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Thursday, January 28, 2010


Reno Spiteri -Wine tasting ∧ review session.
The book definition stipulates that tasting wine is the regulated act through which, by way of certain guidelines and procedures, the taster uses his senses to percieve the organoleptic characteristics of a wine. Tasting a wine is basically a three-phase cycle which usually ends with an overall quantitative-score, or qualitative-tasting notes-impression.

Depending on how it is carried out, there are different kinds of tastings:
- Comparative (considering and measuring against each other a number of wines).
-Blind (concealing the label so as not to be able to identify the participating wines).
-Vertical (a single wine is tasted throughout a number of vintages).
-Varietal (This comprises only wines of a defined grape variety).

Before getting started, there are some basics that need to be taken into account viz:
* If several wines are to be tasted, the order of the day should begin with whites, move on to rose' and save the reds for last. Within each colour, dry wines go before sweet and lighter ones before those with more defined structure - light, medium, full-bodied.

* The correct temperature is essential to fully appreciate a wine. 10 deg.C is a good rule of thumb for white wines, 11deg.C for rose' and 16Deg.C for reds.

*Ideal stemware is plain but fine crystal, fully transparent and unadorned glasses.

*The setting should be well ventilated and offer proper light.

*Perfume (cologne, after-shave lotion, etc), should not be worn on the day of tasting, by any of those partaking in it.

Visual Analysis:
A wine tasting & review session with notes.


Tilt the glass against a white background to appreciate the colour, intensity and general appearance of the wine (transparency, brightness, limpidity, effervescence).
Young white wines and sparkling wine should present a light shade of colour, always with green hues or undertones. If barrel or bottle aged, they acquire a golden-yellow glow.
Roses' wines vary greatly in intensity, but if they turn orangey, it is a clear sign that there might be oxidation or other damage.
Young red wines feature a deep, vibrant red-colour with a darker violet rim and diverse hues that are specific to each variety. With age, reds range from ruby-red to more brick-like colours,orangy and may even turn slightly yellowish. Bottle aging is associated with roof tile shades, dark red, maroon, and ochre. Irrespective of its age or aging, a wine should always look shiny and limpid.

Olfactory Analysis:


Take the glass by the stem or base, and, with your nose completely immersed in the mouth of the glass, inhale deeply, trying to percieve the different aromatic notes. After registering this first impression, swirl the glass to liberate the aromatic components and inhale again. The best wines are always very aromatic, complex and tend to open-up in the glass, furthering their aromatic profile and expressiveness as they oxygenerate. Try to compare the notes you percieve with other aromatic archetypes that will come to mind. First try to identify a broad family: there might be aromas of fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, minerals or a combination of several of these. Try to rate aromas based on their distinctiveness, complexity and intensity.

There is a third phase within the the olfactory analysis that occurs with wine already in the mouth. The warm temperature inside the mouth stirs yet another aromatic dissemination. In this stage notes are percieved by the olfactory epithelium and this is what we call mouth aromas or retronasal aromas.
Typically, wine aromas suggest or resemble characteristic aromas of the vegetal kingdom: flowers, fruits, herbs or spices as well as other aromas that are part of our olfactory memory: leather, earth, chocolate, tobacco and smoke.

Gustatory Analysis:


When at this stage, take a sip generous enough to impregnate the whole tongue surface. While keeping the wine in the mouth, inhale a little air and let the wine swirl and oxygenate between your tongue and palate. Try to pinpoint the flavour notes, describe the texture and sensation that the wine leaves behind.
A wine with good acidity will convey a refreshing feeling and is defined as being fresh. On the contrary, an alcohol-rich wine evokes heat and is described as being warm and alcoholic. The smoothness is measured in terms of how a wine flows in the mouth and some of the adjectives that may come to mind are smooth, silky, or on the other hand, rough, hard, rugged.

A correct wine will be able to harmonize its sweet, sour, salty and bitter components to pleasantly stimulate the sense of taste. Also, its taste ought to linger for a while in the mouth after swallowing, what is described as a long lingering but smooth finish.


Welcome to my wine site. Salute'.
There are many websites on the internet which deal with the subject of WINE. I would like to take this field to a different perspective than most, and shall try to cover the subject and various topics planned to be raised from the viewpoint of the consumer, rather than from the viewpoint of professional wine critics.

As a marketing consultant, I have always advocated that products and services, no matter what they are, cars, clothes, food, beverages, etc. etc. have only one aim in their existence, and that is for them to be sold successfully to the end user, i.e. the consumer, you and me. Not only, but marketing a product should ensure that rather than hiding the actual quality of a product behind a lot of meaningless advertising jargon, products are to be marketed to the appropriate consumer group, ensuring that the full attributes of such products are highlighted clearly, guaranteeing satisfaction and value for money.

Reno Spiteri enjoying a premium red wine.

Wine is such a product. Marketing of wine and discussing wine requires inside and deep knowledge of the product, and with the current numerous winemakers, from nearly every country in the world, and with the choice of grape varieties and blends on the market, consumers find themselves lost when they come to make an educated choice when ordering wine in a restaurant or buying that special bottle from a specialised wine shop. From which country; which winemaker; which region; which grape varietal; which year; full, medium or light bodied; red or white?

Reno Spiteri's Wineopolis, shall try and endeavour to create a more well informed consumer by bringing to the attention of our members, up-to-date information about wines in general: choices; different grape varietals and blends; wine tasting reviews; features; regions; Old World Wine versus New World Wine; prices and ratings. I of course shall award my own ratings to wines that we carefully select to review. The ratings shall make use of the points system from 70 to 100, and shall be aimed to guide consumers to make good choices rather than for the trade to make or break a wine. Price will not come into what points are awarded, as an exceptional wine from a "New World" winemaker might cost much less than one which is made by an "Old World" producer for the same varietal and quality. Ratings will be given the RS suffix, e.g. RS92, etc.
96 to 100 - Outstanding; Supelative Classic. - rarely given.
90 to 95 - Excellent.
85 to 89 - Very Good - Quality at a good price.

There are various wines both local as well as imported brands, that have been rated below this minimum quality standard by myself. In most cases I do not include wines that are rated below RS85 in either the reviews or The Wine List.

With your help we can make this site a successful consumers' voice in the wine industry.