The notes I write for wines that I taste may look strange to people who have not studied with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. I am broadly using their Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine (Diploma) which is meant to assess the appearance, nose and palate of the wine, and then using the observations draw a conclusion as to the quality.
No system is perfect, but I find it useful as it reminds me to pay attention to a range of aspects of a wine instead of just writing the things that strike me. Also, while some of the qualities of the wine are empirically measurable, such as sweetness by way of residual sugar or alcohol by volume, my understanding of the SAT is that they are judged on the palate in the context of the wine.
Quality levels are as follows, from lowest to highest:
faulty – poor – acceptable – good – very good – outstanding
That said, in the context of this blog I am unlikely to write a post on the basis of a faulty or poor wine when there is no shortage of better example more worth my time.