Why Are Wine Tasting Score Cards Important
Unless you’re a wine expert, wine tasting score cards are confusing. Yet, they are essential for a proper wine tasting. You’ll find them in reputable wine shops, in wineries, or wine tasting rooms. Sommeliers claim you can’t properly learn about wines without them. But why? Find out in our guide.
What Are Wine Tasting Score Cards?
Wine tasting score cards are special sheets of paper on which you can write all your tasting impressions. The benefits of the cards are in their layout. A wine tasting score card holds all the information you should evaluate, helping especially the novice tasters learn which characteristics are important.
The simplest wine tasting score cards are ideal for recreational wine parties with the friends. They contain minimal information and are often used by enthusiasts who only want to have fun.
However, a professional score card contains a wealth of information that includes a visual evaluation of the wine, an olfactory exam and a part to write down the gustatory impressions. This allows you to properly evaluate the beverage. By filling in a tasting score card for each wine you taste, you’ll be able to compare the slight variations of flavors and aromas between apparently similar drinks, or observe the differences between a high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and its supermarket counterpart.
Moreover, wine tasting score cards can help you create comprehensive wine flights and truly learn about wines.
Why Are Wine Tasting Score Cards Important?
Like underlined above, wine tasting score cards are important because they allow you to learn about wines. By keeping all your score cards in a diary, you can check which flavors and aromas you can expect to find in a given wine, compare two bottles or just check the characteristics of a new bottle against one you’ve tasted in the past.
By keeping your wine tasting score cards you can also monitor your own evolution as a connoisseur. In fact, your first score cards will most likely include only a few details and only the strongest aromas you can identify.
However, as you improve your wine tasting technique and train your senses in detecting the slightest aromas and flavors, your tasting score cards will become more detailed. In this way, you’ll be able to determine what you need to improve in your technique and which are the points in which you excel.
How To Make Your Own Wine Tasting Score Cards?
There are dozens of wine tasting score card templates out there and choosing the best is not always easy. Especially if you’re looking for professional score cards. However, you can always make your own template and just print how many score cards you want.
You should divide the template into three sections as it follows:
This section should include your impressions of the wine, such as its limpidity, color, viscosity, and effervescence.
Limpidity is usually defined from blurry to brilliant, while the color ranges from greenish yellow to amber for white wines, bright red to purple for red wines, and light pink to reddish pink for rosé wines. Depending on the type of wine and its age, the viscosity varies from fluid to viscous; lastly, the effervescence should be absent in most wines.
In sparkling wines, you should evaluate the number of bubbles, their size, and for how long they persist in the glass.
The olfactory analysis should contain four parts: intensity, complexity, quality, and description.
The intensity of the bouquet defines the quality of a wine and vary from slight to very intense. The complexity is usually expressed by a qualitative varying from absent to very complex, while the quality is assessed as ordinary, slightly fine, sufficiently fine, fine and excellent.
Lastly, the description should be an empty part used to note down your own impressions or the bouquet, such as the main aromas identified, the presence of ethereal aromas, etc.
The gustatory analysis is probably the most complex part of the wine tasting. Your score cards should include several sections that allow you to evaluate the sweetness of the wine, from dry to sweet, the alcohol content, acidity, tannins, and mineral substances.
Apart from these, you should also include a part where to evaluate the body of the wine, particularly important in the case of red wines.
Professional wine tasting score cards also include a part that allows sommeliers to evaluate the balance of the wine, its intensity and persistence on the taste buds, as well as its quality, evaluated from ordinary to excellent.
The maturation state, namely whether the wine is young or aged, is another important section you should include in the gustatory analysis.
Similar to the olfactory analysis, this part should include a description area where you can note all the flavors identified while tasting.
At the bottom of the wine tasting score cards, you should evaluate the harmony between the various tasting scores by analyzing the overall impressions.
Wine tasting score cards are essential wine learning tools. We suggest making your own template and follow the same steps each time you evaluate a wine; in this way, you’ll be able to compare the characteristics of two or more bottles and keep track of what you’ve learned.
Most of the templates available online, on the other hand, are excellent for having fun with friends, for throwing a blind wine tasting party or making a wine flight. Either way, the most important is to enjoy your favorite beverage in good company!