The quality of a wine is one of the most important factors when it comes to tasting. Whether you’re tasting for yourself, or at a wine competition, or perhaps even grabbing a bottle off store shelves; your first question might usually be: is this wine of good quality?

There are many ways of telling the quality of a wine, however, there are also a few ways in which people tend to derive the quality of a wine which is not substantial enough.

Here are 4 things that tell you absolutely nothing about the quality of a wine. 

1. Colour

You might have noticed wine professionals carefully looking at the colour of a wine once their glass is handed to them. However, they’re not looking at it for the quality of the wine. The colour of the wine can tell you various things about a wine, like how old it is, how matured it is, it can also tell you about the style of wine. 

For example, let’s look at white wines. Younger white wines usually have a green hue. Meanwhile, older white wines tend to turn more golden in colour. 

With red wines, the colour of the wine usually indicates what varietal it is. A Cabernet might have a blue tinge to its colour, while a Shiraz is often bright purple in colour. Similarly, deeper red wines can tell you that it’s a wine that has aged, and a lighter, more clearer red can indicate that it’s a younger vintage rather than an older one. 

The colour of the wine does tell you quite a bit about the wine, but it doesn’t indicate a wine’s quality!

2. Tears/legs

The legs or tears of a wine are usually what trickle down the sides of your glass when you swirl your wine. There has been quite a misconception behind the fact that the legs of a wine tell you about its quality. But that’s completely false. What the legs of a wine do tell you, however, is alcohol content and sugar content in a wine. 

2. closure

You might have asked yourself the question, should I go for a bottle of wine with a screw cap? Or one with a cork? It’s very commonly misinterpreted that wines under a screw cap are not of high quality when compared to wines under a cork.

But that, again, is just a misinterpretation. The closure of a wine tells you absolutely nothing about a wine’s quality. Many great wines are under screw caps, especially from prominent regions like Australia and New Zealand, where even some of their best wines are bottled with screw caps. So when you’re judging a bottle of wine, never disregard those with screw caps.

4. Punt

Lastly, the punt of a bottle. The punt in a wine bottle is usually the indent at the bottom of the bottle. The punt is ideally put in place to strengthen the bottle and to make sure that the bottle can stand upright. 

While these four things tell you nothing about the quality of wine, the 4 things that DO tell you about the quality of wine are balance, length, intensity, and complexity. To make it easier for you to remember, this is also known as BLIC. 

To know more about BLIC, keep your eyes out on our blog page. 

Originally published June 21, 2022

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