Sensory assessment service

This service is offered to allow an independent, dispassionate evaluation of a wine’s attributes, indication of quality level and presence of off-flavours. It should not be considered to be as rigorous as more formal quantitative sensory tests such as difference testing.

Each wine submitted is assessed independently by at least five trained, highly experienced AWRI judges. Judges qualify for this panel on the basis of extensive experience in wine sensory assessment and quality judgement, including:

  1. Professional academic qualifications;
  2. Wine industry professional experience;
  3. Successful completion of the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment Course;
  4. Previous performance in wine descriptive and discrimination sensory tasks, including research sensory panel studies;
  5. Extensive technical wine knowledge including fault assessment; and
  6. Following a probation period on the technical panel of at least three months before a review of performance.

Performance of the judges for this panel is continually reviewed.

Some information regarding the nature of the sample is provided to the judges, notably the grape variety, wine style if appropriate, and vintage. The tasters are instructed to comment in detail regarding the appearance, aroma and palate attributes of a wine, and to score the wine using the 20 point quality scoring system as used in Australian wine show judging. All tasters’ comments and scores are provided in a written report. The panel is also instructed to identify and rate the intensity of any perceived off-flavours on a category intensity scale from zero to nine.

Note that judgement of wine quality and perception of a wine’s characteristics in this way is subjective, depending on the individual judge’s physiology, background and style preferences. The information provided from the quality panel assessment, using a small number of expert judges on a single occasion, using their own choice of comments, is not amenable to statistical analysis.

Prices per analysis
Analysis Per Sample (excluding GST)
Commercial acceptability and off-flavour assessment $350
Volume required – 2 bottles of sealed wine

A range of other sensory services are also available on demand including difference test assessment, descriptive analysis, taint/off-flavour rating, and consumer preference testing. Please refer to Sensory Services for more details on these techniques or call us on (08) 8313 6600 or email commercialservices@awri.com.au to see how we accommodate your specific needs.

Please note that these other techniques usually require significantly larger volumes of wine.