How to Write Excellent Wine Tasting Notes

How to Write Excellent Wine Tasting Notes

Ever wonder how to keep great personal wine tasting notes? From identifying flavors and aromas to describing acidity, tannin, and body, this article offers some of the best tips for creating the most memorable and accurate wine tasting notes:

Wine tasting notes should be the most useful tips to see before you buy a wine. In the past 10 years, wine tasting notes have shifted more to consumer ratings that tend to be more unbiased. However, there is no standard for writing wine tasting notes. This guide will help you write useful and accurate wine tasting notes.

via How to Write Excellent Wine Tasting Notes | Wine Folly:

Taste Wine Like a Pro

At Lakeland Winery you get to sample 25 wines before you begin your winemaking session. How about tasting those wines like a world-class sommelier?

Knowing how to taste wine like an expert helps you get the most out of your experience, and you’re better able to select a custom wine that best suits your palate.

The professionals — wine critics and sommeliers  – generally don’t drink the wines they taste. However, at Lakeland, we encourage you to taste and drink. It’s part of the experience here — you’re with friends, you’re eating snacks and you’re having a party. Drink up!

The whole wine tasting process doesn’t really take long, but you have several things to consider in those minutes it takes to visually examine, sniff and taste a wine you might end up making yourself.

First things first: Hold the wine glass by the stem. Never hold it by the bowl or you’ll end up warming the wine with your hand.

Before You Begin

Certain conditions can affect the taste of wine. The foods you eat, someone wearing too much perfume, the size of the glasses and whether you drank anything beforehand will influence how the wine tastes.

Taste wines from lightest to heaviest, whites to reds.

Get a Good Look

Look straight down the glass to see the wine’s color. Hold the glass up to the light, and give it a tilt. Then, look at the wine through the side of the glass to see the clarity of the wine. A clear wine is always a good sign, but sometimes a wine with sediment just means the wine was not filtered. Look for the brightness as the wine is reflected in the light. The color of the wine tells you the age and the condition. White wines deepen as they age and red wines lose their color.

Give it a Swirl

Newbie wine tasters may swirl the glass on a flat surface instead of swirling the glass in the air. As you swirl the glass, look for the “legs” that run down the sides of the glass. A wine with good legs has more alcohol and flavor.

Take a Sniff

Give the glass another swirl, and put your nose just over the top of the wine glass. Take quick sniffs to smell for anything noticeably wrong like the musty smell of spoilage, the smell of vinegar or the “brett” — the sweaty, earthy smell of bad yeast.

If you don’t notice any bad smells, you should notice a fruity smell, because, you know, grapes. Other scents you might pick up: whites like Gewurztraminers have floral scents. Sauvignon Blancs and Rhone reds might smell grassy. You might pick up on wine barrel scents like vanilla, toast or smoke.

Time for Tasting

Taking a small sip and sucking on the wine aerates it so you can get the flavor. This is when you find out if the wine is balanced — the flavors won’t be too much of anything — not too sweet, salty or bitter.

Determine the complexity of the wine. If you taste something right away, such as an unmistakable vanilla taste, you don’t have a complex wine. But, if the taste of the wine seems to change the more you taste it, you’ve got a complex wine.

A good wine is detected on its finish, or aftertaste. If you can still taste it in your mouth minutes later, you’ve got a good wine. The longer the finish, the better the wine.

What’s Your Palate?

So, are you the dry wine type, or do you prefer something sweet? The dryness or sweetness of the wine is determined by how much sugar is in the wine. A dry wine is less sweet. But, don’t confuse fruitiness with sweetness — a dry wine can be fruity. You’ll notice the sweetness or dryness on the finish.

Another thing to notice: the “mouthfeel” or body tells you the level  of alcohol in the wine. More alcohol in the wine has a fuller body. You can think of it like low-fat and high-fat foods. Light-bodied is the low fat and full-bodied, is the full fat food.

Now that you know how the experts do it, get ready to taste and choose your very own wine.

 

Lakeland Winery Grand Opening

New Lakeland Winery store frontIt’s a brand new year and we have a brand new tasting room! Join us on Saturday, January 4 to celebrate the grand opening of our newly renovated tasting room.

To celebrate, all wine making packages have been reduced to wholesale prices for the rest of the year. All wine bottle purchases are 10 percent off all day Saturday.

We look forward to sharing this special day with you!

 

Holiday Parties at Lakeland Winery

holiday wine

A holiday wine tasting party at Lakeland Winery is an easy, stress-free (and fun!) way to bring family, friends  and  co-workers together this season. Create meaningful memories without straining your wallet. Wine tasting parties are only $7 per person.
It’s so easy to do: book your party on our homepage. Bring food and enjoy 25 different samples of our wines. Book your party today; spots fill quickly.
Events at Lakeland Winery

Events at Lakeland Winery

wine-tasting-signWe have some new, fun, wine-filled events at Lakeland Winery.

Every Wednesday is Winesday Trivia Night.  Create a team, drink wine, and enjoy free pizza while showing off your trivia knowledge. The fun starts at 6 p.m., Wednesday nights.

Get creative with wine at our Cork, Craft & Sip parties. Make art with wine corks or paint wine glasses with friends — and sample our wines. The next craft event is May 9 at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $25 to attend and includes crafting supplies, light snacks and 25 samples of wine. Contact [email protected] to RSVP.

April’s Wine of the Month: Australian Chardonnay

April’s Wine of the Month: Australian Chardonnay

wine_waterThis month’s featured wine is our Australian Chardonnay. Buttery and fruity. Full and supple. This golden wine has a clean, lingering finish. Pairs perfectly with fish, chicken, salads, and creamy-sauced pastas.

Buy one, get the second half-off all April long.

Valentine’s Day Special from Lakeland Winery

Valentine’s Day Special from Lakeland Winery

vdayLast minute Valentine’s Day shopping is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when you reserve Lakeland Winery’s perfect treat for two.

You and your sweetheart get 25 samples of wine, cheese, crackers and olive plate, and chocoloate mousse for $25. A sweet prelude to dinner or a night out on the town (or a night at home…)

Reserve your treat-for-two by February 14. Please contact Christina at [email protected] or by phone 315-277-CORK.

Stems and Bowls: Selecting the Right Wine Glass for Your Wine

Stems and Bowls: Selecting the Right Wine Glass for Your Wine

Drinking wine from the right glass didn’t matter much to me once upon a time when I was younger and lazier. What was important was having something from which to drink the wine — you know, like a clean mug found in the back of the cupboard, an empty plastic cup found at a party, or, oh heck, the bottle. But having since developed a refined palette that doesn’t include Boone’s Farm, I can’t drink wine out of anything but an actual wine glass. As it turns out, the type of glass you serve your wine in does matter.

I promise you this is not some arbitrary wine-snobbery. Some wine glasses really are meant for different types of wine.

Let’s say you’re having a tasting party with your classiest friends and you want them to really get the best experience from the different wines you serve. Here are the basic wine glasses you’ll need:

1. Red wines need to be studied and savored and the best way to do that is with a glass with a wide bowl. A glass with a big bowl lets you easily swirl the wine and release its bouquet.

2. Because they’re usually chilled, white wines, are served in narrow wine glasses in a smaller serving than red wine.  Tulip-shaped glasses are the best for white wines because they hold in the delicate aromas.

3. Dessert wines and ports should be served in short, flute-shaped glasses. Dessert wines are usually imbibed in smaller amounts because they’re so concentrated with sweetness.

4. The tall, thin Champagne flute is best for those sparkling wines. These glasses help keep the bubbly bubbly.

Of course, you can get wine glasses for all types of varietals. If you’re partial to drinking Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier or Bordeaux, glasses are made specifically made for those.

OK, so what if you’re not having a tasting party? What if you’re just sitting at home enjoying a glass of wine because you’re a wine blogger with lots of student loans? You can use a universal wine glass. Yes, one type of wine glass to hold your reds with their big aromas and your whites with their delicate flavors. An all-purpose wine glass should not be too-wide but not t00-narrow, and it should hold about 10 ounces of wine.

A tip: A wine glass with a thin rim can make for a better tasting experience than a glass with thick rim. A glass with a thin rim is less intrusive and helps you get the full effect of the wine’s flavor and aroma.

And, do yourself a favor. Hold the glass by the stem so your hand doesn’t warm up the wine.

 

Behind The Wine Glass: Ladies’ Night Glass Painting Parties

Behind The Wine Glass: Ladies’ Night Glass Painting Parties

Lakeland Winery plays host to great events — fundraisers, bachelorette parties, wine making parties — and the regular Ladies’ Night Wine Glass Painting party is definitely one them.  To think this event never would’ve happened if our Facebook Administrator and Fabulous Imperfections owner,  Sarah Arnold, hadn’t run out of pumpkins.
Right before Halloween in 2010 Sarah was sitting in her basement painting pumpkins. When she finished painting her supply she realized she wasn’t ready to quit. Luckily, Sarah remembered she had some wine glasses and decided to start painting those.
At first, it was just a lot of fun and she even began to think of her paintings as “therapy,”  but Sarah’s wine glass creations became a huge hit with friends — she started giving them away as thank-you gifts to those who went on her annual wine tour.  Wine tour mementos turned into friends making orders for housewarming gifts, Christmas gifts and wedding gifts. Sarah paints almost every day in her basement studio, and often has more than 80 wine glass orders at a time.
Sarah specializes in wedding and bridal party wine glasses, which make great wedding favors and gifts for the bride and groom. Sarah suggests the designs for her customers and hand paints the glasses with special glass paint. The glasses are then baked for durability.
Sarah’s wine tasting and glass painting parties at Lakeland Winery are a fun night out for women looking to do something different for a girls’ night out. You must preregister for the party and the $25 fee includes a wine or beer glass, the paints and 20 wine tasting samples.  The next event is Wednesday, July 11th. RSVP to [email protected]
New Groupon Deal From Lakeland Winery

New Groupon Deal From Lakeland Winery

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery$114 for Winemaking Party for up to 15 People ($228 value)

Our latest Groupon deal is for up to 15 people to make 30 bottles of the award-winning Island Mist wines.

Up to 15 people come together to make 30 bottles of Lakeland Winery’s award-winning Island Mist wines under the guidance of passionate oenophilia. The five-step winemaking process is simple and engaging; it involves slowly mixing water with bentonite, juice, and then additional ingredients such as elderflowers or oak. Later, after fermentation, groups will cork and label each bottle to take home. Groups are encouraged to bring their own hors d’oeuvres to the party.

Lakeland Winery’s expert winemakers guide you through the five-step winemaking process. Bring your own hors d’oeuvres to the party. Island Mist combines the crisp freshness of distinctive varietals wines with delicious fruit flavors.

Choose From:

  • Blackberry Cabernet
  • Blackberry Merlot
  • Green Apple Riesling
  • Exotic Fruit Zinfandel
  • Peach Apricot Chardonnay
  • Strawberry White Merlot
  • Wildberry Shiraz
  • Kiwi Pear Sauvignon Blanc
  • Blueberry Pinot Noir
  • White Cranberry Pinot Gris
  • Pomegranate Zinfandel
  • Cranberry Malbec

The Fine Print:

  • Expires November 14, 2012
  • Limit 1 per customer, may buy 1 additional as a gift
  • Must be 21 or older
  • Must use promotional value in 1 visit
  • $5 tasting fee per person not included