February 2013 – Mystery Red Wines

February’s Taste To Learn event was a blind tasting of  7 Red Wines: 1. Cabernet Sauvignon, 2. Merlot, 3. Syrah/Shiraz, 4. Zinfandel, 5. Pinot Noir 6. Sangiovese 7.  Cabernet Franc. There were 8 varieties on the description sheet but only 7 wines tasted, so there was one extra, which was Malbec.

Normally when we drink wine we know what variety of grapes a wine was made with prior to tasting it. Because we know what we are about to taste, our brain pulls up all the memories and knowledge it has stored about what we might expect. Then as we taste the known variety of wine our brain stores more information that agrees with expectations or adds information for future reference.

Each attendee was given a sheet with a list of 8 major red wine varieties along with typical characteristics one might expect in regards to color, aromas, flavors, tastes, tannins etc.

But, this was really a challenge having to determine what varietal wine was being presented and tasted. Major red wine characteristics seemed to blur as many red varietals share some similar attributes. For example the Pinot Noir and Sangiovese were a little darker than one might expect and the Cabernet didn’t have as much tannin as expected. And there was no Malbec ! Everyone had fun and the conversations continued well past the end of the reveal.

Michael Stacey and Marty Wilhelm managed to determine 4 out of the seven correctly. Jerome got all seven correct but there had to have been some luck with that. Plus Mary added that Jerome put the bags  on the bottles. You might want to try this on your own when sharing some wine with friends see if you can determine what grape the wine was made from without looking at the bottle. Of course this is best done with 100% varietals as blends would be another challenge in themselves.

A. Syrah- Maryhill 2007 – $18

B. Merlot- Novelty Hill 2009 – $20

C. Sangiovese- Kaella 2010 – $25

D. Pinot Noir- H Wines 2011 – $23

E. Zinfandel- Starry Night 2008 – $14

F. Cabernet Sauvignon- Patit Creek 2009 – $20

G. Cabernet Franc- Martedi Wines 2009 – $30

There was no Malbec but many thought there was.

Mystery Red Wine -Taste To Learn

Mystery Red Wine -Taste To Learn