Home > Blind tasting, Experiences, wine > I Love Surprises

I Love Surprises

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Do you like surprises? Yeah, I see you saying “that depends” – ahh, as we grow up, the life is teaching us to be cautiously optimistic when we hear the word “surprise” – from unadulterated “Yay, surprise!!!”,  thanks to the gentle pressure of the life lessons it becomes “hmmm, surprise???”.

Anyway, this post is about good surprises, so you can already sigh with relief. Let me get to it. Today I saw an e-mail from a friend which briefly mentioned “blind tasting”. Okay, as the whole e-mail was about something else, I ignored that “blind tasting” part. Then, when I heard the entrance door opening and closing, I figured that my friend had arrived. By the time I got downstairs to the kitchen, I was greeted with this:

Yes, call me slow, but only now I realized that the “blind tasting” part was related to me and that the bottle is actually waiting for me.

Okay, so double blind tasting – I’ve done that before, it was fun, so yes, let’s do it again. The cork is out, wine goes into the glass. Perfect fresh ruby color, bright and inviting. Fresh, very fresh raspberries on the nose, some hint of sweetness – based on the initial assessment, the wine appears to be young and gives an expectation of being somewhat lighter on the palate. Also, the nose has that touch of green (really a touch) and earthiness. My friend is impatiently pacing back and force – “what can you say, what can you say” she rather demands.

Okay, I think it is a young wine, 2 to 3 years of age. Also, based on the nose and appearance, my guess is that it is one of he local wines – Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York Hudson Valley – my thought is that it is one of the indigenous varieties, like Chambourcin or Marital Foch.

She seems to be satisfied with my assessment, and we are moving on. On the palate, the wine shows some cherries and raspberries, and somewhat unusual (for me) tannins, in a very front of the mouth (I believe the wine spent time in oak, but I’m curious what type of oak it was exactly. Then the wine finishes with the hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. The wine is perfectly drinkable by itself, but should also nicely complement some charcuterie and lighter cheeses. All in all, it is a nice bottle of wine in my opinion, and I would put Drinkability at 7.

So now I’m allowed to remove the foil, and this is what I find:

As the back label says “made from the best California grapes”, I’m clearly out of luck with my varietal guess. But at least I got the place (totally by accident, but – WOW – the wine is from my home town, Stamford!!), and the age – it is 2010 vintage, so I’m right there with my 2-3 years old guess.

There you have it – as I mentioned many times in this blog, blind tastings are fun! I’m definitely impressed with the fact that the wine of this level can be produced by the amateur winemakers, but hey – everybody got to start somewhere!

Wishing you all great wine experiences! Cheers!

  1. PSsquared
    October 26, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I would be horrible at that game, but how fun for you! : )

    • talkavino
      October 26, 2012 at 7:19 am

      You should try – it is fun no matter if you are right or wrong. And the best version is to play together with friends- this is what we are doing periodically. Try it!

  2. October 26, 2012 at 12:45 am

    That is fun!!

    • talkavino
      October 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

      Yep! : )

  3. October 26, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Blindtastings are fun indeed 🙂

    • talkavino
      October 26, 2012 at 7:22 am

      Absolutely! Every time I’m humbled and very often, surprised, when the actual bottle is revealed…

  4. October 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I, too, like blind tastings! Fun and stressful…..

    • talkavino
      October 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Stressful? Not unless it is one of the master sommelier exams. Well, it can be, if you bet the money? : )

  5. October 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

    The use of aluminum foil to hide the bottle is a first for me! But so appropriate for the ‘homemade’ wine. Cheers to your friends for what appears to be a very nice bottle of wine!

    Blind tastings are a lot of fun, unfortunately for me, I generally am the host, so I rarely get the full experience.

    • talkavino
      October 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      I also host blind tastings quite often. All you need to do is to prepare the supply of brown bags, and as they arrive, all the guests put their bottles in the bags. After that, we usually ask kids to put random numbers on the bottles – that’s it.


      • October 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        …I need to find some kids to help out with blind tastings! thanks for the tip!

        • talkavino
          October 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

          well, you can substitute kids with an impartial adult – a someone who may be doesn’t drink…

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