Making sense of sensory

AWRI Commercial Services offers a wide range of sensory services to the wine industry, including those related to assessment of smoke-affected wines. Expert sensory staff and highly trained sensory panels combined with world-class facilities allow tailored sensory solutions to be provided.

Core sensory services include:

Technical quality sensory assessment

  • This allows an independent evaluation of a wine’s aroma and palate attributes using an expert panel and provides an indication of quality level and the presence of off-flavours. Wines are rated using the 20-point scoring system used in many Australian wine shows.
  • This method can be used to assess wines that have potentially been affected by recent bushfire events and smoke exposure. This is typically evident by the presence of ‘smoky’, ‘ashy’ or ‘medicinal’ characters.

Difference test assessment

  • This test is often used to determine whether winemaking techniques, additives or technology have had a perceptible sensory effect.

Descriptive analysis

  • This method produces a detailed sensory profile for each wine, with individual aroma and palate attributes quantified by an expert panel of trained judges. This powerful method is valuable in applications such as shelf life assessments or storage studies, or to evaluate viticultural or winemaking treatments.

Other sensory evaluation methods are available and the experienced sensory team can also run consumer testing in both domestic and international markets.

More details about these different options can be found on the sensory services page on the AWRI Commercial Services website. More detail on the sensory impact of smoke exposure can be found in this fact sheet.

For specific information on suitability, pricing and volumes required for all sensory services, please call (08) 8313 6600 or email