If you think you need help when tasting to recognise the flavours in a wine the
the Guidedogz are for you. They contain lists of suggestions of what you may typically
taste in a range of grape types.
They come in handy downloadable PDFs, one for red wines and one for whites:
Also, just for good measure, here's a form that we use for taking notes when we're
doing a tasting. Try it out.
These are all you need to be able to be a taster.
What can a dog do? I mean why join?
Slobber, chase a tennis ball, lick his…..oh sorry you mean a Winedog. Look anyone
with web access can use the site to find a wine they fancy. That’s cool. When you
join the community you get to add to the melting pot by suggesting wines, sharing
comments and opinions so that others can find out what people think about a wine.
Is there a membership fee?
Nope. Full stop. Next Question?
Who can comment on a wine?
Anyone who has joined up as a Winedog. (We prefer you to have actually tasted the
wine you are commenting on, but hey, that’s just us being picky)
Can I contact another dog?
Not via Winedogz (you must be mistaking us for Facebook) but we are considering
inventing a secret paw-shake to allow recognition of a fellow dog.
Can I nominate a wine?
If you are a joined-up Dog in good standing, you can nominate. Yes, even if you
are the winemaker. Just point us to the interesting ones, please. Remember to check
out the nominations so you can add your support to wines that people are putting
forward. The more support a wine gets the easier it is to talk the winery into parting
with some bottles for tasting.
Do I need to be serious?
Only when you are operating heavy machinery. Otherwise just be yourself. Bear in
mind that if other Dogz think what you write has too much testosterone, you run
the risk of being neutered.
How can I learn more?
Drink more! Take a look at the WinePics. Read the reviews. Think about what you
smell and taste when you enjoy a wine. It’s not rocket science. Remember you are
the expert on what you like.
How do I comment on a wine that you don’t have a picture for?
Nominate the wine. You can add your comment there and you can get other people to
throw in their five cents worth as well. We contact the vineyard and if they want
to play we’ll get a picture produced and you can wade in with your review.
Long winded, maybe. But if you just commented on a picture of a bottle it wouldn’t
be as helpful to other Dogz, and it wouldn’t get the wine to them to taste for a
Who can be a taster?
Once you’ve signed up as a Winedog, you have the option of volunteering your services
as a taster of wine. The same principles apply, if you’ve got taste buds and want
to share your opinions then step forward. We’d rather have a lot of people with
different perspectives than have a set panel with tall hats. This means that you
won’t see a lot of wine but occasionally, who knows, a bottle of wine may just come
How do I become a taster?
Go to your profile page and you’ll find the magic link there.
What’s the benefit?
None at all. We don’t pay you. Think of it as community service. We do allocate
wines based on what you say you like, so the chances are you’ll get something to
taste that you’ll be interested in. Other than that it’s just hard work.
But I’m no expert…..
Neither are we. Most people aren’t. That doesn’t mean that people won’t want to
hear what you have to say. Quite the contrary.
I cannot recognise the tastes…help!
OK. We have prepared what some people call the cheat sheets. We like to call them
the GuideDogz. They give lists of what individual grape types have been known to
taste of. They are a kind of ideas list, so if you’re struggling to recognise that
taste maybe they can help. If you want to download a GuideDog in a handy fold up
A4 page pocket size, then check out the GuideDogz tab on the home page.
What does the taster’s form look like?
We’ve worked out that most people don’t like to taste with a computer in front of
them. Because of this we’ve created a downloadable sheet that tells you all the
info (in simple terms) that we’re looking for. You can also use it as scratchpad
to jot down ideas as you taste.
It basically breaks down into two parts:
1. Identifying individual tastes
2. Saying what you think
If you’re thinking of being a taster, try downloading the form and trying it out
on a wine of your choice. If you’ve become a taster we suggest you still use the
scratchpad when tasting until you get so familiar that you can do it without breaking
wind. Sorry, I mean breaking a sweat.
Maybe I was right first time.
I don’t understand a wine term…help?
So you don’t know what malolactic fermentation is and its effect on a wine? What
have you been doing all your life? We don’t see this as essential but for enthusiasts
it can be a lot of fun to get to the bottom of the mysteries of Winespeak. We suggest
you try Googling, or go to www.wikipedia.org
We’ve found their answers to be pretty palatable.
What are these pictures?
They are representations of what the Dogz tasters have said the wine tastes like
and the characteristics it has. Rather than reading about it you can just look.
Quicker, and more effective. They are not designed to sell the taste, just to communicate
it. If you see something you like you can make sure by checking out what people
have written. In short they’re a quick way to get to the stuff that interests you.
And they’re pretty cool.
How are the pictures created?
They are not photos. They are made by pixies who work for WinePic using the info
from the taster consumers. They are a South African invention. More than that we
don’t know. Check them out on www.winepic.co.za
I don’t agree with the picture
The nice people at WinePic use as broad a sample of tasters as they can get. What
they do is identify the tastes and characteristics that most people agree upon.
On this basis it’s highly likely that you’ll recognise some or most things and disagree
with others. Either way it’s better than just getting one opinion.
You’d be surprised at how similar the opinions can be and sometimes how diverse.
Can I make my own pictures?
Nope. The people at WinePic would have something to say if you did. They have the
Why is the price info so vague?
We all know that the price of a bottle of wine varies considerably from the price
you’ll pay at the vineyard to the price you’ll pay in some larny restaurant where
you can’t dance on the tables. What we also know is that a cheap wine will be relatively
cheap at the vineyard and will still be relatively cheap in the restaurant. (This
is Winedogz First Law of Relativity) For this reason we use the idea of wallet impact
rather than giving you a specific price which would never be right.
So the categories are "low", "medium", "high and "extra double plus".
We’ve found that that’s enough for most people to go on.
How can I order?
Ah. We thought you would ask that. This is the third big question for the wine consumer.
The first is will I like it? The second is how much does it cost; and the third
is where the hell do you buy it? For now you can Google the vineyard or if one is
available, follow the email link from the wine details page.
Will it always be like this?
The answer is that in the future we will be including information on which shops,
bottle stores and wineries have the wine. To get to this point we need to convince
these places that Winedogz are worth dealing with, so get out there and tell your
friends to sign up. The more people we have signed up, the more seriously the retailers
will take us.
Then we can help.