Wine Chart How-To
How Do I Read This Chart?
First of all you need to keep in mind that these ratings aren't meant to be viewed as a reference of quality; but simply a reference of the intensity or character of that wine. The scale is on a reference from 0 to 5 where five would be the most intense or the most present and zero would be the reciprocal of that. Keep in mind that just because a wine may have a lower rating in one category, it should not be viewed as a bad thing. For example, a lower rating in the Body category may be reference to a varietal like a Pinot Noir or a Sangiovese; these wines typically have a lighter body and some individuals prefer that.
This is an indicator of both the intensity and complexity of the aroma of the wine. A lower rating here may mean a more one dimensional or a more delicate bouquet.
This indicates the amount of fruit present in both the nose and palate of the wine. Intense fruity characters such as blackberry, cherry, or jam will earn a higher rating here, whereas notes such as leather, earth, or minerals will earn a lower rating here.
This rating refers to the presence of the body in the palate of a wine. Some tangents of this category are known as color and mouth feel. Body refers to the thick feeling while in your mouth. Does the wine feel thick or thin? A higher rating refers to a thicker feeling or a big body.
The rating of dryness is reference to the absence of sugar or sweetness in the wine. This is not to be confused with Tannins which can sometimes be perceived as a dry feeling in the mouth. A higher rating here dictates lower residual sugar, whereas a lower rating here caters more to an off-dry or a wine or one with higher residual sugar.
This is in an indicator of the presence of oak on the palate. A higher rating here would dictate more of an oak presence on the palate, whereas a lower score would mean you could not taste the oak at all.
The rating of tannins can be confusing to the inexperienced wine drinker. As mentioned in the Dry category, tannins and dryness are completely different. Tannins can be described as that grippy feeling in your mouth. Think of banana peel or eating a grape seed; those are tannins. Tannins are typically higher in young wines. Remember, tannins soften with age so a lower rating here may have been influenced from the wine's age.
All wines are naturally acidic, but some are more than others. Acidity can be noticed by that lemon juice feeling in your mouth. Sometimes higher acidity will make your pucker or you may even be able to feel it on your teeth. A higher rating here dictates a more acidic wine which would come across as crisp. A lower rating here dicatates wines with a mouth feel that is soft or sometimes flabby.
This is an indicator of the intensity of a lasting finish in the wine. Does the finish stay on the palate for some time or does it fall off abruptly with a punctuation mark.
Take some time to be conscious of these elements and you will begin to dial in which characteristics you enjoy in wine. Also, learn how to use these ratings for food pairings and then you will become the ultimate wine connoisseur. Enjoy!