There’s been a lot of wine world talk, recently, about the difficulty of using standard tasting notes and ratings to convey an impression of a wine. (See here, here and here for discussions on the topic written by such wine world luminaries as Andrew Jefford, Jamie Goode and new MW Richard Hemming.)
You see, much as we wine pros would like to think that we can be objective when it comes to tasting wine, most of us are prepared to acknowledge that subjective experience is an intrinsic part of wine tasting. On the whole, that subjectivity isn’t about assessing the quality of a wine – if experienced tasters couldn’t objectively assess quality, no one would ever pass an MW tasting exam (although it’s fair to say that even the best tasters sometimes struggle to leave aside their personal preferences when rating wines). A taster’s subjective experience is particularly key, though, when trying to find words to describe a wine.