Definition - What does Appearance mean?
The appearance of a wine refers to the clarity of the wine, not its color. When analyzing a wine, it is important to first check its appearance. This can give the consumer or judge information to the quality of the wine. It is also a tell-tale sign of the wine’s health. A wine is said to be healthy if light reflects off the surface easily.
WineFrog explains Appearance
When giving a wine a thorough evaluation, the first step is to check its appearance. This is done best by holding the wine in a glass up to a light, with the light behind the glass. It will help to observe how the light may shine through the wine (unless it is an opaque wine) and how the light reflects off of its surface.
If the wine is healthy, then it should appear clear. If it is cloudy, this may be a sign of bottle shock or if it was unfiltered. These two things do not signify that the wine is unhealthy. In the first instance, this only means that the wine needs to rest and was opened too early. The latter indicates that the winemaker chose not to filter their wine in order to keep some desired qualities present.
Another reason the wine may be cloudy is a fermentation starting in the bottle. It might have been indicative if you felt some pressure behind the cork when it was removed. This is usually a sign that the wine was not fined properly. Further evaluation on the nose on such a wine may be pungent and unfriendly.