 point scheme: This internationally most used system is by the wine critic Robert M. Parker (* 1947) became popular from the early 1980s. Above all, it is common and recognized overseas, but has also prevailed internationally. The acceptance in the United States is also due to it, because it corresponds to the grading system of the high schools. Every wine gets 50 points from the start. A wine up to 75 points has a more or less pronounced wine faults, For certain errors, this is tolerated at low severity for simpler wines, at quality wines but without exception. Only above this limit do the good qualities begin. The rarely awarded 100 points are very few " grandiose "Reserved wines, also called Wine of the century be designated. If you consider wines as an investment, for which there is a collector's scene, then you concentrate on top wines with at least 90 points.

The range of the individual stages from faulty to grandiose is determined by the individual wine critics something different applied. There are also different views today on how rigorously this system should be interpreted. For example, most users of this scheme have been experiencing a creeping shift of dot scores upward for several years, resulting in an unnatural compression of the system (which could also be called a courtesy rating). at Wein-Plus The original, strict version is used, with the range of recommended wines starting at 80 points.





5 Series



Wine with more or less
pronounced wine faults

to 9.9

to 1.9

to 75


Neutral plain wine,
without debugging errors.

10 - 11.9


2 - 2,9

76 - 79


Cleaner, as harmonious as possible, at best
typical wine. Mostly one drinking pleasure,
Above average for base wine, for top quality
Product indicates this to certain weaknesses.

12 - 13.9


3 - 3,4

80 - 84

very well

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

14 - 15.9


3.5 - 3.9



First class wine, one of the best of its kind
Art counts. absolute pure tone. harmony.
Depth and character must be given.

16 - 17.9


4 - 4,4

90 - 94


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



4,5 - 5

95 - 99

grandiose and

Wine that you only different, but not better
can make. On Wine of the century,





Conversion : The lowest limit for a still drinkable wine is 70 points for the 100 points system and 10 points for the 20 points system. This means that stages 11 to 20 correspond to stages 71 to 100. Each point in the 20s system above 10 equals 3 points above 70 in the 100 system. The conversion example at 17 points: 70 + (7 x 3) = 91. This applies mutatis mutandis vice versa.

The evaluation itself is based on at least three to six criteria. A common shape is the five criteria of appearance (but distinguished in color and clarity), smell, taste and overall impression. The table at the end shows an evaluation sheet in the 20s 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 recommended that the individual results and comments are constantly entered in the form. 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, because a deep dark red wine is indeed "beautiful", but still no statement about the quality means - laymen often rate this too high. For many consumers, color plays a crucial role. An appealing coloring of a red wine causes one to be less critical regarding the taste. The color, however, can tell the age; the outer edge is crucial. Old reds have a brown tone. In the aging or. bottle aging Red wines are lighter, in white wines, it is the other way around. One of the causes of red wine is that the anthocyanins (red dyes) are precipitated. Much more important than a beautiful color is clarity and purity.

A cloudiness can on one wine faults indicate. The surface must reflect cleanly and must not appear spotted or dull. On depot with a red wine is nothing negative. For testing, tilt the glass so that the liquid level forms an "egg". Now you hold the glass against a light with a bright (at best white) background. A flawless wine must clear and a white wine also be transparent.

As a rule, the color is determined organoleptically with the eye, that is, without any aids. Rarely, this is also done by comparison with color standards such as the color spectrum of the French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889), who has divided the colors into 72 basic colors, each with 20 shades. Although this has never dealt with wine (but with the coloring of tapestries), his color table was then later used for the color description of red wines. A third possibility is measuring by means of a spectrometer in the laboratory, which is the most objective and accurate form.

Smell (max 4 points)
The glass is swiveled in the form of a 6 or 9 so that the wine swings to just below the edge. The nose deep in the glass becomes the odor checked and repeated several times. It can already (at least for varietal and typical wines) the grape variety be determined. Furthermore, one can conclude whether the wine is young, ripe, acid or with residual sugar Is provided.

Odor - olfactory system in humans

Taste (max 7 points)
It is taken a small sip, while inhaling and let the wine roll over the tongue. The taste usually confirms the smell sensation. Now he can total extract of the wine in all its breadth. The human tongue absorbs certain sensations in different places, but the areas are not clearly demarcated, but flowing:

  • Tongue: residual sugar (dry to sweet)
  • anterior tongue margins: saltiness
  • middle tongue margins: acids (fresh, mild, acidic, sour)
  • rear, middle area: tannins (bitter to bitter)
  • the backstage area: umami (Glutamate)

Tongue with the tastes and receptors

Overall impression (max 5 points)
In summary, it is assessed which overall impression (character) the wine has left in consideration of all components. The scale is between disappointment until Wine of the century, That concerns the general quality, the balance (Balance, harmony) that typicality, the finesse, the leaving, as well as the development stage or the maturity of the wine.








not appropriate, faulty, ugly
especially nice color




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


Aroma (Flower, fragrance, nose)




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


alcohol content. fruit.
total extract (Extract),
body. structure. texture. Sweet. acid.
cleanliness (Pure tone),
tannins (Tannins)


4 - 5

no wine taste, strange
empty, thin, little expression
especially clean, expressive
aromatic, rich, rich / full of character
Stylistically outstanding, perfect


general quality, typicality.
leaving. balance
(Balance, harmony), finesse.
Development stage or maturity


0 - 1


poor, inharmonious
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 species

Which type of tasting is used with which rules results from the objective. One can distinguish in three tasks. 1. Compare and identify in order to identify a particular wine or test factors, 2. Evaluate and classify for the purpose of official exams, as well as 3. Detect and determine sensory perceptions in order to wine address (Description). To prove the objectivity and attention of the tasters are also Duplicate samples (the same wine twice) usual, or will be too pirates introduced (for example, a Pinot Blanc under ten Rieslings). As an orientation aid for the degustators, there is the reference wine (Wine type) and the level wine (Valuation scale). There are the following partly applied in combination rules or techniques:

Counter sample: In order to professional wine tasting the phenomenon of so-called bottles variance or to preclude an unfair assessment by individual spoiled bottles, are counter samples by means of lock cylinders carried out.

again tasting : Any matter how professional wine tasting can only be a snapshot of the current development status. Since a wine develops or changes in the course of its life cycle, a repeated or repeated tasting is necessary. See also under maturity,

Rehearsal: In this frequent tasting (also pairwise tasting) two wines in two glasses are presented together and tasted for comparison and evaluation. There are the 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 fleshed out on the questions "which wine is sweeter", "which wine is more acidic", "which wine is more aromatic" or "which wine is better". Other forms are the "duo-trio test", in which three glasses in two of which contain the same wine and is to be identified, and the triangle test,

Open tasting: The wines served in an unopened bottle are known.

Half-blind tasting: Although it is known which wines it is, but not in which carafe or in which glass they are. This form is often used in wine seminars and is also suitable for private tasting sessions.

Blind tasting: In this mostly common form, there is certain information depending on the tasting or comparison target. Although these may be common parameters such as grape variety, vintage or origin, they may not be indicative of producer information such as brand names. To ensure highest objectivity, appropriate precautions are necessary; see in detail under blind tasting,

Horizontal tasting: Wines of a vintage of a specific growing area are tasted. See in detail under horizontal tasting,

Vertical tasting: Different vintages of wines of a producer are tasted. See in detail under vertical tasting,

Special forms: Depending on the objective, there are also special tasting methods. In the exam for Master of Wine must they vine, the ancestry and the vintage be found out. At first glance, the grape variety seems to be the easiest, but that is according to the University of California Tests done with professional tasters are not always the case. Certain grape varieties such as muscatel were due to the varietal Muskattons with 60% well recognized, however, the success rate was Cabernet Sauvignon relatively low at 40%. In the origin, there were better results, because certain growing areas are particularly characteristic. In the vintage, color and maturity of the wine are the most important factors of recognition.

As a rule, wine ratings have no scientific validity. If you were to repeat the competition the next day with the same judges and the same wines, it would not be quite different, but with the highest probability, for the most part, different evaluation figures. In the sense of a scientifically recognized result, however, they would have to be repeatable, that is, at best, completely identical. It can be assumed that the differences between two evaluation rounds are the lower, the higher the knowledge, experience and professionalism of the tasters. See also the result of a legendary international struggle between France and California below Paris Wine Tasting,

Increasingly, a new analytical method is used for the sensory evaluation of wines. The "Quantitative Descriptive Analysis", which has long been used in the food industry, or also referred to as "profile analysis", enables a more objective assessment according to precisely defined criteria. The result is shown graphically with a polar diagram. See under QDA (Quantitative Descriptive Analysis).

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

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