Keeping a wine tasting journal can help you track the wines you love and the wines you didn't like quite as much. Looking back on your wine tasting journal entries can help you decide which wines and vintages you really enjoy and inform your buying and wine collecting decisions.
1. Use This Wine Tasting Journal Template
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to keep a wine tasting journal is to make your own. This simple template can be completed on your computer and kept there, or you can organize it in a binder so you can flip through the wines you've tasted. To download, click the image below. If you need help, consult the Guide for Adobe Printables.
2. Use a Wine Tasting Journal App
In this digital age, naturally there are digital wine tasting journals. Tipple is a great free wine tasting app available for Apple devices that walks you though wine tasting, helping to educate you as you taste. For Android, use the free wine tasting journal app, Wine Notes.
3. Try Wine Folly's Tasting Notebook
This wine tasting journal provides a powerful tool for people who love wine tasting. It has space for 80 wines and a helpful wine color chart that you can use to determine your wine's color. It's both an educational tool and a practical one, and it only costs $25. It helps you keep clear, objective notes about all the wines you taste.
4. Keep Labels and a Journal
If you love to keep the memories of each bottle of wine you've tasted, you can also use label savers along with a wine tasting journal to add the labels to your notes. Wine Enthusiast offers a label saver and journal bundle for around $50. It also includes spaces for information such as food pairings and tasting notes.
5. Save Wine Tasting Placemats in a Binder
You can also use wine tasting placemats, which have places for summary notes for four different wines on each mat. Saving them in a binder is an effective and efficient way to keep notes on your wine tasting. Expect to pay about $1 per mat.
6. Participate in a Crowd Sourced Wine Tasting Database
Cellar Tracker is a great crowd-sourced wine tasting database where you can share your own notes and read notes from others. It also allows you to rate wines on the same 100-point scale critics use to rate wines, and you can either sign up for a free account or a Pro account for $65 per year.
7. Track Wine Tasting 33 Bottles at a Time
The 33 Bottles of Wine is an affordable tasting journal (it's $5 per book) that allows you to record 33 bottles of wines you've tasted. It has space for notes as well as a simple graphic note taking system that makes it easy to use and provides you information at a glance.
8. Write in a Stylish Leather Wine Journal
This slim leather wine log from Rustico is so beautiful, you'll be proud to whip it out in wineries and restaurants as you sip on wines. With premium leather cover and interior paper, it turns your wine tasting journaling into a luxury experience for about $40 (plus $12 for personalization if desired).
9. Make Your Own Wine Tasting Journal
Of course, you can also turn any journal or notebook into a wine tasting journal. Include the following in your tasting journal:
- Date of tasting
- Varietal or name, vintage, and winery
- Wine color using descriptive terms; so instead of red, you might say light ruby or deep purple, and instead of white you might note pale straw or amber
- Wine viscosity from visual inspection
- The wine's aromas
- The wine's body from tasting; light, medium, or full
- The wine's flavors
- The wine's tannins, alcohol level, and acidity
- The wine's finish
- Your overall impressions or additional notes
Tips for Using Wine Tasting Journals
Wine tasting is highly subjective. Therefore, the more detailed your notes are, the better you'll recall and understand what you tasted when you look back through your journal.
- Learn the proper wine tasting technique.
- Always include your overall impressions. What's most important for you is whether you liked the wine and how well you liked it.
- Improve your palate and wine tasting skills by working with a wine tasting wheel.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions as you taste the wines.
- Hold the wine on your palate and draw a little air in over it. Notice any new flavors that arise as the wine aerates on your tongue and note them.
- Also note how flavors change and evolve after you've swallowed (the wine's finish), as well as how long those flavors linger.
Journal Your Wine Tasting Experiences
Whether you choose a fancy, formal wine tasting journal, a quick digital version, or a homemade solution, journaling your wine tasting experiences can help you learn which types of wines you like and why you like them. So give a wine tasting journal a try to help evolve your palate and elevate your wine drinking experience.