BLIND TASTING


  • SUB-TOPICS Of BLIND TASTING
    • What is Blind Tasting?
    • Bling Tasting Protocol
    • Bling Tasting Final Conclusion
    • Other Sub-Topics of Blind Tasting

WHAT Is BLIND TASTING?

Drinking is For Pleasure, Blind Tasting is For Evaluation and Assessing Wine.

BLIND TASTING Attempt to Identify, Evaluate or Judge Wines Without Knowing 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.

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.

  • WHY EXCEL AT BLIND TASTING
    • To Become a Better Taster
    • Know My Personal Palate Better
    • Increase Enjoyment of Wine
    • Certification Exam
    • Converse With Guess/ Piers/ Wine Professionals
    • Service & Hospitality
    • Better Understand the Wine World
    • Evaluate Wine For Value
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine Rating” For Detailed Information

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
    • Conclusion

Taste, Study and Refer to the Classic Bench-Mark Varietals of the World.

CLASSIC BLIND TASTING VARIETALS

  • WHITE= Assyriko, Albarino, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Grunner Veltliner, Marsanne, Muller Thurgau, Muscat Blanc Petit Grains, Muscadet, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes, Viognier
    • Others– Arnies, Semillon, Trebbiano, Verdichio, Vermentino
    • Blends– Soave, Bordeaux, Rhone
  • RED= Aglianico, Barbara, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Corvina, Gamay, Garnacha, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
    • Others– Cinsaut, Petit Verdot, Sagrantino, Trebbiano
    • Blends– Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, 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.
  • I Prefer to Evaluate or Blind Taste Wine When I’m Hungary.
  • 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?

BLIND TASTING FINAL CONCLUSION

DEDUCTIVE EVALUATION

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.

  • CALLING a WINE WHE BASED ON a REGION
    • Old World/ New World
    • Country
    • Region/ State
    • Appellation
    • Varietal or Blend
    • Vintage
    • Quality Level, Cost
    • Food Match
  • CALLING a WINE WHEN 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.


OTHER TOPIC Of BLIND TASTING

SPITTING WINE WHILE DOING TASTINGS

  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY Do you Ever Wonder if I Should Spit or Swallow?”
    • Seasoned Drinkers, Wine Professionals and Sommeliers Wanting to Get the Most From Their Wine Tasting Experience Know It’s Imperative to “Spit” During a Portion of a Wine Tasting Event. Spitting Allows Tasters and Evaluators to Get a Full Impression of the Wine Without Getting Inebriated and Losing Their Palates Sharpness. After About a 10 Ounces of Wine the Tasting Receptor In Your Mount and  On Your Tongue Close Down Due to Alcohol Absorption and the Perception of Flavors Diminish. After a Wine Festival Where the Potential For Over 100 Wines Can to Be Tasted, Your Palate Will Quickly Becomes “Fatigued”.  Be Aware That Trace Amounts of Alcohol Gets Vaporized an Absorbed On Your Palate and After More Than 25 Tastings You’ll Possess and Slight Buzz.
  • TIPS FOR SPITTING WINE
    • There’s an Art to Spitting that Can Be Learned, Practiced and Mastered
    • Purse Your Lips and Use a Bit of Force when Spitting
    • Carry a Personal Plastic Cup or Spitting Vessel, or Use the Dump Bucket

CULTURE- Spitting is Widely Accepted In Countries Around the World. So Part of the “Norm” That Across France it’s Accepted to Spit On the Gravel Floor or In Drains.

  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  When Sipping and Spitting What Percentage of Alcohol In the Wine Does Your Palate Absorb?”
    • I Feel Your Palate Absorbs 5%-7% of the Alcohol In Wine While Sipping and Spitting.
  • WINE & PHILOSOPHY?  What Percentage of a Wine Can You Appreciate While Sipping and Spitting?”
    • I Feel Your Palate Can Appreciate 88%-90% of a Wine While Sipping and Spitting, There is About 10% of a Wine That Can’t Be Truly Appreciated or Assessed Completely Without Fully Swallowing the Wine.

CLEANING YOUR PALATE DURING TASTING

  • Bland,   Cracker,  Sorbet
  • Water, Hoppy Beer,   Dry Champagne-Time

THERE’S NO RIGHT And WRONG WHEN It COMES To WINE

  • While There’s a Right and a Wrong When Objectively Evaluating a Wine, There Isn’t a Right and Wrong Response to Subjectively Enjoying a Wine. Someone Who Pushes Their “This Grape is Better, or You Should Like This Wine More” is Pushing Their Own Subjective Palate or Agenda. The Only Right/ Wrong That There is When Enjoying a Wine is Weather or Not you Like the Wine or Not.

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. Grunner Veltliner vs. Pinot Gri
      • Nebbiolo vs. Sangiovese
      • Same Grapes From Different Regions
        • Chardonnay (Organ vs. Sonoma vs. Burgundy)
  • 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 Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Sight” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Aroma” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Structure” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Flavor” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Faults” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Age” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Wine-Quality” For Additional  Information
  • **Refer to “WINE EVALUATION/ Sensory Charts/ Markers” For Additional  Information


**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ SOURCES” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced