Which Wine Which: Blind Wine Tasting
March 1st, 2016
Peggy Fiandaca
If you are not practicing for the Master Sommelier exam why would you care about doing a blind wine tasting? As part of the Master Sommelier exam blind tasting, a candidate must taste six wines and identify the grape variety (s), vintage, country, region, and appellation within 25 minutes. So why do a blind wine tasting? It is all about broadening your appreciation for the nuances of wines.

It is amazing how a label look and narrative influences what you think of the wine's quality. When you read that the wine is an Oregon Pinot Noir you immediately have an expectation about that wine even if you have never tasted a wine from that particular winery.   LDV Winery

By removing the packaging and marketing, the wine experience is broken down to the basics. A single-blind tasting is when you know something about the wines in your flight such as the vintage or appellation. A double-blind tasting is where you know absolutely nothing about the wine, except the color.

Sommeliers are taught to do a specific tasting technique called “deductive tasting.” Like deductive reasoning it is a form of reaching specific conclusions based on general information. It helps the taster evaluate the nuances of the wine in order to make a final determination about the wine. The ultimate goal is for the novice or an expert taster to become a better taster and hopefully expand their wine experience.

  1. Examine the wine to determine its color, depth, clarity, etc. Sometimes you can actually determine the wine’s age based on its color.

2. Step two is smelling the wine. Here is where you need to trust your instincts. Hints of leather might suggest an Australian Shiraz or a strawberry patch a Pinot Noir from Mendocino County California. Or a hint of black olives might indicate a Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley.

3. Taste the wine. Swirl it vigorously in your mouth so the wine touches all parts of the inside of your mouth; like you do with your mouthwash. Pay attention to the finish and how the wine feels. Questions to ask might include: Is the mouth feel consistent with the aroma? Is the wine dry, medium-dry, off-dry, or sweet? Are there mineral hints or oak flavors? Every little clue helps; even if they don’t seem to be connected.

To learn more, join us March 16, 6:30 PM at the Wine Gallery for the LDV Sip & Learn – Which Wine Which. We will be doing double blind tastings and enhancing your wine tasting skills. Register online here.

Why is this important to LDV Winery? We are producing terroir based wines that are unique and distinctive to our special place in Southeastern Arizona. We want you to understand and enjoy the nuances of our wines. We are not just making great Arizona wine, but exceptional wine that can stand proudly on the world stage.