Here's the qualities I look for when evaluating a wine:
Balance - Like a good movie, a good wine has tension between the elements. When the components have equal tension between opposing forces it creates more drama, which means more interesting stories to tell.
Precision - When you look through binoculars you have to adjust the dials to bring things into focus. How well did the winemaker bring the wine into focus? How well is the grape representing typicity for where it was grown?
Distinction - What gives the wine it's personality? For example, a Burgundy is a thing that has a familiar distinction.
Complexity - How does the wine unfold on your palate?
Length - Here's a word you often hear associated with "finish". What is the wine's volume of impact? If its length were a graph how would it look? How long would it take for the wine to fade away from your taste buds?
X-Factor - Here's where the winemaker adds their personality. If the wine were a dancer, how would its choreography appear on your palate? Is it a black swan or a white swan?
Sense of Place - A wine should express its sense of place and connect you with it. A Pinot Noir from Oregon will express sense of place differently than a Pinot Noir from France. How well does the wine do it?
What do you look for in a wine? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.