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  • Writer's pictureKate Simpson

Great Red Varietals - A Double Blind Tasting

The ultimate taste test: with no guide ropes of which country or region the wine might be from, or even whether it might be New World or Old World, or which grape it might be, can you guess these eight wines from bouquet and palate alone?

And that would be a Big Fat Nope from me!

All we knew going in was that these were eight red varietals and that none of them were under $50 a bottle. Apparently I need a lot more guidance than that to guess correctly at even grape, let alone country! But how did you do?

The scores were out of a possible 24 points: guess correctly the grape, country and region for each wine. Our top scorer this evening got just over half the points available - an amazing skill in my book. But few seem to have found this tasting easy!

Sadly tonight's speaker had to drop out at the last minute, but our very own Rick Wood stepped in to run through how to identify wines from the nose and taste (thanks Rick!). It involves remembering some key details about certain grapes such as: how chocolatey Malbec can sometimes taste, how spicy Shiraz can be, how much lighter Pinot Noir is in colour than other wines.

It was extremely tough even to identify my favourite wines on the table - what wines am I a huge fan of? Surely that will help me guess more accurately? Not as much as I'd thought. It ended up being slightly easier to identify the wines I didn't much care for out of the eight by identifying grapes and regions that I am not usually a fan of. I did come away with some more insights about the wines I like and dislike this evening. And also that I should give up on any aspirations to become a professional wine taster.

Here was our line-up:

Some Great Red Varietals in this line-up for sure. Just surprising that I can't distinguish my French from my Italian faves yet. More practice needed!

And here are the answers to our double blind wines. There were huge discrepancies between tables this evening so take the Group scores with as much or as little salt as you like!

And please see the original tasting notes (including redactions!) for this evening's eight wines below:

Download PDF • 109KB

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