- SUB-TOPICS Of BLIND TASTING
- What is Blind Tasting
- Blind Tasting Protocol
- Blind Tasting Final Conclusion
- Other Sub-Topics of Blind Tasting
1) WHAT Is BLIND TASTING?
BLIND TASTING– Attempt to Identify, Evaluate or Judge Wines Without Knowing Its Identity. Blind Tasting is Also Referred to As Deductive Tasting.
- Single Blind– Tasting When You Know One Thing, or Very Little About the Wine You’re Assessing, Tasters Know the Region, Grape, and Vintage of the Wine.
- Not Knowing the Producer or the Wines Price Eliminates Discrimination Based On a Wine’s Reputation or Price Point.
- Double Blind– Tasting When You Know Absolutely Nothing About the Wine at All.
“Drinking is For Pleasure, Blind Tasting is For Evaluation and Assessing Wine.”
- WHY EXCEL At BLIND TASTING
- To Become a Better Wine Taster.
- To Know Your Personal Palate Better.
- Increase the Enjoyment of Drinking Wine.
- Pass Certification Exams.
- Converse With Guess/ Piers/ Wine Professionals.
- Increase Your Service & Hospitality.
- Better Understand the Wine World.
- Better Evaluate Wine For Value.
“Wine is Subjective, the Best Way to Evaluate Wine is to Formulate an Unbiased Opinion of a Wine Free of Sub-Conscious Perceptions of Reputation, Region or Price is Evaluating or Judge a Wine “Blind”.”
2) BLIND TASTING PROTOCOL
How You Think About or View Blind/ Deductive Tasting or What Approach You Take Will Help or Hinder You In Your Efforts In Tasting Wine Blind. Deductive Tasting Isn’t a Parol Trick or Magic It’s a Learned Skill, Honed and Practiced Over Time.
Blind Tasting Removes Many Opportunities For Your Preconceived Notions or Bias. It Levels the Playing Field and Lets All Wines Get the Same Analysis Without Expectations. This Allow Consumers or Judges to Focus On the Wine In the Glass and Not All the Other “Pomp & Circumstance” That Surround Wine, Labels, and Wineries.
“Have a Deductive, Logical Tasting Protocol, Based On Your Experiences and Instinct. Practice Your Technique, Approach, Routine. Learn From Others, and Your Mistakes, Learn Something New From Every Tasting.”
- The EVALUATION RITUAL
- Sight | Aroma
- Palate | Structure
- Quality | Ponder- Think Outside the Box
“Taste, Study and Refer to the Classic Bench-Mark Varietals of the World.”
CLASSIC “BLIND TASTING” VARIETALS
- WHITE= Assyriko, Albariño, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner, Marsanne, Müller Thurgau, Muscat(Blanc Petit Grains), Muscadet, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes, Viognier
- –Others– Arnies, Cortese, Garganega, Grenache Blanc, Semillon, Trebbiano, Verdicchio, Vermentino
- –Blends– Soave, Bordeaux, Rhone, Rioja
- RED= Aglianico, Barbara, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Corvina, Gamay, Garnacha, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
- –Others– Cinsaut, Nero d’AvoloPetit Verdot, Sagrantino, Tannat, Trousseau
- –Blends– Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, Southern Rhone/GSM., Super Tuscan, Valpolicella
- Unless Stated Prior to Blind Tasting Blends Are “Not Fair Game”.
- **Refer to “WINE STYLES/ Blended Wine” For Detailed Information.
“Seeking Out Blind Tastings is a Cross Between a Fetish and Sadomasochism.”
OBJECTIVE FACTORS IN WINE– Something In a Wine That Stands Out and Can Be Quantified In a Non-Bias/ Non-Subjective Manner.
- Wine Markers- A Level or Scale of an Objective Factor.
- –Example– Acid In a Wine is an Objective Factor and (Low, Medi-, Medi, Medi+, High) Are All Markers.
- DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE~ ~Try to Minimizing the Wine World.~
- “When Blind Tasting, (Especially When You Have a Time Limit Per Wine) It’s Imperative to Minimize the Wine World Fast. Start Out by Identifying Objective Factors or Lack There of In the Wine. After Identifying Multiple Objective Factors Cross Reference Those With Classic Blind Tasting Varietals Until You Can Make an Educated Decision.”
“Don’t Make a List of What You Think the Wine is, Create a Convincing Argument.”
- OBJECTIVE FACTORS To SEEK WHILE DEDUCTIVE TASTING
- Color | Clarity
- Acid/ PH. | Tannin
- Aromatic vs. Non-Aromatic
- RS. | ABV.
- Perizine | Terpenes
- Ripeness | Texture
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Sensory/ Markers” For Detailed Information.
“Evaluate the Objective Factors, Aroma and Flavor, Then Form a Theory and Tie the Theory to Your Conclusion.”
BLIND TASTING WINE EVALUATION ZONE– The Act of Mentally and Physically Preparing For Your Blind Tasting. Get Yourself Into a “Mental Mind State”, Be Emotional Stable, Calm, Be Focus, With No Distraction and “Physical Body Position” (Body Still, Facing Forward, Comfortable) to Help Enhance Your Blind Tasting and Wine Evaluation.
- When Evaluating Wine Have a Certain Routine and Make it Structured, Repeatable and Personal, This Will Get You Ready and Reduce Your Potential Mental Anxiety.
- Try to Evaluate or Blind Taste Wine When I’m Hungary and Thirsty.
- It’s Not the Case When Blind Tasting When You Have a Set/ Minimal Amount of Time to Taste and Evaluate the Wine, But I Prefer to Drink a Couple Glasses of the Wine to Get a Accurate Sense of the Wine. Over the Course of a Couple of Glasses Over a Couple Hours the Wine Has a Chance to Open-Up and Speak to Me In a More Profound Way.
EYE-HEAD ACCENT CUES– Your Head and Eyes Go to Different Places to Access Different Memory Functions. This Phenomena is Done Sub-Consciously, But Practicing it Consciously Can Sometimes Bring Out Memories.
- Make Something Up, Dreaming… Head, Eyes Up-Right
- Visual Remembrance… Head, Eyes Up-Left
- Talking to Yourself... Head, Eyes Down-Left
- Feelings and Emotions… Head, Eyes Down-Right
“Blind Tasting is a Matter of Recognizing and Remembering, and Making a Taste Data Base Through Your Personal Experiences. The Process of Gathering Information with Your Palate, Then Making the Mental Connection.”
INITIATIVE vs. DEDUCTIVE TASTING
- Don’t Associate Smells to Varietals, Associate Smells to Causes. Don’t Ask Yourself What Grape Does This Wine Remind me of, Ask Yourself What Makes the Wine Smell Like That?
- Don’t Judge a Wine or Assume the Diagnosis When Blind Tasting, Go Though Your Entire Tasting Prodigal Then Make Your “Call”.
- Know the Difference Between a Intuitive-Call Vs. a Deductive Based Call.
- Always Be Thinking “Why?”, Asking Yourself “Why”, and Be Ready to Explain “Why?”
3) BLIND TASTING FINAL CONCLUSION
THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF WHILE PONDERING YOUR FINAL CONCLUSION
- “What Characters or Marker In the Wine Leads You to That Conclusion?”
- “What Are You Hanging Your Hat On?”
BLIND TASTING “CALL”– A Verbal Evaluation, an Informed Outcome of a Blind Tasting Decision Based On Deductive Reasoning, Be Ready and Able to Give the “Why?” Behind Most or All of Your “Calls”.
“When Calling a Wine Speak Clearly, Be Fluid, Good-Pacing, Use Descriptors, Don’t Be Mono-Tone In Devilry, Be Convincing and Eloquent.”
- INITIAL CONCLUSION (Brainstorming)
- Old World/ New World | Climate
- Varietal or Blend | Possible Countries
- Age Range
- CALLING A WINE BASED ON REGION
- Old World/ New World | Country
- Region/ State | Appellation
- Varietal or Blend | Vintage
- Quality Level, Cost | Food Match
- CALLING A WINE BASED ON A VARIETAL
- Varietal or Blend | Old World/ New World
- Country | Region/ State
- Appellation | Vintage
- Quality Level, Cost | Food Match
“Make Sure That Ever Time You Make a Miss-Call On a Wine You Realize Why and Make the Proper Mental Adjustment.”
POWER OF SUGGESTION- The Psychological Process by Which One Person Guides the Thoughts, Feeling or Behavior of Another Person. This Phenomenon is Apparent to Smelling or Tasting Wine Where a Host Can Suggest a Trait to a Guest and Then That Guest Finally Realizes the Scent or Taste…Preconceived Notion
- Just by See the Label or Bottle and Knowing the Country of Origin Can Subconsciously Led to a Inherit Prejudice.
DEVELOPING YOUR PALATE
- It’s Up to You to Personally Develop Your Palate. Wine Monogamy is Fine But You Should Strive to Move Your Palate On to Different Countries, Appellations and Wine Styles. Instead of Going to the Wine Bar and Getting Your Favorite Grape From Your Favorite Producer Order a Grape You’ve Never Heard of From a Country You Can’t Locate On a Map.
- DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE~ ~Constantly Work On Developing Your Wine Palate.~
- “Practice and Develop Confidence In Your Palate, Over Time Try to Calibrate Your Palate to Identify the Structure of the Wine as Well as Aromas and Flavors. Recognize and Identify the Objective Factors/ Personal Markers and Are Found In Wines, Learn and Understand the Cause of These Factors.”
“To Become a Better Wine Evaluator and Truly Understand “The Vine”, You Must Constantly and Actively Taste Wine and Study the Wine World.”
4) OTHER TOPIC Of BLIND TASTING
TIPS FOR GETTING BETTER At DEDUCTIVE TASTINGS
- Part Attention, Drink a Lot of Wine, Take Notes.
- Systematically Taste Varietals Against Each Other. If You Can’t Tell the Difference Between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay Get a Bottle of Each. Sit Down and Really Burn the Markers and Profile Into Your Olfactory Bulb In Your Brain.
GRAPES To TASTE AGAINST EACH OTHER
- Beginners- Start With Any Grapes You Have Not Mastered.
- Chardonnay vs. Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Pinot Noir
- Advanced- Do Any of the Same Grape From Different Regions.
- Albariño vs. Grünner Veltliner vs. Pinot Gri
- Nebbiolo vs. Sangiovese
- Same Grapes From Different Regions
- Chardonnay (Organ vs. Sonoma vs. Burgundy)
- BARBERA “Barbera d’Alba” (85% Barbera) vs. “Barbera d’Asti” (90% Barbera)
- *Generally– +Body, Darker Color, More Fruit
- CHARDONNAY “Burgundy” vs. “Russian River”
- *Generally– Less Oak, +Acidity, Less Friutiness
- CHENIN BLANC “Loire Valley” vs. “South Africa”
- MALBEC “Cahors” vs. “Mendoza”
- *Generally– Savory, More Tart, Firmer Tannins, Less Fruit
- NEBBIOLO “Barolo” vs. “Barbaresco” vs. “Gattinara” vs. “Valtellina”
- *Generally– Barolo– Needs the Most Time to Age
- *Generally– Barbaresco
- *Generally– Gattinara– More Approachable Sooner, Higher In Minerally.
- *Generally– Veltallina–
- PINOT GRIS “Central Europe” vs. “California”
- *Generally– +Riper, +BODY, Oily Texture, Floral Spicy, -Acidity
- PINOT NOIR “Burgundy”vs. “California”
- *Generally– Less-Ripe Fruit, More Earthy, +Acidity, +Ripening
- SYRAH “Syrah” vs.“Shiraz”
- *Generally– Cooler Climate, Restrained, Herb, Spice, Not Meaty, -Body, –ABV.
- ZINFANDEL “Zinfandel” vs. “Primitivo”
- *Generally– +Riper, +Sugar Levels, +Alcohol, +Fruitiness
- DEMYSTIFYING PROCEDURE~ ~Construct Your Personal “Wine Vocabulary” and Hone Your Verbal Skills.~
- “The Best Way to Learn “Wine Speak” is to Construct Your Own Personal Wine Sensory and Description Vocabulary. One That You Have a True Understanding of and One You Posses Complete Command of.”
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ What is Wine Evaluation” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Aroma” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Sight” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Structure” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Flavor” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Faults” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Age” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Qaulity” For Detailed Information.
- **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Sensory Charts/ Markers” For Detailed Information.
**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.