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How to Take Better Wine-Tasting Notes

How to Take Better Wine-Tasting Notes

Part of the fun of wine tasting is being able to remember what you loved (or didn’t love) about a particular wine. But if you’re anything like me, your wine-tasting notes often end up being a jumble of half-remembered descriptors like “fruity” and “smoky.”

If you’re looking to improve your wine-tasting note-taking skills, read on for some tips!

Start with the basics

When you taste wine, pay attention to its Appearance, Aroma, Taste, and Finish. For each of these categories, ask yourself a few questions and make note of your answers.

Appearance: What color is the wine? Is it clear or cloudy.

Aroma: What do you smell? Are there any particular aromas that stand out to you?

Taste: How does the wine taste? Is it sweet, sour, bitter, or salty?

Finish: How does the wine feel in your mouth after you’ve swallowed it? Is the finish long or short?

Once you’ve gotten the basics down, start paying attention to other factors that can influence a wine’s flavor.

For example, is the wine aged in oak barrels? If so, that could impart flavors of vanilla or caramel. Is the wine made with certain types of grapes? Certain grape varietals can have characteristic flavors, like Riesling wines which often taste fruity or Chardonnay wines which can be buttery.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment! Try different kinds of wines, from different regions and countries. Compare wines made with different grape varietals.

And if you have a chance to taste a wine that’s barrel-aged or made with rare grapes, go for it! The more you taste, the more nuanced your wine-tasting notes will become.

Use a scorecard

If you really want to get serious about taking wine-tasting notes, you can use a scorecard. We've made a simple one to help you get started on scoring your wine tasting sessions.


score card


Categorizing the score between Appearance, Aroma, Taste, and Finish is a good place to start. For each category, you can give the wine a score of 1-5, with 5 being the best.

Some people also like to add an Overall score at the end.

Once you’ve given the wine a score, make some notes about what you liked or didn’t like about it. Was the color particularly striking? Did the aroma remind you of anything? Was the taste too sweet for your liking?

Making note of these things will help you remember a wine later on, and it will also help you notice patterns in the types of wines that you like (or don’t like).

Wrapping Up

Tasting and taking notes on wines can be a fun way to spend an afternoon—but only if you can actually remember your thoughts on each one!

By following these tips, you can improve your note-taking skills and make sure that your next wine-tasting adventure is one that you’ll remember for years to come. 

Randy Green

Randy is a true wine storage aficionado and expert in wine cellar design. He gained construction experience as a partner in a general contracting business before niching into and passionately focusing on creating wine storage solutions for clients in 2016. He takes great pride in bringing these designs to life, and is dedicated to ensuring that every wine cellar he creates is not only functional but also a beautiful addition to any home or business. The Wine Cellar HQ team also includes refrigeration sizing experts and licensed HVAC technicians to ensure optimal climate control for your wine cellar, so that your wines can age to perfection.
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