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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!

The Grapevine: Learning About Wine

The Grapevine: Learning About Wine

In case you missed it, there was a great article on blind tasting in the Laurel of Asheville magazine!  The author, our own Gina Trippi, sites blind tasting as the best way to learn to taste wine like a pro.

I agree. To me, learning to describe the complex flavors in our favorite wines is the main reason to blind taste, learning to guess the grape and place is secondary.

Check out the whole article here!

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Meet the "Treasure Hunter" at the next Blind Tasting League!

Meet the "Treasure Hunter" at the next Blind Tasting League!

Many of you that frequent Metro Wines have tried the wines from Hunter Vogel, the "hunter" from "Treasure Hunter" wines. They are a favorite of ours, and if you ask us for a $20 wine that drinks like a $60 one, odds are very good that we would suggest one of his.

There is a reason that Hunter's wines are so good. He buys leftover wine from some of the top producers in the world. Producers that are so famous that they can actually make more money by selling less wine because the increased demand drives the price of the wines up. Basically, Hunter is able to buy leftover wine from producers like Caymus and Silver Oak and sell them for pennies on the dollar. The only catch is, he can't tell us who he bought them from. But it is a lot of fun to guess!

If you want to meet Hunter, you will get a chance at the next Blind Tasting League. We will feature two wines from Hunter's collection, but of course, we won't know which ones are his until after we taste them. Hunter will also be on hand to talk about his wines.

Come out on April the 5th at 6:00 for a chance to taste some really great wines and to meet the producer himself! 

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March 1st Blind Tasting Results

 Another sold out Blind Tasting League, and a high-scoring one at that! 

The Wine: Woodlands Chardonnay, Wilyabrup Valley, Australia, 2014

What we Tasted: Tart Apple, banana, Tropical Fruit, Pear, lemongrass, Steel, “Stale Water,” Vanilla, “Lemon Curd,” Ginger, Chalk, “Funky Smell,” Lemon/Citrus, Floral

What we Guessed: US Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Argentine Pinot Grigio

What we Thought: For the most part, our panel enjoyed this wine. Comments ranged from “Strong, but not complex,” and  “relatively simple” to “Enjoyable.” Although one taster said it was “too tart,” most agreed that this Australian Chardonnay was a nice alternative to the more common California Chardonnays.

 

The Wine: Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2016

What We Tasted: “Starburst Candy,” Smoky Apricot, “Bouquet of Flowers,” “Gooseberry,” banana, “Passion Fruit,” Grapefruit, “Fruity Minerals,” Mango, “Dragon Fruit,”

What we Guessed: While everyone guessed Sauvignon Blanc, we were divided about whether it was from New Zealand, Chile or California.

What we Thought: New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs can be a love it or hate it kind of thing, and our tasting panel was divided on this one. One taster shouted “Awesome!” after tasting it, while another scrunched up his nose and said “I don’t like it.” “Different” quipped another taster while another said it “needed food.” Regardless of whether they loved it or hated it, it was definitely a classic New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc.

 

The Wine: Pietralta Sangiovese, Chianti, Italy, 2015

What we Tasted: Black Cherry, “Truffles,” Cedar, “Sandalwood,” Black Pepper, Sour Cherry, “Wet Pavement,” Chalky, “Raspberry Taffy,” Spicy

What we Guessed: While one taster guessed Pinot Noir for this lighter than average Chianti, most of us were firmly in Italy. Nebbiolo was a common guess along with Barbera, while a few correctly guessed Sangiovese. I was sure this was Barbera.

What we Thought: Mostly we liked this lean and spicy Sangiovese. “I would like it with food,” said one taster, “So dry” said another at the high levels of acidity in the wine. Another mentioned that while she didn’t like the nose, it “smelled better than it tasted.” All in all, most of us agreed that it would happily keep pizza or bruschetta company!

 

The Wine: Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, California, 2014

What We Tasted: “Rubbing Alcohol,” Cherries, Honey, Nutmeg, “Pickle Juice,” Licorice, “Dried Fruit”, Molasses, “Minty,” “Dr. Pepper”

What we Guessed:  While almost all of us guessed new world and most of us guessed California specifically, we couldn’t agree on the varietal. Zinfandel was a popular guess, along with Merlot. There were a few guesses for Australian Shiraz and even a Grenache from Spain. No one actually guessed Cabernet on this soft, fruity wine.

What we Thought: Despite no one recognizing it as Cabernet, it was very popular with our group! “I would drink it while watching a movie” said one taster, “Likeable enough” said another and another said they liked it “better than the other one.” Although we had a few grumbles about the wine being overly soft and “like drinking felt” most enjoyed the wine. One taster said that it “tastes better the more of it you drink.” Don’t they all!

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February 1st Blind Tasting Results

Another great night of Blind Tasting, and I was on fire! I got 2 completely right and even though I was technically wrong on the last one, I'm still giving myself credit for it anyway. More on that later...

The Wine:  Perles de Sauvignon Blanc, South of France, 2015

What we Tasted: Pear, Grapefruit, Pineapple, “Gunflint,” “Grassy,” Pepper, Stone, “Butter,” “Lemon Drop Candy,” Hay

What we Guessed: Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, Italian Pinot Grigio, French or German Sauvignon Blanc

What we Thought: A rather lukewarm reaction to this wine. No one had a very strong reaction to this one, good or bad. “ I kinda like it” said one taster, “It’s drinkable” said another. One taster mentioned that “It grows on you”. Don’t they all?

 

The Wine: Moutard-Diligent Chardonnay, Burgundy, France, 2013

What we Tasted: Flowers, Green-Apple, “Musty-funky,” Grapefruit, “Socks,” Lemon Zest, “Box of Mushrooms,” “Curdled Cream,” “Cleaning Product,” Mineral, “Used Athletic Shoes”

What we Guessed: Italian  or French Pinot Grigio, White Burgundy

What we Thought: Despite the less than favorable sounding tasting notes, we actually liked this one! “I like it better than the last one” said one taster, “Me too” said another. “It needs food” mentioned one, and another said it was “different.” Different can be good, right? Anyway, it was a great example of a Northern Burgundy Chardonnay which most definitely needs food!

 

The Wine: Cune Crianza Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain, 2013

What we Tasted: Pepper, “Fennel,” Strawberry, Cherry, Chocolate, Smoke, Cinnamon

What we Guessed: Sardinian Grenache, California Merlot, Italian Sangiovese, Syrah, Italian Cab, Modern Styled Rioja. In full honesty, whenever I find myself completely unable to guess the grape or even whether it is Old World or New World, it is always Spanish Tempranillo. I guessed Rioja here because I was totally clueless.

What we Thought: This was probably the most popular wine of the night! Everybody had something nice to say about this superbly balanced red. “good with food or on its own” said one taster, “Crowd pleaser” said another. Although one of our group said it was “not for me,” it was a pretty big hit with our panel.

 

The Wine: Meiomi Pinot Noir, Monterey, Sonoma, Santa Barbara Counties, California, 2015

What we Tasted: Pepper, “Diesel Fuel,” Black Cherry, “Lawnmower Tire,” “Cedar Cigar Box,” “Jam,” “Gun Oil,” “Tree Bark,” Tobacco, “Anchovy Paste,” Violets, “Teriyaki flavored Beef Jerky”

What we Guessed: Australian Shiraz, California Zinfandel, Sangiovese, California Cabernet, South African Shiraz

What we Thought: Another very popular wine with our tasters, although nobody guessed that it was Pinot Noir. In truth, I didn’t think it tasted much like Pinot Noir at all, big and rich, with a smoky, jammy, meaty flavor. Rumor has it that Meiomi is blending in as much Syrah as they legally can without having to call it a red blend. In California, that’s 25%! That’s why I gave every one who guessed Syrah credit for this one!

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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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