WSC404 Wine Sensory Assessment (8)


This subject entails a study of wine assessment at an advanced level that assumes a significant knowledge of sensory science and some sensory descriptive skill. It considers both Australian and overseas wine, and all major wine types. Attributes of wine sensory quality are explored and are examined in terms of wine type, origin, grape variety and potential market. Scoring of wine is discussed, principally from the perspective of the Australian wine show system. Student assessment skills are tested, and the assessment includes objective tests of scoring reliability and scoring discrimination. Each student also presents, orally, a sensory comparison of two wines.  This subject commences in session 1 and concludes in session 2 in the calendar year of enrolment. Students must enrol in both sessions 1 and 2. It is not possible to commence this subject in session 2.
Distance Education students are required to attend a compulsory residential school as a requirement for this subject.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: WSC404
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
Two sessionsHD/FLSchool of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Incompatible subject(s)Related subject(s)
WSC310 WSC310 Paired Subject

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to accurately identify and distinguish the nature and balance of the sensory characteristics in a wide range of wines and relate the features to wine type, grape variety, wine style and wine processing.
  • be able to formulate concise, relevant and meaningful sensory descriptions of wines.
  • be able to analyse wine reliably, and discriminate effectively between similar wines of differing quality or characteristics.
  • be able to identify and describe common wine faults.
  • be able to present, orally, a sensory comparison of wines, and interpret their sensory difference in terms of the grape or wine production differences.
  • be able to competently use the Australian wine show scoring system; be able to discuss the attributes and limitations of the wine show process; and compare the assessment process with other approaches, including European approaches, to the assessment of quality.
  • be able to successfully apply statistical method results to obtain objective assessments of judge performance.
  • be able to apply appropriate sensory tests to particular situations and successfully interpret data from those tests.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • The sensory influence on wine of grape cultivar, of viticultural and wine production factors, and of ageing and packaging, and of some faults.
  • The relationship of wine sensory characteristics to quality, and the influence of region of origin and intended market on the interpretation of quality.
  • The influence of culture and tradition on wine production, labelling and marketing.
  • The assessment and judging of wine for style and quality, including the scoring of wine using the Australian wine show system.
  • Techniques that can be used to objectively assess wine judge performance.
  • Techniques used to formulate and interpret sensory tests.

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 6 day residential school. The residential school helps to develop the student's ability to assess the sensory features of a wide range of wines through tutored tastings given by an industry specialist. Compare wine sensory features across a range of countries of origin, styles and qualities with reference, where relevant, to systems of quality assessment and assurance used in Europe. Extend the student's ability to assess Australian wine by examination of wine styles and varieties that are not presented in the subject WSC510 Sensory Science. Develop the student's awareness of wine faults and taints. Develop the student's experience of judging wine quality and of using the Australian wine show system of scoring. Assessment of the student's ability to judge wine quality. The 6 day residential school requirement is completed with a 3 day attendance at the mid year residential schools and with a further 3 days attendance at the mid session 2 residential school period.

Specialised Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which will involve travel expenses and a time commitment. 
Students will also be required to purchase a lab coat and safety goggles which are compulsory for lab based practicals.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.