The most helpful thing you can say in your tasting note...

is “Drink,” “Hold,” or “Drink or hold.”

Change my mind.

For me, it’s one word - elegant.

Worth the money/not worth it

Agree! What not to say…“QPR”.

I think this is helpful when there are different styles of a particular wine, for sure, but still find it less helpful than the drink or hold indicator.


I find tasting notes most helpful when they include most or all of the following:

  • How was the wine handed? (Decanting, stems used, how long it was open before serving, serving temp etc.)
  • Some comment on the nose - expressive, mute, any offensive notes?
  • Some comment on the body and weight
  • Some sense of the palate - Balanced? Acidic? Tannic? Mouthfeel? Fruit? Mineral?
  • How did the wine behave over time and how long was that time?
  • How did the wine strike you emotionally? Or simply, did you like it?
  • Some comment on current drinkability and projection of its future aging curve.

I find those things can encapsulate the experience of drinking a wine, and help me understand that wine, more than a list of fruits and flowers and spices, though those are interesting, too.


I agree with this. Each person can have their own style of covering these bases, but this is a pretty good encapsulation of what I like to see and try to include myself.

Except for a very few people where I have long term understanding of their palate, I find drink/hold comments useless. Even then it’s just a random data point, as my perception of whether a wine is “ready to go” is no doubt different from theirs.

I posted a note about a Bedrock Cab this morning that hits on this issue. I didn’t note readiness to drink in any specific words, but I certainly found the wine easy and accessible. I am willing to bet that any number of other Bedrock fans on this site would advocate for aging the wine 5, or even 10 years. I would never do that intentionally, as I don’t see the benefit based on what I tasted.

Now go to the 2001 J. J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese that was discussed at length in a recent thread. Many folks find that wine ready to go. I am not in that camp.

Well, when it comes to wine most things are subjective, of course, including the drink/hold indicator. That said, if a critical mass of TNs for a wine say “drink now,” “reaching it’s peak,” or something similar, I find that to be the most helpful thing people can include. If only a couple of people include it in their notes, there’s not enough data to know.

Isn’t that the same as QPR?

“Drank by the pool with Marcy.”

My favorite type of CT note.

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I was trying to decide whether to disagree with the qpr or agree with that statement and I opted for the positive…

This is where I lean. The only caveat is: what is useful from someone’s palate that I know is knowing if a wine that was closed for a long time is now open or starting to open (and echoing Sarah under what conditions). That doesn’t mean I have the same view as that person on whether to drink, hold, or drink/hold.

I like reading tasting notes. But I can count on a couple hands at most the people whose palates I have found are so aligned with mine that I would expect to agree with them most of the time about a wine, including a view on the drink/hold question. And only a small number of those people are professional wine reviewers.

So for you, as for me, the most important thing a note writer may include is his/her name.

Whether you enjoyed the wine or not.

Many notes are filled with often obscure descriptors but fail to convey if the taster actually dug the wine.

It comes off more as an academic exercise than a pleasure giving activity.

On a more practical level, I like Weinberg’s binary system: a wine is either a 0 or a 1.

Or put another way, is it a rebuy or not?

Drink / Hold / Drink or Hold / Do Not Drink


Years ago a work colleague at a tasting was using a three point rating system
Buy / Sell / Hold.
He was an investment manager.

Came here to say this, surprisingly this is frequently missing, and sometimes difficult to discern from the text.

I’d add:

Buy again? Yes/No