By Richard Vayda—Director of Wine Studies
Recently, in the first session of my Introduction to Wine class at ICE, a student posed the question that plagues many new wine drinkers: “What makes a wine good or great?” The question was more than fair, considering we had spent the evening tasting a variety of wines and noting the worthy qualities of their differing characteristics. Light, heavy, young, old, dry, sweet—could they all be good? Well, the short answer is yes.
Before delving into a more detailed look, first we have to recognize that one’s sense of taste is quite personal and subjective. Likewise, context—when, where and with whom we taste a wine—plays a critical role. From there, we also need to make a distinction between assessing a good wine vs. a great wine. For now, let’s take a look at a few things to examine in determining if it’s a good wine.
Read on to learn five key questions for evaluating wine.