The following relates to the 'no-fault' tasting of English and Welsh PDO and PGI applications. The process for Sussex QWS applications is different and is as described in the relevant scheme rules.
BLIND TASTING: Wines are tasted blind in flights in Campden BRI's sensory facilities.
PANEL OF 5: The tasting panel consists of 5 tasters, all of whom have experience tasting UK wines and wines from around the world on a regular (weekly) basis.
TRAINED TASTERS: Tasters are only permitted to be on the panel once they have been trained and passed a wine faults course.
NO SCORING: The wines are not scored – tasters are only checking to see if the wine has no faults and is commercially acceptable, or if the wine has a fault.
MAJORITY VERDICT: The result requires a majority of tasters to agree i.e. a minimum of 3 of the panel to pass or fail the wine.
A list of potential faults the tasting panel are looking for are:
- Reductive aromas – can include aromas of eggs, dirty, rotten cabbage/garlic, drains
- Cloudiness/haze – if the wine is not clear and bright
- Brettanomyces taint – can include aromas of medicinal, Elastoplast, sweaty saddle
- Musty taint – can include aromas of mustiness, cardboard, damp cellars
- Oxidised aromas – can include aromas of sherry, apples, cider
- Geranyl taint – can include aromas of geranium leaves, and other green, non-vinous aromas