Blind tasting: some method in the madness

Regular readers of this blog will know that  blind tasting is a mug’s game. But just occasionally a logical approach will lead to a surprisingly good result, even when you don’t know what the wines are. Faced with three wines and a general rubric that these three are all made from one variety or are all from one region, you can work out a solution.  You have to ask yourself the standard questions.

  • Would you start in the new world or old. In other words, is the wine about fruit expression or traditional wine making?
  • Are there any clues from the colour and the structural elements – dryness/sweetness, alcohol, acidity, body, tannins? 
  • Having come up with some general answers, you then eliminate countries/varieties that don’t fit the wines that are in front of you.

Today it worked … I got the right overall answer, despite not knowing what the wines were!

The problem then is to work out what the three individual wines are and to locate them in sensible places or styles, consistent with your overall answer.  Today I got two out of the three individual wines broadly correct.  So, the method can work.  I didn’t know the overall category … I didn’t originally recognise any of the three wines … in fact I missed the big clue (even for the Master of Wine there is usually one clear clue if you are being asked to identify rather than just comment on the wines) … and I still got the answers broadly correct.   Let’s celebrate today … and hope for the best for tomorrow.   You never know, I might actually recognise the wines! 

PS this post is deliberately vague in terms of the actual wines under discussion because other students will be tasting the same wines at other centres.  

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