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© 2015 Wolfgang Bitterolf
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October 28, 2015

Blind Wine Tasting

The purpose of blind wine tasting is to eliminate all variables except the experience of the wine itself - eliminate the brand, the vineyard, the grapes, the price, the hype, the label, the origin, even the opinion of others. It will tell you what wines you REALLY like.

Here is how you do a blind wine tasting:

1. Select the wines you want to taste. I recommend not to do more than three at a time.

2. Remove the COMPLETE foil of every bottle you are going to taste - it may be recognizable.

3. Remove the cork and replace it with a stopper. A cork may help to recognize a wine.

4. Put all three bottles in a paper bag cutting the bag so that just about 1/2 to 1 inch of the bottle protrudes from the bag. Close the bag near the top with adhesive tape or rubber bands. That eliminates the variables of brand, producer, price, etc.

5. Shuffle the bagged bottles around, then mark them with A3, B2 and C1. The reason for this apparently goofy marking is to eliminate another variable - many people thing that 1 or A is better than 2 or B.

6. Download the ''Winedabbler's Wonderful Winetasting Widget", a PDF file, and print out as many copies as you need.

7. Place them on the tasting table with a pencil or pen.

8. Place three matching glasses on each widget. If you don't have enough same glasses for everyone, then use different ones as long as long as every taster has three matching glasses. Different glasses can have an effect on nose and taste, but if a taster's glasses are all equal that variable is eliminated.

9. Pour a more or less equal amount of wine in each glass making sure that bottle A3 goes into glass A3, bottle B2 into glass B2, and so on.

10. Now the tasting starts, and here comes the most important part of it: EVERYBODY HAS TO BE QUIET DURING THE TASTING. This eliminates the variable of other people's opinion. If you have someone in your group who is considered an ''expert'' and he says ''wow'' tasting B2 everyone else may think that B2 is the best wine in the lot. Being quiet eliminates this variable.

11. When tasting make sure you always return each glass to its designated spot on the widget.

12. Have everybody rank the wines - the one they like best, second and least.

13. Adding comments about the suttleties of the wine, it's nose and other aspects is optional.

14. Once everyone has competed the information it is time to ''reveal'' the wines - remove the bags and then you will see the results of your blind tasting. Write down the brand, varietal and vintage of each wine at the bottom of the widget and then look at the results.

We have done this a number of times, and sometimes the results are very surprising!

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