Blind Wine Tasting: A How-To

Blind wine tasting is the only way to prove whether you genuinely like a wine. Follow these instructions, and you can make a party of it. First, have four to six friends pitch in $20 and tapas.

The Wine

Here are a few basic wine themes to get you started. Pick one or two of these categories, then go buy two to three bottles for each.

1. Same wine, different year
2. Same grape, different countries
3. Same vineyard, different wines
4. Wines under $12

Set Up
– White background (tablecloth works well) to observe the wine’s colour
– Enough glasses (of the same size) per person for each wine
– Bread for palette cleansing
– Brown bags to disguise the wines
– Something to act as a spittoon (no, not the shoes of the guy who never paid his $20!)
– Paper and pens for people to record their observations

Tasting Bare Basics

Pour no more than 2-oz. measures. Reds should be room temperature, whites chilled. Serve young before old, light before heavy (wines not people).

Step 1: Engage your senses and get descriptive.
Step 2: Tilt glass against a white background to assess colour.
Step 3: Swirl the wine to release its bouquet. Stick nose right into the glass and inhale deeply.
Step 4: Sip, roll it around your tongue, spit or swallow.

Repeat steps 1 through 4 for all wines, eating a small piece of bread between each glass. Record observations throughout.

Step 5:
Unveil the wines. Discuss. Did Sheila love the reds when she swears she only drinks whites? Did the $12 bottle win over the $25? Was wine snob Clarence off the mark on his guesses? Enjoy.

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