The best ways to take wine tasting notes

Do you have “a thing”? You know, that quirky activity that no one else in your social circle seems to do, so they always associate it with you? Maybe it’s yoga, or knitting, or perhaps something a little more trendy like axe-throwing or adult colouring books. They’re the sort of things that are incredibly helpful to your friends and family when they need to buy you gifts. For example, I have a friend who went through a gin phase. She became the ‘gin girl’ among her circles, and as a result received so many different bottles as gifts for various holidays and birthdays that she now has more gin than she will ever drink.

Obviously, my “thing” is wine tasting. But instead of receiving more wine than I could ever drink (a. is that possible? and b. I am open to this idea), I now have more wine journals than I know what to do with.


3 samples of the wine journals in question

Each wine journal is different. For instance, some leave a space for the labels, others don’t. Some encourage some sort of personal rating system, and some allow you to write down how and where you acquired the bottle. That said, every single wine journal will provide a space to record the following information about the wine:

  • Name and vintage (year of production)
  • Appearance
  • Aroma
  • Taste
  • Price

And that, in essence, is what makes up your basic tasting note.

If I learned anything in my wine courses, it is that there is no right or wrong way of taking a tasting note. Every single teacher I had in my classes had a different way of doing it. Over the years, I have tried different things, but I have yet to come up with a set system for note-taking. Originally, I used one of my many wine journals:


Wine journal sample (also, week 6 of shellac nail polish – time to take it off)


I then started keeping just a regular lined notepad on the table, but my husband wasn’t a huge fan of that.



When not at home, I am that anti-social girl at the table on her phone. But I’m not on Facebook, I’m obviously taking tasting notes. Admittedly, it’s not very civilized, but it gets the job done. Plus then I have a record of it whether I am at home or not.


My notes for Open Smooth White, taken using the InkPad app. The app can apparently be used to meet new people as well…

There also lots of wine-related apps for mobile devices designed specifically to help you keep a record of wines you taste. I have used Vivino, but there is also Hello Vino, Drync, Delectable, and lots more that I hope to review in the near future.



One of my summary reviews in the Vivino app.


Finally, if I want to share a wine with the world, my notes will end up on this blog, for your enjoyment!

So next time you taste a wine you really like, by all means, grab your cell phone and take a picture of it. But it might also be worthwhile to take some notes, in whatever format you prefer. Whichever you choose, the point is to write something down that will give you an idea of:

a) What the wine looked, smelled and tasted like.

b) Whether you liked it.

c) If you’re really feeling adventurous, what foods it might pair well with.


How do you remember note-worthy wines? Do you use one of the methods above, or do you have another system entirely? Please share with the group!


Happy wining!


P.S. Alert for Ontario residents:

If you are a chardonnay fan, the two below have been discontinued at the LCBO, so stock up on these affordable bottles while you can still. Disclaimer: I have not tasted either of these wines. Is that ironic, considering this is a post on tasting notes?


One thought on “The best ways to take wine tasting notes

  1. Pingback: Spit or swallow: the great debate | Wining with Mel

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