Yes, I am Canadian, so it's colour. My post, so nyah. Razz

Does anyone have a link to an online colour reference to use for TNs? I find that I am weakest in describing colour, relatively speaking that is because my TNs are still weak as a whole.

Original Post
I don't find the color descriptions easy. My notes tend to reflect the depth of color, rather than the very specific hue. I also look for the presence or absence of clear or brown edges in the glass.
My color descriptions are invariably bad as I have made the inane choice of having nice and cosy, rather than good and efficient lighting in my home...

The WSET uses the following order to describe the color of a wine (reproduced from memory).

Core: Depth of color (light, medium, deep, opaque), Hue (lemon green, ruby, tawny, garnet, etc.)
Rim: Width of rim (thin, medium, wide), hue (watery, purple, ruby, garnet, etc.)

So you end up with a description like the following:

Deep ruby core with a medium garnet rim.
Great outline, Markus! Another word for depth that is often used: intensity.

As for a color key, although we do have an on-line color key in Wine Spectator School, the key is really best for directional purposes. Computer monitors are really bad at showing true colors.

While we are on the subject - what is the purpose of colour (hey, it's tannic bastard's thread) descriptions in tasting notes?

Besides a very rough indication of age, and some tiny clue to identification in blind tastings, I see no value.
To me, color descriptions convey more than just age. I think of richness, whether I might expect more red fruits than black fruits, etc. It gives me a better overall sense of what to expect. For example, if I read a TN that says a wine is "a light ruby" I might think of a young Burgundy and start thinking of raspberries. It's just part of the sensation, imo.

I typically use the color descriptions from the Windows on the World Wine book.
I read somewhere that there are some winemakers that alter the color of the wine to make it "dark, purple, inky, impenetrable" which are terms that are sometimes associated with high scoring wines. If true, color may not (always) be a good indicator.
Originally posted by tanglenet:
If true, color may not (always) be a good indicator.

Good point. Which leads me to the question - What do color descriptions add to tasting notes that can't be discerned by the palate?
I have found that color is not generally indicative of quality. With certain varietals, like Pinot, oftentimes there is a direct correlation between color and tannin levels. But that said, I think color is 'used' by tasters to develop pre-conceived notions of a wine prior to tasting it . . .

One last point - color certainly is important to note as you track the aging of a wine . . . oxidation will lead to a premature changing of a red wine to more of a brick color, and a white wine will really become quite amber with oxygen. This therefore can be a clue to the taster . . .
Good point on color by lmacschaf. I wish you'd post more than once a year. (on average) Wink

I'm trying to recall a very dark colored wine that I've tasted recently that wasn't rich and dense in flavor, and cannot come up with one.


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