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Free wine tasting sheet

tasting sheetIf the Co-op's fairtrade wine offer has inspired you to organise your own wine tasting at home, then you'll need to get some kit together. Get yourself some tulip-shaped supermarket wine glasses (about £3.99 for 4) – their elongated shaped bowls capture any wine aromas released when the wine is swirled prior to sniffing and tasting. To help you keep track of all the wines you taste why not use my free wine tasting sheet?

There is space to record details of up to six wines in the sheet's columns – feel free to fill in all the boxes or just those that are useful to you.

screwcapThe wine colour and type of bottle closure - that's official wine jargon for 'is it cork?' - can be recorded by circling the appropriate description at the top of each column.

Use the Supplier/Price box to note where you bought it and for how much.

The wine bottle label will tell you the Country/Region/Estate, Quality Level (Vins de Pays, Indicazione Geograpfica Tipica etc.) and Vintage (this is more wine jargon for the year it was made, if there is no year on the label record the wine as a Non-Vintage or NV).

There is a box for a Wine Name should you need it. Sometimes wine makers, or more likely the marketing company, give a wine names like Old Git or Old Tart The best gimmicky wine name I've seen was for a French table plonk called Van Rouge.

grapesThe Grape Varieties used in the wine will be displayed on the label, unless it's French, when these will be hidden from you, because you shouldn't need to ask should you? A white Burgundy will be made from Chardonnay grapes, a red Burgundy from Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux reds (or as we English like to call them, Clarets), will be a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes (plus a bit of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot may be thrown in too).

If you're writing 'brown' in the Wine Colour box for a white wine then expect it to taste past its best – the wine is now oxidised and it will taste of cardboard. If your red wine has a pink edge to it, then this is an idication the wine should is still very young (double-check with the Vintage) and if you hadn't just drunk it, the wine would have aged into a purple then brick-red colour.

swirling wineIn my opinion, there are no right or wrong words for the Aroma and Taste boxes – write down what ever you think the wine smells and tastes of, even if that's home made custard or Persil washing up liquid. If you're a disciple of Jilly Goolden then the boxes won't be large enough to accommodate your descriptions.

If you don't have time or inclination to fill in all the boxes breaking down your Marks out of 10 then at least award your wine a Total Out of 10. When you re-read your tasting sheet in six months time, the number written here will be a good indication of whether you want to go out and get another bottle.

I'd be pleased to hear from any individuals or wine groups who use my tasting sheet – if you think it can be improved still further then let me know.