Saturday, June 25, 2011


I think I've created a monster, or rather, a few monsters.

I was soooooo inspired by my tasting last week that I surprised my friends with an impromptu tasting of three red wines during a dinner party last night. I presented the wines blind, poured everyone a taste and encouraged them to take a drink. Now I'm not sure what happened exactly, but this novel activity must have set off some sort of competitive chord in their brains because...I swear before I could say a word...I had 5 people earnestly declaring which type of wine they thought it was. When I was able to get in a few words before the next sample, I tried to get them off of the guessing game. “Tell us which one you liked best and why, that’s all.” This didn’t work at all. They continued to profess they knew what wine it was after each sample was poured, and unfortunately, they were overwhelmingly wrong.

Considering that none of these folks are wine tasting professionals, I was certainly not surprised when they had trouble determining what wine was what. I’m absolutely sure I would have had the same problem had I not known ALL THREE were Zinfandels. See, I was just trying to show how differently the same grape can be expressed. And I guess I managed to succeed in doing just that, what with all the incorrect guesses coming from the group. But I feel kind of sneaky, particularly when some of the tasters appeared to be chagrined for mistaking a Zinfandel for a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir. For God's sake, they shouldn’t feel bad at all! Most people who regularly enjoy wine would probably be in the same boat. And besides, nobody likes a know-it-all anyway. (not that I would know anything about that...)

Props go to George, who incidentally drinks the least amount of wine in the group, for correctly identifying one of the wines as the exact same wine I had sent home with his wife, Kim, after last week’s tasting. He spotted it right off, but Kim was the one who remembered it was a Zin. And also to Darren, my husband, for correctly identifying one of the wines as a Zin (a different one than George). It is Darren’s preferred varietal so he was bound to spot one of them. No one else guessed Zinfandel.

I've considered providing a bit more info on the wines and establishing some helpful groundrules in case I've scared off my tasters, but with goofballs like Darren and George (see picture above), I really don’t think that’s a concern.

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