Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blind Wine Tasting Party

I would like to say that every month I look at my goals I set for the year and evaluate, but that would be lying.  I look and evaluate when they come to mind.  As you may remember from my post here, I wanted to start doing things that I enjoyed more.  Spending time and energy on me.  I had really neglected this goal until I decided to through a blind wine tasting party.
(photo credit everyAugust)

Why a blind wine tasting?  I have had the privilege to take some very educational classes around certain wine regions.  I cannot count the number of times I have watched Bottle Shock or Somm (both are highly recommended).  When it comes to weekend get aways or short trips, you can bet that usually entails a trip to Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, or Napa for wine tasting.  This last trip to Italy, the one thing I wanted to do was a Vespa wine tour through Tuscany.  Guess what, that was the highlight of my trip.  All of these surmounting ideas has to culminate into one grand idea and that is I love studying and drinking wine. 

What better way to improve on my wine identification skills than to taste blind? Once I had decided to through the gathering, emails were sent out and RSVPs were sent in.  Whoa, this is a bonafide party, I thought, and immediately came up with a game plan.

I wanted to try new wine and at the same time see if I could identify some wine that I had come to love.  My idea was to have three bottles of wine I loved and might cost a bit more, compare that to three wines of the same varietal and region that were the Kirkland brand.  I wanted to establish if 1) I could identify the wines I loved without seeing the label, 2) if I could identify the grape varietal in the Kirkland wines, and 3) which wines did I actually like best.

Next came the selection of wines and how to disguise them.  I ended up using thick wrapping paper to cover the labels, I removed the top foil (after the above picture was taken) and glued numbers to each bottle.  As I wanted to also enjoy the "blind" tasting portion, I mixed the bottles around before I numbered them so that even I could not tell which bottle was which.
(photo credit everyAugust)

Guests arrived and appetizers were served.  Mixtures of conversation and laughter permeated my home and that was all before the wine drinking even began.  Each guest was then presented wit a pad of paper, a pen, and we discussed criteria and a rating system before we began.

Note: I actually had a spittoon bucket on the table so people had the option to taste and then discard if they so chose.

It was great seeing how people reacted to each wine.  I had two guests that had complete opposite taste which was quite hilarious to watch.  Another guest was not a huge wine drinker but found a wine she actually enjoyed and planned on purchasing once the event was over.
(photo credit everyAugust)

All in all, i was really glad that the party came together and that I had so much fun while learning and testing my wine identification skills.  I will say, the #1 wine voted that evening was unanimous and is sold exclusively through Trader Joe's.  Should I tell you what it was? It was the Dynamic Red Table Wine sold for $8.99 (in CA).  Talk about a steal!
(photo credit Good Cheap Vino)

As for 2nd though 6th place, that was quite contentious but what does that matter?  Each person's wine taste is different and does not have to be the same.  Buy the wine you like and enjoy and forget the rest.  Price tags do not matter.  Our #1 wine was one of the least expensive served.  Did I mention it was a screw-top? Great wine for picnics!

Whether throwing a blind wine tasting party or a Harry Potter movie marathon, life is meant to be enjoyed with good friends.


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