Sparkling wine tasting notes are my memory of the bubbly. They help me to remember which bottles I fell in love with, which I thought were drinkable and which I never will touch again. My tasting notes are first and foremost for myself.
I have to write down what I think about a sparkling wine. Else it’s forgotten after the glass is finished. That’s why I still know after months how the bottle of sparkling wine tasted. I can easily compare new vintages of the same bubbly.
Drinking sparkling wine is a pleasure. It shouldn’t stress you. If tasting notes are made publicly available, they can be an introduction to sparkling wine for others.
However, tasting notes have significant weaknesses when published.
Weaknesses of Notes
Firstly, sparkling wine tasting notes are a snapshot of a moment in time. Time changes and so does the conditions in your life and the sparkling wine.
Secondly, the only truth about sparkling wine is all that you can measure in figures. For example vintage, storage potential, alcohol content, sugar content, …
Notes are not objective. On the contrary they are highly subjective. Taste and smell are so inextricably bound to an individual’s own reference points.
Proof are own reviews and opinions. They change according to the emotional moment, the actual weather or the cow under the apple tree. I think you know the best example yourself. The favourite holiday drink doesn’t taste any more at home.
The internet is full of sparkling wine tasting notes. Taking a closer look at them, you find out that they only agree on unspecified statements like delicious or fruity. As soon as aromas are described, everybody describes something else. I’m not an exemption. #metoo.
Thirdly, language is a key factor. Expert gibberish no thanks or yes please? What can you better identify with? It’s a personal choice. What’s helpful to one person may sound a little silly for another.
Why should you read my notes?
In many respects producer tasting notes are a love letter. They are composed by someone whose relationship to the subject is, well, highly subjective. I at least can tell you my honest opinion about the taste.
That is still subjective because it is my taste. Still an additional independent opinion makes choices easier.
Stay informed and follow your palate. That is a good start. You have to like the drink.
It is important to say if you do not like a drink. That is no shame. Even if it is the you-must-know-it-all sparkling wine from the exclusive-premium-quality region, with 100 points in the latest gourmet guide and recommended from Prof. Dr. I-know-what-you-like.
If it is not according to your taste then it doesn’t matter to you. You are the EXPERT of your taste. Don’t forget that.