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  • Richard Hemming MW
Written by
  • Richard Hemming MW
16 Oct 2014

I recently wrote an overall guide to  how our new site works. This article is a little more specific, a guide about how to use this site's tasting-notes search facility. Our tasting-notes database now contains well over 100,000 wine reviews, so any system to navigate such large numbers inevitably becomes somewhat involved. Here, we look at the basics of how to find the wines you are looking for, including a few handy tips.

Step one: finding the tasting note search form

From any page, simply click on tasting notes in the main navigation menu. On desktop view, it is visible in the menu bar across the top of the window. In mobile and tablet view it is accessed by opening the drop-down menu in the top-left corner of the screen.


Desktop view


Tablet view

Step two: navigating the tasting-note landing page

On desktop view, our tasting notes landing page shows an automatically updated selection of the tasting note information, including a tag cloud, the top-scoring countries and the most recent top-scoring wines. The search panel can be seen to the left of the page. On mobile and tablet view, the search panel is full screen, positioned at the top of the page, so it is immediately visible.


Desktop view


Tablet view

Step three: keyword search

Entering a term in the keyword search box, then pressing Enter on your keyboard or clicking on the yellow search button, will return all results which feature that word in the producer name, cuvée name, grape variety, vintage and appellation fields. No other fields are searched - so, for example, if you want to find all the wines of one country, you should use the search filters (see below). You can, however, use multiple keywords. So, searching for Chablis 2012 generates a list of that appellation from only that vintage.

If you wish to search for a term within the description of the wine, the tasting note itself, tick the checkbox immediately below the keyword search box. For example, if you do this for the term GV, you will find all the wines we have flagged as good value.


Step four: filtering

The search form also has a series of drop-down menus to allow you to choose various specific categories. This can be used with or without a keyword to narrow down your search criteria. So, for example, if you wanted to find every 2011 red wine deemed GV by Julia, your search criteria would look as follows:


Whereas a search for all Italian whites scoring 17 or over which are within their drinking window in 2017 would look like this:


You can also click the Standalone option if you want to see only those tasting notes which were not published as part of a tasting article.

NB: the filtering drop-down menus are faceted - that is, they will show only those options that are relevant to the other search criteria specified. That means that in the above example, for instance, you would only be able to select appellations that are included in the returned set of results. That is why Gavi does not appear as an option in the appellations drop-down of these search results, because there is no tasting note for a Gavi scoring at least 17 with a drinking window of 2017. If you relax the search criteria by allowing 'any drink dates' instead of specifying 2017, Gavi then becomes selectable in the appellation drop-down menu.

Step five: sorting

Each of the seven columns in the tasting results page is sortable - that is, it can be clicked on once to arrange the results in ascending order, and again to arrange them in descending order. The default layout is alphabetically ascending by producer, but you could re-arrange them by clicking on Date tasted twice to show the most recently written notes first, for example.

Finally, if you want to start from scratch, clicking the reset filters button will return you to a blank search form. 

Happy hunting!