WSET Diploma Tasting, Part 1
I wish to share with you some of the answering techniques some fellow WSET teachers amd friends were able to share woth me. The following is more a consolidation for easier understanding. WSET tasting at DIp level is surely not everything, it may be just one starting.
Clarity- If you tilt a dull wine and it's rim is clear, the wine is "clear"
- gradations of light in most rooms; not a big deal; this can be a waste of time
- important not to pour too much wine; WSET uses ISO glasses with a line 3 cm up the side of the bowl. 1 inch = 2.54 cm, so little more than an inch of wine in the glass
- white wines- get the color from the core, intensity from the rim
- white wines: most lemon or lemon-green; gold= some orange;
- if orange dominant, "amber"
- white wine intensity- from the width of the colorless rim
- if wide, "pale"; if thin, "medium"; "deep" = very little watery rim
- red wines- get the color from the rim, intensity from the core, then rim
- if rim is pink, wine is ruby
- if rim has some orange or brown, wine is garnet
- red wine intensity- look straight down- if you can't see the circle where the stem meets
the wine, the wine is "deep"; if you can see it but (after tilting) can't read through
the wine, the wine is "medium"
- a five choice scale (Advanced) is easier than a three choice scale (Intermediate)
- need to calibrate light, medium, pronounced
- first decide which of the above; most will be medium; then decide, above or below medium
- if not sure, "medium"
Aromatics- neutral, aromatic, oaked; primary, secondary, tertiary
primary- aromatics from the grape
secondary- aromatics from the winemaking process
tertiary- aromatics from ageing, oxidative or reductive
Level of sweetness- SAT categories designed to be used
dry- many wines
off-dry- most modern Alsace whites
medium-dry- typical German kabinett
medium to medium- sweet- typical German spätlese
sweet- classic dessert wines
luscious- sweet and incredibly viscous
Acidity- dribble test
Tannin- level of tannin not to be confused with nature of tannin (e.g. silky, rough)
Alcohol level- 12-13% = medium; start to feel heat, medium plus
Quality level- a good wine should show some varietal character, climate influence, be well balanced, well made, but necessarily concentrated, complex- e.g. Jacobs Creek Chardonnay because it tastes of chardonnay and is well balanced
very good - not only sense of place but also has complexity, maybe missing a little on the nose
outstanding- benchmark wine, nothing wrong.
acceptable- lacking varietal character or sense of place or some balance
poor- a lot of things are out of balance