Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blind Tasting

Professionals at work
This weekend my "formal" wine group Confrerie des Vignerons de St. Vincent Macon held a "blind" tasting of 10 Oregon Pinot Noir wines. By blind I don't mean that you needed a seeing eye dog to attend. Tasting blind means that you conceal the identity of the wines you are tasting and you judge on taste alone. The quality of the wine has to stand on its own and just because the producer is reknowned or that the label happens to be a cute animal is not going to carry the day in one of these events.
Like the "Unknown Comic", except for wine
The great thing about these events is that you really get a chance to smell and taste and throw out random comments about how stuff tastes. The downside is when you have the winemakers in attendance (we had three) you just hope that none of the wines they brought is going to be an embarrassment (none were).
The only REALLY funky wine of the night was a 2001 Panther Creek-Bednarik Vineyard that tasted like a slightly older Bordeaux (kind of a "barnyard meets saddle leather" not exactly what I am looking for in a Pinot Noir).

Tasting or drinking?

My winemaking friends Tom Harvey and Andria Shirk were able to attend the event. What made that special is we had spent the morning bottling our own 2006 Holstein Vineyard-Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and we were throwing it into the event as well. Just for good measure we also tossed in our 2005 vintage of that same wine. If you click on the below photo you can see my notes of the tasting. We ended up being really happy with how our wines showed. The 2006 needs some time in a dark, cool place. I want to see how this shows after a year in the bottle.



Foodycat said...

I suck at that game. My palate goes as far as "That tastes nice" and I can pick various different aromas but I haven't got them tied to the bit of my brain that says "This is what pinot noir tastes like". And yet the more I practice the harder it gets...

Norm Schoen said...

Foodycat-It took me until I was in my 40's to have the light finally turn "on". All I can say is practice, practice, practice ;)