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At each Blind Tasting League gathering, using the techniques of the masters, you will learn how to identify the grape, country of origin and more and more as we progress through the wide world of wine. You can pick and choose the classes but the more you come, the more you learn!

January 4th Blind Tasting Results

It was another busy night at the Blind Tasting League, with a huge turnout! Wine was flowing, opinions and guesses were flying, and not a blindfold in sight. Read on to see what we guessed.

The WIne: Reserve des Vignerons Chenin Blanc, Saumur, France, 2015

What we tasted: Grapefruit, Kiwi, bell pepper, "Musk", Slate, Pineapple, Jalapeno, Asparagus, Pineapple

What we Guessed: Dry German Riesling, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Most everyone guessed Sauvignon Blanc, although we were divided between New Zealand and Loire Valley.

What we thought: This wine got a cool response from our tasting panel. "Ok" said one taster, "Needs food" said another. Another taster said she "would drink it, but wouldn't reorder it". Still not a bad showing for a very affordable wine that definitely does need food with it!

The Wine: Rock Wall Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County, California, 2014

What we tasted: melon, Pear, "chalky", "Sweet Cream", "grapefruit Peel", Wet Stone, "Granny Smith Apple", Almond, "Fennel" Peach, Pineapple, "Febreezey", "over-ripe canteloupe"

What we Guessed: West Coast Chardonnay, oregon Pinot Gris, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

What we Thought: This one was a hit with our crowd. It had a great nose that we enjoyed. "Nice" said one taster, "Good with or without food" said another.  Overall a good showing.

The Wine: Famille Amirault grosbois Cabernet Franc, Saint Nicholas de Bourgueil, France, 2013

What we tasted: "Basement", "Paint", "Ether", Cranberry, Pepper, Tar, Leather, barnyard, "Rose Petals", Olives, "Undergrowth", French Oak, Goji berry.

What we Guessed: French Gamay, Sangiovese, US cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo, barbera

What we Thought: We were really divided on this one, our tasters either loved it or hated it. "Awful" said one taster, "Vinegary" said another.  One conceded that "it would taste better with food" and another eventually mentioned that "it grows on you". I really enjoyed this wine, although it definitely needs food and you need to like acidic, earthy wines to appreciate this one.

the Wine: Woop Woop Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, 2014

What we Tasted: "Asian Food", Butter, Tobacco, "nutty", Pepper, "Cornichon Pickles", Dark Berries, "New leather in a car", "Lit Cigar", Black Cherry

What we Guessed: Washington State Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot, "Low quality Tempranillo"

What we Thought: We mostly liked this one. "Smells good" said one taster, another said they "like it a lot". A few others were on the fence about it. One said that it was just "ok" and another said that it "starts smooth, but finishes harsh". It definitely didn't remind me of the typical jammy, Aussie Shiraz.

 

 

 

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December 7th Blind Tasting Results

Another great night with some very enjoyable wines that really stumped our panel!

The Wine: La Viarte Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy, 2015

What we tasted: Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Slate, "Circus Peanuts Candy," Petunias, Green Bell Pepper, Pineapple, Celery, Pear and Asparagus

What we Guessed: Washington State Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley Chenin Blanc

What we Thought: This one stumped us all. I usually think of Pinot Grigio as the "lightbeer of the wine world" and this one threw everyone off with its crisp minerality and intense acidity. Most of us really enjoyed it. "I like it but not a long finish" said one, "this would be a great wine to begin with" said another. One taster suggested serving it with oysters. We were all very impressed with this wine although no one guessed that it was Pinot Grigio.

The Wine: Bacchus Chardonnay, California, 2014

What we Tasted: "Fruity-floral", apricots, "Dryer Sheet", Passion Fruit, "Marshmallows", "Vick's Vapo-Rub", Roses, "Orange blossom-Honey"

What we Guessed: Alsatian Gewurztraminer, Southern French Viognier, California Chardonnay

What we Thought: We were stumped by this one as well. Only one taster guessed Chardonnay. This wine has an impressive, if somewhat un-Chardonnay like nose to it. As one taster commented, "Profoundly aromatic".  While we loved the nose, quality wise we were divided on this one. While some said they "Liked it" and one said "it would pair with Shrimp Scampi", others liked it less. One said it wasn't her "fave", and another said it "would give her a headache" if she drank too much of it. Overall, not a bad showing for an affordable Chardonnay.

 

The Wine: Flor de Montgo Tempranillo, Tierra de la Castilla, Spain, 2013

What we Tasted:  Paint Thinner, Black Currant, Black Cherry, Twizzlers, "Good Spicy oak", Dark plum, Prunes, "Horse Blanket", Portobello Mushroom, "Clay", "Wet Brick"

What we Guessed: Paso Robles Zinfandel, Lodi Zinfandel, California Cabernet Sauvignon, California Pinot Noir, Spanish Tempranillo.

What we Thought: We really enjoyed this one, but we only had one person guess this as Tempranillo. We mostly thought this was a new world wine. This wine had a really great nose for such an affordable bottle, but it was much bigger and fruitier than what we expected from Spanish Tempranillo. One taster commented that it would work well with a big steak.

The Wine: Catena Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina, 2011

What we Tasted: "Tanned Leather", "Cigar Smoke", Black Cherry, Wood Dust, Tobacco, Vanilla, Sour Cherry

What we Guessed: Italian Sangiovese, California Pinot Noir, Piemontese Barbera

What we Thought: While we enjoyed this one, most of us were on the wrong continent on this one. Almost everyone thought this was Italian, I'm blaming the age of the wine and the famously cool and damp 2011 Vintage for that. While we were surprised to see that it was an Argentine Cabernet, we generally enjoyed it. "Good stuff" was one comment, "I like it" said another taster. One taster commented that it needed "a hunk of prime rib." Definitely not the flavors I typically associate with New World Cabernet, but an enjoyable wine nonetheless!

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November 2nd Blind Tasting Results

Another great round of Blind Tasting fun! Almost all of us got the first two right and almost all of us missed the last two. In case you missed it, here are our guesses and tasting notes.

 

The Wine: Le Grand St. Vincent Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine, Loire Valley, France, 2015

What we Tasted: "Big, huge grapefruit", "Green Peas", Lychee, Tropical Fruits, Grassy, "steeliness", Stone, "Sour Patch Kids Candy", "Smells like and old washcloth" (He had a cold).

What we Guessed: Everyone guessed Sauvignon Blanc on this one. We disagreed on where it was from though. Most thought it was from New Zealand due to the grapefruity nose it showed, although a few guessed France correctly.

What we Thought: Most everyone enjoyed this wine, although some said that it "needs food" or needed a "Piece of fish" to go with it. While it certainly would go well with seafood, one said that it would be "good on a hot day" and would be good all on its own.

 

The Wine: Thomas Henry Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California, 2015

What we Tasted: Pear, "Very ripe apple", "Butterscotch", "more loamy than red Georgia clay earth", "Cinnamon/clove", "Funky fungal", "apple pie/baked apple", "Bamboo rocks", "Rome or winesap apples"

What we Guessed:  Everybody guessed Chardonnay as soon as we smelled the oak but we differed on where it was from. Most of us thought it was from California, but a few didn't think it was oakey enough. They thought it was from South America.

What we Thought: Our tasting crowd mostly liked this one, although one confessed to not being "into oaked wines". One taster said they "like it", another said it was "ok" and another still said it was just "drinkable".

 

The Wine: Domaine Dupeuble Gamay, Beaujolais, FRance, 2015

What we Tasted: Cherry, Cranberry, "off brand Twizzler", "Blackberry Tart", "Sour Cherry Pie", roses, "Pink Peppercorns", "Cherry Cough Syrup", "Wax Lips", "Assorted Nerds Candy"

What we Guessed: Syrah, South African Pinot Noir, Tuscan Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, "Cheap pinot Noir", Nebbiolo

What we Thought: Our tasters were split on this one.  "I don't like it" said one taster, "It would be better with food" said another, "I really like it" said another. A few said it was "ok" and "meh" said another. After some tasting, most of us agreed that it was a pretty good Pinot Noir Substitute.

The Wine: Santa Carolina Pinot Noir Reserva, Chile, 2015

What we Tasted: "a little stinky," "Oysters", "Seaweed", "Beet Juice", "Smoky bacon fat", "Hoisin/Soy Sauce", "Mucky soil", "Black Tea", "Wet Tree Bark", Leather & Dust.

What we Guessed: Tempranillo, "Something Spanish", South African Cabernet Franc.

What we Thought: Most of us enjoyed this one as well, although a few of us thought it tasted a little "strange". This smoky, Chilean Pinot had some very interesting flavors that didn't make anyone immediately guess Pinot Noir. "I like it" said one taster. "It would be perfect with dark chocolate" said another. We all agreed that it was a pretty solid wine for the price, although one commented that they "wouldn't buy a case" of it.

 

 

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October 5th Blind Tasting Results

It was another fun, high-energy tasting and our panel really brought their taste buds! It was a high scoring game with a lot of correct guesses throughout the evening. It was also a personal best for me, getting 3 out of 4 right! Sorry for the bragging, I'm usually proud of myself if I get 1 or 2 right.

Here are the notes from our October session.

The Wine: Pierre Sparr Riesling, Alsace, France, 2014

What we tasted: Pear, Melon, Pineapple, "Elderflower", Concrete, "Beach-Ball", Honeysuckle, "Hint of lemon and stale water", Honeydew melon, Apple and "Way Citrus"

What We Guessed: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Alsatian Riesling

What we Thought: One of my favorite wines, but not as popular with our tasting panel. "Not my fav" said one taster, "A little sour" said another. One mentioned that it might taste better "with some food". Despite all of the mediocre reviews, there were several tasters who later said that this was their favorite of the night!

The Wine: Indaba Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa, 2015

What we tasted: "Looks like City-Water", Floral, Pear, Meyer Lemon, Faint Honey, "Gin", Juniper, Metallic, Ash, Pepper

What we Guessed: Italian Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Calufornia Viognier, Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc

What we Thought: The jury was split on this little South African gem. "I like that" one taster said, another mentioned that she liked it "the more I taste it." Another commented that they didn't "love it." Overall most agreed that it was pretty good for a bargain priced Sauvignon Blanc.

The Wine: Mud House Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2013

What we Tasted: "Peppery, sour-cherry," Mineral, Fig, "Stewed Cherry," Chalky, "Maple Syrup," "Something warm and sweet," Leather

What we Guessed: Young Bordeaux, "Old, poor-quality gamay", German Pinot Noir, Italian Barbera, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, California Pinot Noir

What we Thought: This one wasn't as big of a hit with our crew as the others. One taster said it tasted "watered down." "Too short in the finish" complained another. Another said "I liked it at first but it offends me the more I taste it." There were a few who said that they "Liked it ok," but most of the comments on this one were negative. It's hard to make good Pinot Noir under $15.

The Wine: Artadi Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain, 2014

What we Tasted: Cassis, Violets, Star Anise, "Grape Bubble-Gum," "Welch's Grape Juice," "Somthing Burned," Mint, "Nerds Candy"

What we Guessed: Grenache, Tempranillo, Australian Shiraz, Argentine Malbec.

What we Thought: Our Tasting Panel was divided on this one as well. Some tasters really liked it, while others hated it. "I"m gonna drink it, but I don't care for it" was one comment, while another said that it "tastes better the more I drink of it." Don't they all! While some tasters dumped this one out, others said it was one of their favorites in the lineup. This is a great example of how different all of our taste buds are. value your own opinion and never let wine experts tell you what you should be drinking!

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September 7th Blind Tasting Results

Another high-energy tasting with home high scores and some low ones. I only got one right, but I got it exactly right! That should count at least double, right?

The Wine: Romanin Macon Villages CHardonnay, Burgundy, France, 2013

What we Tasted: Grapefruit, Green apple, Toasted Marshmallow, "Rotten Pineapple", Asparagus, Almond, "Sulfury-Honeysuckle", Pear, Granite, "Funky-Fungal", Tart Lemon.

What we Guessed: Italian Pinot Grigio, South African Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Loire Valley Chenin Blanc.

What we Thought: I was surprised by the earthiness of this wine. The Burgundian minerality was apparent in retrospect, but when I was tasting it I was thinking Spanish Grenache Blanc. Not an incredibly popular wine with our tasters, but some did like it. Everyone agreed that it might perform better with some food, but it really wasn't a porch sipper.

The Wine: Valckenburg Gewurztraminer, Pfalz, Germany, 2014

What we Tasted: Floral, Spicy, Sandy, Eucalyptus, Lychee, "Dial Soap", Perfume, Gardenia, "Musky Melon-y Honey".

What we Guessed: French Viognier, German Gewurztraminer, Pinot Grigio, German Riesling.

What we Thought: This one was more popular with our tasting crowd, although some said it was "too sweet". Most thought this aromatic wine would be "good with fruit and cheese" although another suggested it "would have to be paired with food". I personally enjoyed the perfumey nose on this wine and thought it would be great with Asian cuisine.

The Wine: Rickshaw Pinot Noir, California, 2014

What we Tasted: Cherry, Smoke, "Toasted Oak", Coffee, Blackberry, Mushrooms, Black Pepper, Tobacco, Cigar-Box, Wet Leaves, "Birch Bark", and "Figgy".

What we Guessed: California Pinot Noir, Piedmont Barbera, Syrah, Zinfandel, French Pinot Noir, and Oregon Pinot Noir.

What we Thought: This wine was very much enjoyed by our tasting panel! "It's easy to drink" said one taster, "We like it" said another group. One taster suggested it would be enjoyable "with or without food". In a time when it is getting challenging to find a good Pinot Noir under $20, we all agreed that this was an enjoyable Pinot Noir for $14.99.

The Wine: Shooting Star Zinfandel, mendocino County, California, 2012

What we Tasted: Minty, "Toothpaste", Eucalyptus, Hay, "Vicks VapoRub", Black Olives, "Strawberry Jelly", Violet, Clay, "Pine-Oil", and "Wet Cardboard".

What we Guessed: California Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Australian Shiraz, Red Meritage, nebbiolo.

What we Thought: This one was a little more controversial. Some of our tasters enjoyed the fruity, minty flavor, while others complained about the aftertaste. One taster complained that the wine "finished like peanut Butter", another said that it was "not a sipping wine" and suggested that it would need food to go along with it. One taster said she enjoyed it, but that it would have to be the "third bottle" consumed in a night. Like it or not, everyone agreed that it had a very "distinctive aroma", with an enjoyable minty smell to go along with the fruit. 

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