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  • Bob Dolci

Bob's Blog #5 - My Approach to Judging Wine


So, I’ve been giving considerable thought to our February wine tasting event. I choose to limit the tasting to two wines mostly because I wanted to get a feel for how our members rated wine rather than do an actual comparison between wines. Over the last several years when we’ve judged/compared wines I made several observations. It was my intent to use our latest wine judging to validate my previous observations. Yes, I know, a sample size of two would not be considered viable. But, it was good enough for my purpose.


First off, it was rather obvious that many of us lack the experience to evaluate wine as a sommelier or wine judge would. In looking at some of the score sheets, and considering my prior observations, I’ve noticed a few things. They are:

· Scores given per category tend to be in the 2 to 4 range. Seldom is a 5 or 1 given.

· Low scores can be given in the categories of appearance, aroma and body, and high scores can be given for taste and finish, resulting in an overall low score even though it was apparent that the wine was better than the final score reflected.

· Conversely, wine that was rated high in appearance, aroma and body, but had a lower score in taste and finish did reasonably well overall often out scoring better tasting wines.

I wonder if this happens with sommeliers and wine judges? I doubt it but who knows. Maybe I should ask Jack.


The wine-scoring form below is typical of those used and is nearly identical to the one we used in our February judging. Frankly, I don’t believe it is suited to the uneducated wine judge. Or, maybe it just doesn’t suit me.



I’m thinking that the next time we do a wine judging we will just judge one wine. We’ll break into two groups and we will give one group the typical scoring form and we will give the other group my totally unofficial scoring form. In my scoring form, as shown below, the scores for appearance, aroma and body are on a 1 to 4 scale. For taste and finish the scale runs from 1 to 6. Total maximum points for the Dolci Vino scale is 24 rather than 25.




To make it a little easier for someone like me: For appearance, aroma, and body, 4 is really good, 3 is good. 2 is not so good, 1 is not good at all. For taste and finish, 6 is excellent, 5 is very good, 4 is really good, 3 is good, 2 is not so good, 1 is it nearly made me gag.


Don’t know what to make of my rating system? That’s probably because you don’t know me. You are probably someone who inadvertently came across this website. For those of you that are serious judges and/or sommeliers, please do not take this blog all too seriously, or my other blogs for that matter. That’s not to imply that I do not plan on using my form at our next meeting. I absolutely will. As President of the Northern Rio Grande Chapter of the New Mexico Vine and Wine Society, I believe that it is my job to make our meetings enjoyable as well as educational.


That’s all for now. Or, should I say, that’s enough for now.

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