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Using shorthand for tasting descriptions.

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Looking over my notes from a tasting i realized i need to work out a better shorthand system for taking notes. Who wants to share their system? I would love to see what a page of Daniel's notes look like, its always interesting to see how someone with so much experience approaches their craft.



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Shorthand systems for making wine notes are always idiosyncratic to the person making those notes. More that, they develop over a span of years.

Best bet is to start off making a short list of what I call top-line factual items that you consider essential to your review (e.g. color, body, tannins, acidity, etc), assigning each of those a number and then making up a sublist of possibilities:

e.g. Color = 1. Light ruby = a; Medium ruby = b; and on and on to ruby towards garnet; garnet towards royal purple, etc, etc.

Body Light = a; light-medium= b; medium= c etc....

Also top of the line might be: overall balance, structure

Then go to bottom line items among which might be fruit flavors, herbal flavors, mineral flavors(Some might require sub-headings such as earthy-minerals, flinty minerals, etc) other flavors, length

A final shorthand comment might look much like:

1A, 2C+,3H, 4B/5D, 4E-

None of which exempts one from writing at least a few key words to add to one's memory afterwards, those keywords being critical to the overall evaluation.

After having devised such a listing, print it out and take the printout to tastings with you. Use those guidelines, refining them to your own need as required. And, I promise (scout's honor), after a while the codes become internalized and what at first seems like a chore becomes a gift from heaven.

Hope that helps more than it confused

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