Wine Tasting Steps: July 2009 Archives

Blind Tasting 411

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by Courtney Cochran

Come on, admit it: you're dying to know. Just how do professional sommeliers identify the seemingly endless varieties of wine out there with just a quick sniff and a little taste? Allow me to enlighten you: it's not brain surgery.

People are constantly asking me how I can divine a Pinot from a Zin, tell a Riesling from a Sauvignon Blanc and ID that soupçon of chicken coop in my Chateauneuf du Pape. The answer is actually quite simple: practice! Just as it does for riding a bike, practice makes perfect for honing your blind tasting skills.

In fact, I'm quite sure that with a little practice lots more folks could master the art of blind tasting. Sure, it takes some professional insight and guidance at the get-go to make sure you're doing everything correctly, but once you've got that part squared away I think you'll be surprised by how decidedly un-mysterious tasting wine blindly can be.

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