If you are at all a wine lover, you have been to one or more of the many wine events that are staged every week at wine bars, restaurants, hotels, parks and wineries. Well, you too can be a wine host, and with the approaching year-end holidays, your friends will thank you for the chance to get together at the ultimate wine party, the Drink Yourself Blind-Name That Wine!
Pick out a dozen or so friendly couples who love to sip, and talk about what they have sipped. Make a contest of it by wrapping 10 or 12 bottles, preferably all red wines, in bags. Be sure to keep all the wines a secret. (A Blind Tasting!)
Pick wines from all over the world. Be sure to include: Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Temecula in California. Then go to Oregon and Washington, France, Italy, South America and Spain. The Varietals should all be different: a Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Malbec and the list goes on. Blends are hard to identify so avoid including them.
The person who matches the most bottles to their description and region wins. A great 1st prize is a big bottle like a magnum or larger. This really motivates guests to match up the correct answers.
Tear away the bags and reveal all the wines. There will be lots of groans for those that missed their favorites or thought a Zin was really a Merlot. This is one of the most entertaining ways to taste test palates and learn from a true wine experience.
As host, you should supply appetizers before and during the tasting and water for cleaning glasses between tastes. Choose wines in a price range of $12 (Malbecs) to $50 (Cabernets).
Mistakes to avoid:
Make sure the glassware is the same size and distribute pours evenly to guests.
Don’t burn candles or use air fresheners, as they will distort the scent of the wines.
Make sure the red wines are cooled at less than room temperature (or just slightly cooler than 72 degrees).
Start planning your “Drink Yourself Blind” Wine Party for the holidays. It takes wine tasting to a whole new level!
Courtesy of Frank Mango – renowned San Diego wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.
Reach him at [email protected]