Tasting notes search – improvements!


We’re still listening to you. In June 2010, at your request we implemented changes to our Tasting notes search that made it a whole lot easier for you to use. Now, after extensive feedback in our most recent survey, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes to develop a faster, more intelligent, more accurate search engine for our database of over 85,000 tasting notes.


First, we have introduced two new columns in the search results: Drink from, and Drink to. This will allow you to see at a glance which wines are ready for drinking, and you can sort on the suggested drinking dates by clicking on either of the column headings.

Second, we introduced a new drop-down menu option in the advanced tasting notes search so that you can search on tasting notes written by a specific author.  (The advanced tasting notes search appears on the right of the screen when you choose Tasting notes / Tasting notes search from the menu at the top of the page – see General guidelines below – or when have already done a basic search and you are looking at the search results.)

A third change is to the keyword free-text search field (top right on any page or at the top of the right-hand column in advanced tasting notes search). This change has several aspects, all designed to help you find the exact results you are looking for.
• Previously the free-text field searched on anything in the wine name and in the tasting note description. Now it specifically searches on the wine name. However, in the advanced tasting notes search, you can tick the small box below the field to ‘Search for this term in wine descriptions as well as names’. This latter option is particularly useful if you are looking for a specific retailer or wine merchant, for good value (GV) wines, for winemaker names if they are different from the producer name, or for a specific style of wine (trying searching under full bodied, or oak, or barrique, for example).
• You can now search on just the beginning of a word by ending your search term with an asterisk. For example, oak* will return Oakridge, Oakville, Oaked, Oaks, and if you include descriptions in your search you will be able to find all wines with a mention of oak, oaky, oakiness.
• If you are searching for an exact phrase, putting double quotation marks around the search terms will return only those exact words in that order. For example, searching for Adelsheim Caitlin's Chardonnay will return all the Adelsheim Caitlin's Chardonnays, but search for “Adelsheim Caitlin's Chardonnay” and the results will not include their Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay.


Tasting notes is the default choice for the general search box at the very top of the home page (see below, circled in red, in figure 1) and this will take you straight to the Tasting notes search. You can still scroll through the other choices in the drop-down menu to search the Oxford Companion to Wine, the Members' forum and the Rest of the site, ie all the other articles (see below, figure 2).

Figure 1 tn_search_homepage_13

Figure 2tn_search_dropdown_13

Alternatively, to go straight to the Tasting notes search, just click on the 'Tasting notes' link, second option from the left on the top horizontal tool bar (see below, figure 3).

Figure 3tn_search_horiz_toolbar

Figure 4tn_advanced_search_13

The easiest (but not the only) way to find tasting notes once you are in the Tasting notes search is to use the general free-text keyword search box. Just key in the salient words, eg 'Coche Dury Corton 1998' for a specific wine or 'Talbot' for a set of tasting notes on that château over all vintages. Clicking on 'Search' or simply hitting the 'Enter' key will bring up all results, which can then be sorted as you wish (see below). It is better not to include generic terms such as Bodega, Cascina, Cellar, Domaine, Vineyards, Cave, etc as we do not generally include such terms in the producer name.

If you want an advanced search for a narrower set of tasting notes, you can use the horizontal drop-down menu options in the right-hand column (see figure 4). Select the drop-down menu options to filter the results if you are looking for something very specific.

Figure 5tn_search_order_13

Important point: When the results come up, you can order them as you wish by clicking on the headings (see figure 5 above). So if, for example, you want to order them by vintage, click on 'Vintage'. If you seek the most recent tasting note first, click on 'Date tasted'. If you want to order them by score, guess what... And you can order them alphabetically by Producer, or Wine name. You can change which way they are ordered (for example, oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest) by clicking on the title of the column again.

Using all the permutations available, it is very easy to see tasting notes on a particular wine over lots of different vintages, or many different wines of a certain appellation or region from a single vintage or, say, all Bordeaux 1998 over a certain score, or all of them ready to drink from 2012, or all notes published in 2005. It's just a question of filling in the relevant fields in the right hand column shown in Figure 4, and then ordering the results as you wish.

If you have any problems with searching, please get in touch with us via the Contact us link below right.