Free wine tasting sheet

wine tasting sheetIf your evening class in Wine Appreciation has inspired you to organise your own wine tasting at home, then why not use my free wine tasting sheet? It'll help keep track of all the wines you taste. Comments and criticisms on its design from the many wine tasting students who have used it during my wine courses has left a, hopefully, user-friendly A4 landscape wine tasting sheet.

For a successful home tasting also need to get some kit together. Buy yourself some Premium Large Wine Glasses from Morrisons (4 for £3.99, in 228 of their 371 stores). Not only are these glasses excellent value, their shape is almost identical to the those recommended by the International Standards Organisation for wine tasting professionals – their tulip-shaped bowls capture any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting.

wine glassesThere is space to record details of up to six wines in the sheet's columns – feel free to fill in all the boxes or just those that are useful to you.

The wine colour and type of bottle closure - that's official wine jargon for 'is it cork?' - can be recorded by circling the appropriate description at the top of each column.

Use the Supplier/Price box to note where you bought it and for how much.

The wine bottle label will tell you the Country/Region/Estate, Quality Level (Vins de Pays, Indicazione Geograpfica Tipica etc.) and Vintage (this is more wine jargon for the year it was made, if there is no year on the label record the wine as a Non-Vintage or NV).

There is a box for a Wine Name should you need it. Sometimes wine makers name a wine something that will stand out on the label, like Sister's Run Cabernet Sauvignon or Step Road Shiraz. The best gimmicky wine name I've seen was for a French table plonk called Van Rouge.

grapesThe Grape Varieties used in the wine will be displayed on the label, unless it's French, when these will be hidden from you, because you shouldn't need to ask should you? A white Burgundy will be made from Chardonnay grapes, a red Burgundy from Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux reds (or as we English like to call them, Clarets), will be a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (plus a bit of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot may be thrown in too).

If you're writing 'brown' in the Wine Colour box for a white wine then expect it to taste past its best – the wine is now oxidised and it will taste of cardboard. If your red wine has a pink edge to it, then this is an idication the wine should is still very young (double-check with the Vintage) and if you hadn't just drunk it, the wine would have aged into a purple then brick-red colour.

In my wine tutoring opinion, there are no right or wrong words for the Aroma and Taste boxes – write down what ever you think the wine smells and tastes of, even if that's home made custard or Persil washing up liquid. If you're a disciple of Jilly Goolden then the boxes won't be large enough to accommodate your descriptions.wine with food

To stop the plethora of meaningless blather that is rife in the world of wine tasting, I've added a Wine Summary section below the grey line. Fill these boxes in with the words you'd use if someone came up to you and asked 'so what's the wine like then? Will I want to drink it?' And if you don't have time or inclination to fill in all the boxes, then at least fill in Marks out of 10. When you re-read your tasting sheet in six months time, the number written here will be a good indication of whether you want to go out and get another bottle.

I'd be pleased to hear from any individuals or wine groups who use my tasting sheet – if you think it can be improved still further then let me know.Paula Goddard slurp