Development of Technical Wine Assessment Skills in Tertiary Students

Amanda Able, Paul Grbin, Leigh Schmidtke, John Blackman, Sonja Needs, Ursula Kennedy, Kerry Wilkinson


Learning to objectively evaluate wine sensory properties (such as appearance, aroma, flavour, taste and mouthfeel attributes) features prominently in wine education programs. Formal, structured sensory classes that involve recording detailed observations and perceptions is the traditional approach to build perceptual and linguistic learning. This research explored students’ behaviour in maintaining wine tasting notes and their perceptions of wine sensory classes by survey across four Australian institutions (n=109) and by focus groups (n=24). International students were not as confident in class room discussions or describing wine, and did not perform as well in sensory exams, suggesting that language ability and/or cultural/life experience is important for technical wine assessment. Given that 98% of students surveyed owned a smartphone, mobile learning may provide an opportunity to enhance and facilitate learning of wine sensory analysis outside of the classroom. The My Wine WorldTM App (developed for smartphones) was evaluated by academic staff and students as a potentially valuable e-learning tool for the development of perceptual and linguistic memory of sensory attributes.

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