Wine appearance evaluation

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The appearance evaluation is the first phase of the tasting, it is the analysis which gives a series of precious tips to detect the wine type, its composition and its evolution.

Observing is the first approach to the evaluation of a wine, in which you can immediately identify information which are linked to the pedoclimatic environment, to the grape origin, the wine making techniques and much more.

How to evaluate wine appearance:

  • limpidity
  • colour
  • fluidity (effervescence and foam for sparkling wines)

Quick and synthetic, this analysis could seem less important than the others, but it is no true, because generally the observation of a wine reveals immediately some important features, which are then confirmed during the following stages of the tasting.

The appearance evaluation could also highlight negative situations, such as alterations and diseases which could stop the tasting.


First you need to observe the wine carefully, because first information could be very useful. After observing the wine in the glass, you can start interpret in details limpidity, colour, consistence or effervescence linked to the typical features of the wine analysed.

Pouring of the wine in the glass

Observing the pouring of the wine in the glass let us detect some information about the colour and the consistence and the eventual presence of carbon dioxide.

Observation and evaluation of limpidity

Bring at eye level a glass with 50 cc of wine and observe it backlight, looking at its limpidity, it should not have particles in suspension. This phase sometimes could be influenced by the poor transparency average of some red wines, which are rich in pigmenting substances which are impenetrable to light rays. In this case the glass must be oriented in a different way to verify the real limpidity of the wine.

Observation and evaluation of colour

The glass must be tilted on a white surface to be able to observe carefully the colour of the wine, the nuances and vivacity. In the thicker area the colour and its intensity are evaluated, while in the lower thickness, where the wine is distributed in a very thin layer, the nuances are observed, which are important in predicting the evolutionary state of the wine.

Observation and evaluation of consistence

The wine glass is rotated slowly so that a veil of liquid forms on the wall. Once the glass has returned to eye level, one can observe the wine that falls along the wall, forming small drops, tears spaced from spaces called arches. The observation of the movement of the wine during the rotation, of the regularity and of the speed of falling of the tears, as well as of the width of the bows, is fundamental for the evaluation of its consistency.

Observation and evaluation of effervescence

In the case of a sparkling wine tasting, you must not evaluate the consistence, but the wine effervescence and foam. The glass must therefore not be subjected to any rotation, ma deve essere attentamente osservato portandolo all’altezza degli occhi, per valutare lo sviluppo delle catene di bolle di anidride carbonica.

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