WINE EVALUATIONSight


  • SUB-TOPIC Of WINE EVALUATION-Sight
    • Clarity
    • Color
    • Bightness 
    • Tearing
    • Rim Variation

BLIND TASTING Attempt to Identify, Evaluate and Judge a Wines Quality Without Knowing Its Identity.  Blind Tasting is Also Referred to As Deductive Tasting.

CLARITY The Ability to See Through the Wine, Sometimes Referred to as Intensity.

  • Clarity Scale–   WHITE= Clear   |   Pale   |   Hazy   |   Cloudy   |   Turbid
  • Clarity Scale–   RED= Clear   |   Pale   |   Murky   |   Opaque   |   Full
  • FACTORS EFFECTING CLARITY
    • Concentration of Color Compounds    
    • Finning
    • Unfiltered    
    • Age
  • FACTORS LEADING To LIGHTER WINES
    • Bigger Berries, Thinner Skin, Cooler Climate, Limited Maceration, Over Watering, Varietal Trait
  • FACTORS LEADING To DARKER WINES
    • Smaller Berries (More Skin to Juice Ratio), Age, Extended Extraction
  • TURBIDITY- Suspended Microscopic Particles Within a Wine.
    • Indicated a Measure of Haziness, Altered Ability to Reflect Light.
    • Sign of a Young Wine, Unfiltered/ Natural Wine or Poor Viniculture Practices.
    • Turbidity Makes a Wine Translucent Rather Than Transparent.
  • PARTICLES- Things Suspended In Wine (Sediment, Tartrates) That Effect Wine Clarity.
  • RED VARIETALS PALE/ MURKY IN CLARITY
    • Red= Baga,  Barbara,  Carmenere,  Cinsaut,  Counoise,  Dolcetto,  Frappato,  Gamey,  Garnacha,  Grignolino, Montepulciano,  Nebbiolo,  Nerello Mascalese,  Pelaverga,  Pinot Noir, Rossese,  Sangiovese,  Schiava,  Tempranillo, Vespolina,  Zinfandel
  • RED VARIETALS “OPAQUE” / “FULL” IN CLARITY
    • Red= Alicante Bouchet,  Cabernet Sauvignon,  Malbec,  Merlot,  Mourvèdre,  Petite Sirah,  Petit Verdot,  Syrah,  Tannat,  Tourigo Nacional

Clarity and Color Mean Nothing About a Wines Quality Unless You Put it In Context.


COLOR Color In Wine is a Result of Light Waves Being Reflected by Compound In the Wine.

  • Color In Red Wine is Determined by the Type and Amount of Anthocyanins. They Are Found In the Skins of Most Red Skinned Grapes. Smaller Berries With Thicker Skins Will Have More Skin to Juice Ratio and More Anthocyanins/ Color.  Anthocyanins Bind Up With Tannins to Form Pigmented Tannins. Over Time Pigmented Tannins Polymerize/ Form Larger Chains. Eventually These Chains Get So Large/ Heavy That They Precipitate or Fall Out of the Wine(Resolve) In the Form of Sediment. As This Process Happens Over Time the Color Fades Out of the Wine. Red Wine That’s Aged In Oak Barrel Will From More Stable Pigmented Tannins and the Color Will Remain More Stable Longer.
    • Wine With Lower PH. Tend to Show Bright Cherry In Color
    • Wine With Higher PH. Show More Purple/ Blue
  • Color Scale–   WHITE= Watery   |   Straw   |   Yellow   |   Gold   |   Brown
  • Color Scale–   PINK= Pink   |   Salmon   |   Orange
  • Color Scale–   RED= Ruby   |   Garnet   |   Purple   |   Tawny   |   Brown

Reds Lighten With Age, Whites Darken With Age, Both Turn to Brownish.

  • FACTORS EFFECTING COLOR
    • Varietal                     Age
    • Skin                           Oxidation
    • Oak                            Grape Size
    • Ripeness                   Climate
    • Aspect                       Vinification
    • Sun Exposure           Maceration Time
  • WHITE VARIETALS GOLDEN IN COLOR
    • White= Chardonnay,  Falanghina,  Roussanne,  Viognier
  • FACTORS LEADING TO  GOLDEN COLOR
    • AGED,  OAK INFLUENCE,  BOTRYTIS

COLORS…HUE, TINTS, TONES, SHADES

  • HUE- Hue is Just a Color, One That’s Represented On a Color Wheel.
    • Primary Color– Red Blue, Yellow
    • Secondary Color– Combination of Any Two Primary Colors…Red + Blue = Violet Yellow + Blue = Green
    • Tertiary Color– Follow the Six Gaps Between Primary and Secondary Colors.
  • TINTS- Created When You Add White to Any Hue On the Color Wheel.
  • TONES- Created When You Add Both Black and White to a Hue.
  • SHADES- Created When You Add Black to Any Hue On the Color Wheel.

Clarity and Color In a Wine Say/ Mean Nothing About Quality Unless You Put Them In the Context of the Varietal.

POLYPHENOLS- (AKA=Phenols/ Phenolics) A Chemical Family/ Class of Plant-Derived Antioxidants Responsible For Red Wine Color, Color Density, Hue and Mouthfeel. There Are 5 Free Anthocyanins and 5 Conjugated Anthocyanins.  These Give Chromatic Characteristics That Make Wine Lighter or Darker.

  • In Nature Phenolic Compounds Enhance Many Plant Functions Including Protection From Predators/ Disease/ Ultraviolet Radiation and Provides Pigmentation.

IMPORTANT GROUPS Of PHENOLS

  • FLAVONOIDS- Plant Pigments Associated With Fruit Coloration.
    • Comes From Grape Seeds, Skins and Stems.
    • Flavonoids Include Anthocyanins, Flavonols and Flavan-3-ols
    • NON-FLAVONOIDS– Catchall Category For Smaller Phenolic Compounds.
  • ANTHOCYANINS- Phenolics Compound Pigment Found In the Skins of Grapes and Are Responsible For Color In Certain Red Varietals.  Anthocyanins Are Influenced by Terroir, Climate and Are Water Soluble Pigments (Purple, Red, Blue In Color Depending On a Wines PH.)
    • ~Etymology~ Derived From the Greed Words For Flower & Blue…Anthos & Kyanos.
    • Are Odorless and Flavorless
    • Act as an Antioxidant
    • Accumulate In Red Skins After Veraison
    • Anthocyanidins/ Color “Bleached-Out”, Diminish With Excessive Sulfur Dioxide Use.
    • A Young Wine Contains “Free” Anthocyanins, Which Are Unstable.  As a Wine Ages the Anthocyanins “Binds” With Tannins and Other Compounds In Wine, Forming a Stable Bound Anthocyanins Called a Polymeric Pigment.
  • ANTHOCYANIN SUB-GROUPS: -5/ 6 Types…
    • Cyanidin– (Bilberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Plums)
    • Delphinidin– (Cranberry, Pomegranates, Grapes)
    • Malvidin- (Red Grape, Cranberry, Blueberry, Black Rice)
    • Petunidin
    • Peonidin- (Dark Pigment, Oxidizes Easily, Breaks Down Sooner)
      • RED= Sangiovese
    • Pelargonidin-

BRIGHTNESS Capacity of a Wine to Reflect Light, a Function of Clarity, the Difference In How Much Light is Reflected In Wine.

  • Brightness Scale– Dull   |   Hazy   |   Bright   |   Day Bright   |   Star-Bright   |   Brilliant
  • Intensity– Dull   |   Hazy   |   Bright   |   Day Bright   |   Star-Bright   |   Brilliant
  • FALL BRIGHT- Point When Wine Becomes Limpid or Clear, After Cloudiness Drops as Sediment Falls to the Bottom of Container. Wine is Usually Racked Off the Sediment or In the Case of Sparkling Wine Disgorged.

SEDIMENT- Precipitated Tannins, Pigments and Other Solids That Fall Out of Suspension and Accumulate On Bottom of Bottle With a Wines Advancement In Age.

CARBON DIOXIDE/ GAS- By-Product of the Fermentation Process.

  • Young Wines Bottled Early, Excess of Dissolved Carbon Dioxide That Has Become Sealed In Bottle, Carbonic Maceration.

TEARING Appears as a Film Coating the Sides of the Glass After Swirling the Wine.

  • Difference In Evaporation Rate of Alcohol and Evaporation Rate of Water, and Unrelated to Viscosity.  Size of Tears Can Be Thick or Thin, and More Slow or Fast.
  • AKA= Staining, Tears, Legs, Cathedral Windows
  • Possible Causes of Legs-  Highly Extracted Wine, +Abv., Glycerin, Residual Sugar.
  • Tearing Usually Become Prominent In Wine With Alcohol is Above 12.5%.

GLYCEROL- Colorless, Odorless, Slightly Sweet, Syrupy Substance That Gives Wine the Impression of Smoothness and Impacts Mouthfeel. It’s Derived by the Fermentation of Glucose and Accounts For About 10 of a Wines Sugars.

  • Forms When Sugars In Wine Combine With Volatile Compounds. By-Product of Grape Ripeness, Fermentation, Yeast Type.
  • VARIETALS HIGH IN GLYCEROL
    • White= Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Riesling, Moscato, Pinot Grigio

VISCOSITY- A Wines Ability to Move Around Within Itself.

  • Viscosity Isn’t to Be Confused With Tearing. Viscosity is Higher In Wines With Higher Alcohol Content, and Residual Sugar.
  • DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE  ~Checking Out the”Legs” In Your Wine Glass.~
    • Don’t Ignore the Legs On Your Glass, But Don’t Make Too Much of Them Either.   Legs Are There In the Wine to Give You a Set of Clues as to What’s Going On In Your Wine.  The Possibility of a High Alcohol Wine, or One Which Has a High Extraction Level, Elevated Glycerin or Residual Sugar.

RIM VARIATION As Wine Ages Density of Color, Pigments and Tannins Diminishes and Lighter Color Around Rim of Glass Becomes More Prevalent Showing Colors of Orange, Brown, Brick.

  • Rim Variation Scale– Yes   |   No   |   Watery   |   Pink
  • Rim Variation Descriptors– Fits Into, Consistent to Edge, Meniscus, Donut, Core, Rim


**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.