Protracted, confusing, challenging and intrusive. Writing tasting notes is not always an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re taking notes for personal record, independent learning, employment requirements or in order to teach others, I want to help you make the process more efficient, valuable and effective, giving you more time to enjoy the wine in hand. What started off as a personal project is now available to you all for FREE …
I spend a great deal of time working with Microsoft Excel, by day I am an engineer with my primary focus being efficiency improvement. It is not rare for my occupation to spill over in to my personal life, this tool is a perfect example of this.
There were a range of personal wants and needs which inspired the creation of this template. I wanted to maintain all of my notes in one place, ensure a more consistent structure, compare notes more easily, build a database of regular varietal/variety specific notes, reduce the amount of time I spent writing and storing these notes, and ultimately (in pursuit of learning and personal development) improve my own tasting by applying a more repeatable, formulaic and homogenous approach to tasting.
The template is really quite simple. Following (roughly) the WSET tasting structure I have created an Excel tool which consists of a step-by-step range of dependant dropdown cells, dropdown cells and cells open for additional ‘freehand’ notes. The aroma and flavours of both the nose and the palate are broken down in to what I believe to be the most common ‘groups’ and feature, within the dropdown functions, many of the aromas and flavours wine drinkers most commonly note when tasting.
In addition to the above I incorporated a funky little Macro which enables the entirety of a completed note to be copied and pasted to a separate ‘Notes’ tab with the click of a button. The next time a note is taken and the button is clicked the note is pasted to the next available space, allowing users to automatically build a ‘catalogue’ of notes.
I took this very brief screen recording showing the tool ‘in action’ and uploaded it to YouTube, have a look …
Despite the initial desire to create a personal tool, upon sharing a video of the tool in action on Instagram I received a wave of private messages from fellow wine-lovers politely requesting I share the template with them. I am of the firm belief that we should indeed help each other to grow, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, right?
So, here it is! Download the tasting template here – https://www.dropbox.com/s/kc0wdc6kwxejkcd/Word%20on%20the%20Grapevine%20Tasting%20Template%20%28Latest%20Macro%20Update%29.xlsm?dl=0
If you have any questions, comments or feedback please fire away on the comments below.