Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bottleshock'd into starting blind tasting early

As you might remember from last October, I try to taste wine blindly all month and call it my Blind Ambition Tour. (its driven from the fact my wine club has a annual blind tasting in October) Last year, I did not fare too well. I stunk up the place on reds, hardly getting any right, but did better with the whites. Even with that dismal outcome I decided I’m going to do it again this October.

Well, I thought we were going to wait until October. This weekend we started watching Bottleshock, which is about the famed 1976 blind tasting which put California wine on the map. Well, it inspired Mr. Lush to begin the Blind Ambition Tour a bit early, he decided to hide a bottle from me and make me guess.

Really? Already? Dang it. Ok. It’s a white. Taste, smell, taste. Hmm. For sure it’s a Chardonnay (that’s an easy guess) and we only have 3 or so Chardonnays at the moment, I think. I was pretty sure it wasn’t a California chard – at least not one we had because it had a bit more acid and less creamy mouthfeel than the Cali Chards we have. So I guessed “a chardonnay not from California”. In truth, I pretty much knew which one it was, the only non-California chard we had was from Western Australia. So, I got it right, but it was a pretty easy softball for my first one, simply because our white selection is limited.

So then the next night he tried it again. Don’t recognize it, but that doesn’t mean anything –since it’s a red unless we have it regularly I probably won’t recognize it. Ok, it doesn’t smell or taste full bodied enough for a cab, and it isn’t spicy, so is it a Merlot? Yep, it was the Cameron Hughes St. Emilion (merlot based red blend). Woo hoo, look at me! We’ll see if the success continues when I don’t know the possible selection so well- I'm guessing no. ;)

Well, I had to get him back last night when we finished watching Bottleshock. I brought out our last bottle of the Ballentine Zinfandel, a 2002. He didn’t guess it correctly but it was because he second guessed himself….. it was a bit unfair, I suppose, because the 2002 has had so much time to age that it doesn’t exhibit many of the typical characters of a zin – its not peppery or hot. Its had enough time to mellow out completely. (He said he thought it might be a zin, but it was just too mellow.)

So, I guess the Blind Ambition Tour is already underway. Wish us luck and feel free to play along by having your significant other or friend put the wine in a bag one night and you do it the next night so you can take turns guessing, and when you go to a wine bar or restaurant, ask the server to bring a glass of something and let you guess. But, don’t be embarrassed if you fail…..I mean, really, people take TESTS for this stuff. I expect I’ll do a bit better this year overall than I did last year, but I totally expect to get a ton wrong again.

Oh well, quests are fun, right?

1 comment:

Claire Uncorked said...

We don't blind taste enough, but every once in a while, we do with friends. Like everyone, I could use some work, but overall, I'm decent enough, I guess.

We just recently watched "Bottleshock". Oh, to have a palate like Gustavo!