Blind wine tasting – or “the systematic approach” as it’s termed by the WSET – is 99% determination, 1% inebriation. The system itself is so structured, even down to the type of glassware, so as to enable the blind tester to identify certain flavor characteristics of the wine being tasted. As wine enthusiasts and students, we spend a lot of class time in serious contemplation, zeroing in on the mystery of flavor and aromas. After tasting, we try to determine what country the wine comes from, the region, and the type of grape.
There’s a certain camaraderie when you’re all spitting out at the same time. But make no mistake: we’re a group of competitive overachievers! Things get really entertaining during the discussions that follow, when everyone shares their perspectives on the wines in question and hopes that their observations are on track. I have to admit, it does feel good to get some or most of the details correct.
And as for spitting out expensive wine – that’s definitely a talent that will always be under professional development status.