UC Davis - Introduction to Sensory Evaluation of Wine

I am in the midst of studying for the CMS examination, and was considering taking the Introduction to Sensory Evaluation of Wine Course at UC Davis and was looking for any feedback as to the quality of the instruction as well as applicability to Blind Tasting.




  • I don't know about that particular course, but I have a Winemaker's Certificate from Davis and one of the courses was a combined semester on Sensory Analysis and Wine Stability. Hildegarde Heymann taught (who is awesome, despite her hatred of Brett) the sensory evaluation portion. It was a great class, but focused far more on the science of how we taste, perceive color, smell, etc. Discussions on topics like color blindness, rods and cones in eyes, opsins, papilla of the tongue, olfactory mucosa, chemistry of perceived flavors and sensations, etc.

    It was great for understanding how you taste and perceive wine. Its great knowledge to have from a learning perspective. However, for blind tasting for the CMS, you'd be far better off joining a tasting group. Memorizing the grid, tasting a lot of wines, learning from those who taste better than you is far more important than understanding the difference between plus-carvone and negative-carvone.

    Having said that, I think the UC Davis Intro to Wine class is EXCELLENT for anyone taking Intro. You're past that, though. Good luck on Certified!