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Examination of taste

The general structure consists of:

- Fixed taste support (the element of pure taste)
- The volatile odorous component (the purely olfactory element).
General Structure;Harmony;Intensity;Persistence;Quality; State Evolution


In respect to the purely gustatory component, this examination is based on a comparison of softness and acidity, in respect to white wines, and softness, acidity and tannins insofar as red wines are concerned. As to the purely olfactory component, the focus is on the consistency of the harmony among odors. In terms of overall harmony, the balance between flavors and odors is assessed.
When one or more of the components of odor or flavor prevails in an unfavorable way masking all other elements. The lack of harmony comes from the excessive amounts of alcohol, acids, tannins and bitter sensations.
When one or more of the components of odor or flavor interfere with the structure, moderately masking all other elements.
When one or more of the structural components are not balanced.
A wine that tends to have a balance.
Wine in which all of the structural elements are present in the same intensity and, therefore, having a perfect balance. It is, of course, a very fine and elegant wine.

Note: The use of the terms "relatively balanced" and "slightly disharmonious" is highly relative, since wines so described, depending upon type, may be regarded by some tasters as satisfactory. In such cases, "satisfactory" should not be considered synonymous with "quality."


This examination is intended to evaluate the maximum impact of the sensations of odor and flavor when the wine is held in the mouth and the degree to which that intensity persists after the wine is swallowed.
That quantitative measurement is effected within the limits of the threshold of perception on one hand and the threshold of saturation on the other, both of which can vary from one wine to another.
This refers to the quantity of odor and flavor components that remain in the oral cavity after the wine is swallowed. The sensation is very evident.
The quantity of these components is normally found in quality wines.
The stimulants are lacking, or may be acceptable if they are part of the particular type of wine as outlined in the production regulations.
The wine generally lacks all stimulants. The sensations are transient to the flavor and, with more evidence, to the taste and odor via retro-nasal.


This examination is intended to evaluate the duration (in seconds) of the intensity of the odor-flavor sensations when the wine is held in the mouth and after it is swallowed.
To evaluate this characteristic more effectively, the taster should masticate slowly-at the rate of about once a second-after swallowing the wine.
The intensity is still evident more than 15 seconds after the wine is swallowed. Indicates a high quality wine.
The intensity can be sensed for a period of 10 to 15 seconds after swallowing.
The intensity is still apparent 8 to 10 seconds after swallowing.
The intensity is evident for only 5 to 8 seconds after swallowing.
The intensity is evident for less than 5 seconds after swallowing.
Final sensations or finish
With the gradual weakening of the persistence of odors and flavors, a final sensation may develop that is different from those previously perceived. It generally lasts from 2 to 5 seconds and is known as the aftertaste. It is a defect if that aftertaste does not correspond with the specific sensory characteristics of the wine tasted, as in the case of a Grignolino di Monferrato, which should always have a typically bitter aftertaste.


This is the wine's capacity to satisfy the qualified taster.
It may seem that quality is no more than "whatever pleases." However, the assessment of quality is much more than a matter of liking a wine. A definitive judgment can be passed only in reference to a standard developed by the taster through qualified instruction and experience.
Very fine
Describes great wines, having properties, complete and perfectly balanced, which assure the greatest satisfaction.
The term is reserved for those wines that offer particularly positive sensations in the proper balance.
Fairly fine
This is applied to all of those premium wines that offer positive and balanced sensations but are of lesser standing.
Reserved for those wines that, while they have no defects, do not possess any outstanding characteristics.
Wines that, while they have no defects, produce pronounced sensations with more or less obvious imbalances.

State of Evolution

This examination evaluates the evolution of the wine at the moment in which it is tasted in relation to the sensory characteristics it has developed.
Wines that still present disharmony and are not yet ready.
Wines that are ready for consumption, even though in an evolution stage and still capable of improvement.
Wines which, independent from their age, have reached a balance between their various components, but which can still improve.
Wines which begin to have very evolved fragrances, at times ethereal. They begin to show some signs of defect and alteration because they are in the final maturation stage.
Wines which are characteristically dead as a result of excessive aging of their structural elements.

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