As you may know, my mom Marla, aka "Chardonnay Queen," is one of the preeminent Chardonnay aficionados in the world. Well, maybe not quite to that extent; but Chardonnay is her favorite type of wine.
Yet many people, including my mom, want to expand their wine horizons by trying new varietals. Accordingly, I saw an opportunity: combine my Mother's Day gift with a blog post and a fun game for our readers.
One common concern people have about trying a new wine is they’re worried they won’t like it and are hesitant to plop down money for an uncertain bet. However, I have a sure-fire way to discover new varietals without wasting your money – try a blind wine tasting at home!
Here are eight steps to hosting a blind wine tasting at home, as told through the story of my Mother’s Day gift.
1. First, decide how many new varietals you want to sample in your blind wine tasting at home. For my Mother’s Day gift, I decided to buy six bottles of white wine, each of a different varietal. The maximum price of each bottle was 15 dollars, in order to avoid wasting a lot of money on wines my mom might not enjoy. Naturally, the more people you’re going to try new varietals with, the cheaper the price is for everyone. 2. Determine what varietals you want in your blind wine tasting at home and purchase them. For instance, I chose some wines that aren’t as well known and one that I hadn’t even heard of. This makes the blind wine taste testing harder but also exposes you to a wider variety of new wines.
In our blind wine tasting, I purchased six bottles from our county liquor store. Initially, I planned on only purchasing five, but mom is worth it, right?! I bought a Portuguese Vinho Verde, a Spanish Albarino, a Greek Retsina, an Argentine Torrontes, a Gewurztraminer from Washington State, and an Italian Vermentino.
3. Here is where the fun comes into play in your blind wine tasting at home. You begin to blind taste test. My mother was my sole test taker. And no, friends, she did not consume all six bottles in one sitting. My mother is otherworldly, but not even the esteemed Chardonnay Queen is that impressive.
4. Have one friend - or wonderful son - serve as the designated pourer and record keeper. This person has the responsibility of filling the glasses with a taste of each wine and keeping which varietal in each wine glass a secret. I used six glasses with six different logos on them to tell the wines apart.
5. Decide how you want to conduct the blind wine taste test. Do you want to offer a list of the wines being poured? That will make it easier to match them up but it may be less fun. Or you can start the blind taste test with no hints and offer them if the participants become stumped. 6. The participants try each wine, and note their thoughts and preferences. They can also try to identify each wine.
For our tasting event, I lined up all six glasses for a horizontal blind wine taste testing. One by one, mom swirled, breathed in, and tasted the six wines (I also tried them). I asked her to try to guess which varietals she was drinking.
Here is how the blind wine taste testing went with my mom. Objectively, I didn't provide a word bank, which likely would have proven beneficial. Even without one, she was able to identify the Vinho Verde as well as the Gewurztraminer. Not too shabby!
7. After everyone has made note of their guesses, share the names of each varietal with the participants, so they know which wines they tried.
8. If you liked any of the new wines, buy them!
And there you have it on how to host a blind wine tasting at home. Whether celebrating a fun evening with family and friends or creating a special present for someone, you're guaranteed a great time and will likely end up having one or two new go-to varietals!
We hope you find this information on 8 steps to hosting a blind wine tasting at home useful. Please let us know how your next blind wine taste testing goes and what new varietals you fall in love with!
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