Blind drinking the blind

If you follow wine reviews from publications, such as Wine Spectator or The Wine Advocate, you have probably seen their writers refer to a practice known as the “blind tasting.” This method of evaluation utilizes a practice whereby the taster does not know the wine they are drinking. They are served “blind” and given only information that will allow them to fairly assess the quality of the wine.

Wine professionals (sommeliers, buyers, sales consultants, winemakers, etc.) also use the method of blind tasting to hone their evaluation skills. Only in this case, they are typically given no information about the wine. They guess its variety, origin, and even its vintage simply from its color, aroma, and flavor profile. It can be both a humbling and very rewarding exercise.

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I recently had the chance blind taste with four winemakers. The wines were selected by our host and were completely random. The first two were fairly straightforward and easy to make an educated guess on. For wine one, I guessed a 2005 Bordeaux. The wine? A 2006 South American blend made in the Bordeaux style. Not too shabby. Wine two was delicious. My guess: a recent vintage California Pinot Noir of high quality, probably in the $25 to $30 range. More on this wine in a moment.

Wine three was by far one of the trickiest in the lineup. No one in our group could pinpoint it. Wouldn’t you know, when our host made the reveal, it was actually a red made by one of the winemakers in attendance! We all had a good laugh over this. It just goes to show how difficult a blind tasting can be when you know absolutely nothing about the wine.

So what was the second wine? It was Suvali Pinot Noir 2015 from California. The price? Only $14.99 and a brand new addition to the Direct To You portfolio at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. If you enjoy Pinot Noir, I encourage you to grab a bottle on your next visit. I am confident that you will find that this way over delivers for its modest price and is certain to become a new favorite. Cheers and thanks for reading.

Dave Malone, Wine & Spirits Sales Manager

Follow me on Twitter @abcwineDaveM

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