How to recognize a good wine

Published : 2020-10-01 17:43:21
Categories : Wine

How to recognize a good wine

Is it often hard for you, in a restaurant or when having dinner with friends, to judge whether a wine is good or not ? To help you shine in public, we provide you with these 5 valuable oenological tips to spot a really good wine. Follow the guide !

1. Be impartial

Just because you enjoy a wine doesn't necessarily mean that it is good, and vice-versa, just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad. When judging the quality of a wine, ignore your subjectivity ! A good wine meets well-defined criteria, which are described below.

2. A good wine has a good color

The first step to tasting a wine is strictly visual. The visual evaluation allows you to appreciate the color of the wine and offers the first indicators of its quality. A quality wine generally has a deep and glossy color. The hue also gives an idea of the age of a wine. A reddish-brown red wine and a golden white wine often come from old vintages.

3. A good wine gives off complex fragrances

Following the visual evaluation, comes the time to use your nose ! The aroma of a wine is highly indicative of its quality. A wine with complex fragrances often means a good wine. Wine fragrances are divided into 6 categories, which each include a wide range of aromas :

  • Floral : rose, jasmine, acacia, orange blossom


  • Fruity : red fruits, stone fruits, exotic fruits


  • Plant-based : mushrooms, wood, cedar...

Herbs and spices

  • Herbs and spices : honey, cinnamon, pepper, clove...


  • Animal : leather, game, fur, musk...


  • Empyreumatic : cacao, tobacco, coffee...

A 7th category is dedicated to wine flaws : cork, mold, rot, acetic, ethanol...

how to recognize a good wine

4. A good wine has a long finish

After observing and smelling the wine, you can now taste it. Another distinct signe of a good wine : it is long on the palate. It means that its aromas stay a while in the mouth once you've tasted the wine. If a wine has a long finish, it has a good aromatic persistence. It is useful to know that the measurement unit used to estimate the lenght is the caudalie (equivalent of the second). Therefore, the lenght on the palate can be short, medium, long or slow.

5. A good wine is well-balanced

The balance of a wine depends on the right blend of its 4 main characteristics. A delicately balanced wine will be good whereas a wine with an unbalanced characteristic will be bad. Therefore, the wine balance factors in :


  • Acidity, synonym of the freshness of a wine. The lack or overflow of acidity determines if a wine if alcoholic, sweet or tannic.


  • Bitterness refers to the content of tannin – it sometimes gives a rough taste to the wine, which dries out the tongue.


  • Sweetness brings softness and lush to the drink.


  • Smoothness varies depending on alcohol and sugar.

When all these mainstays are rightly balanced, there is a good chance that you are drinking a good wine.