Cyprus Wine Competition

Wine Tasting. Is it really a talent?

Wine Tasting. What it really is about…..

I am sure you, like many amongst us don’t quite understand what really is involved when wine tasting. All those experts smelling and spitting and noting things down… what is going on exactly?

Simply put wine tasting is the sensory evaluation and examination of a wine’s quality. Nowadays standard formal terminology is used to describe flavours, aromas and other characteristics of a wine:

Usually four aspects of a wine are looked at:

  • Appearance – colour gives hints of the grapes used, the age and alcohol content.
  • The ‘nose’ or ‘in glass’ – upon smelling grape varieties are more or less confirmed  as are characteristics of the production process.
  • In mouth – sensations in the mouth indicate if a wine is well balanced and no factor i.e. sourness bitterness or sweetness is overwhelming. This is where the acidity of whites is perceived as are the tannins of reds. The degree of sensation will result in comments like ‘crisp acidity’ or ‘well rounded tanins’ etc.
  • The aftertaste – here tastes are evaluated on their ability to linger in the mouth after the wine is spat or swallowed. Quality speaking, long finishes where tastes are persistent are in favour to the scoring of a wine.   


When smelling a wine taster is trying to perceive the varietal character of the grapes which made the wine. Are they present? Are they expressive of the variety or where non varietal cases occur, are aromas from grapes present?

Once the wine is in the mouth the wine taster looks for integration of three important components: acidity, tannis and alcohol. For a wine to have achieved a ‘harmonious fusion’ none must overwhelm the others or none must be out of balance.  

Another important factors is the expressiveness of the wine. Are the aromas distinct, defined and clearly projected? Are characteristics and aromas of the production process like barrel aging and the manner of fermentation evident? And if so do they bring character to the beverage or knock it off balance?

With care and attention whilst enjoying one can attain a good level of understating of the attributes of a wine and how to correctly taste, appreciate and evaluate.


¨ Technical sensory evaluation of wineMr. Savas Constantinou; Oenologist at the WPC – Presentation

¨Revealing the secrets of wine tasting” – Dr. Andrea Emmanuel; Chairman of Cyprus Oenophile Club – Presentation

¨ The importance of wine glass in accentuating the wine¨Mr George Kassianos; President of the Cyprus Sommelier Association – Presentation

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