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When practicing deductive tasting, honing in your skills can be difficult. We found that recording our tastings and then replaying them, while grading ourselves with the below grids, became extremely helpful in bettering our abilities. Recording yourself gives you the ability to check if you are missing any major components of the wine. Secondly, you are able to hear if you are not listening to the wine, listening to yourself, taking left turns, stalling, thinking too much, and much more! Another bonus to using these grids, is you can taste with anyone, even those who may not understand deductive tasting, just have them grab the grid that matches the wine, and they can grade you in real time. 


In addition to deductive tasting practice a second way to hone in your skills is by comparative tasting. These comparative tastings can be conducted in multiple fashions: open, single-blind, or double-blind. Our favorite practice is single-blind, as this allows one to approach each theme methodically while still testing one's deductive tasting skills. Below is a growing list of comparative theme ideas.


Lees: Albariño - Chablis - Federspiel - Italian Pinot Grigio - Muscadet - Sancerre

Oaked: CA Chardonnay - CA Sauvignon Blanc - CA Viognier - White Bordeaux - White Burgundy - White Hermitage

Oxidative: Chablis - Savennieres - White Hermitage

Phenolics: Albariño - Federspiel - Italian Pinot Grigio - Muscadet - Smaragd

Racy Acid: Alsace Riesling - Australian Riesling - GG Riesling - Hunter Valley Semillon - Muscadet - Vouvray Sec

Residual Sugar: Alsace Gewürztraminer - Alsace Pinot Gris, Kabinett Riesling - Spatlese Riesling - Vouvray Demi Sec

Sauvignon Blanc: Bordeaux - California - New Zealand - Sancerre

Terpines: Albariño - Alsace Gewürztraminer - California Viognier - Condrieu - Torrontes

Weighty Whites: Condrieu - Savennieres - Smaragd - White Hermitage


Aromatic Pyrazines: Australian Cabernet - Chinon - Carménère - Chile Cabernet - Left Bank Bordeaux - Napa Cabernet

Delicate Pyrazines: California Merlot - Malbec - Right Bank Bordeaux 

High Alcohol: Amarone - Australian Grenache - Australian Shiraz - Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Zinfandel 

Old World Oaked: Left Bank Bordeaux - Right Bank Bordeaux - Rioja

Ripe Attack: Australian Grenache - Australian Shiraz - California Merlot - Malbec - Zinfandel 

Translucent Reds: Beaujolais - California Pinot Noir - Oregon Pinot Noir - Red Burgundy

Unoaked French: Beaujolais - Chinon - Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Northern Rhône Syrah

VA: Amarone - Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Nebbiolo - Sangiovese