Designation (also decay, finish, finish, reverberation, sustainability, tail) for the temporal retention or duration of the taste impression on the palate and tongue when tasting or enjoying a wine. In the complicated process of perception, however, not only the sense of taste(gustatory) is involved, but also the sense of smell(olfactory) and touch(trigeminal). These three individual senses cannot be clearly distinguished, but influence each other and result in a complex pleasure experience. However, as is often wrongly assumed and asserted, the finish does not result only from the swallowing or the process of swallowing. It is the period in which the impressions in the mouth "linger" after the wine has left the mouth. Therefore, in a sensory test, in which the wine is usually not drunk or swallowed but spat out after tasting, the finish can of course be determined without swallowing.
The length of the finish is often related to the overall taste and smell of a wine. Because a high-quality wine usually also has a long finish. The unit of measurement for one second of duration is a caudalie. A long finish is considered to be at least 10 to 20 caudalies and longer. The term persistence is also used, but actually means the "persistence of a condition over a longer period of time (persistence)", i.e. "long finish". But also bitter and pungent substances cause a long persistence, which does not necessarily have to be positive. A long finish is therefore only a sign of quality if all taste elements are balanced. A "medium finish" lasts between 6 and 10 seconds. A "short finish" of only a few seconds, in which the taste abruptly "breaks off", is considered negative. Such a wine usually appears weak, i.e. thin or hollow.
A prerequisite for a long finish is the presence of aromatic substances and other wine ingredients in appropriate and balanced quantities, which is usually the case with wines with a high proportion of total extract. For white wines this is mainly determined by a higher proportion of acids, for red wines by the astringent effect of the tannins. The effect of a "long finish", often described as a purely subjective impression and doubted, has in the meantime also been scientifically proven. It is related to the fact that flavours are embedded in colloids (particles that are caked together during bottle ageing), which dissolve only slowly and therefore have a lasting effect. This circumstance is particularly true for higher quality wines that have been matured for longer. For the reasons mentioned above, however, a long finish must a priori or not always mean a high-quality wine. In contrast to the positive aftertaste, aftertaste is used as a negative term. See also under Wine evaluation and wine appeal.