Best Format for a Wine Tasting

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Bill S.
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Joined: September 5th, 2017, 6:15 pm

Best Format for a Wine Tasting

#1 Post by Bill S. » September 28th, 2017, 5:02 pm

Was wondering what y'all think is the best format for a wine tasting group? I have heard and seen groups that taste by region, grape, style and variations on all three.

The best one I believe is a group in South Carolina that has the members buy two bottles, not to exceed $20/ea, of the same wine in the style/region of the month. One bottle is used for the tasting the other goes into a collection. Whoever's bottle is voted the best of the tasting gets the entire collection to take home. This ensures that everyone tries to pickout the best bottle they can for the tasting.

Let me know your thoughts.
Bill Stell ITB

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Ian Sutton
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Location: Norwich, UK

Best Format for a Wine Tasting

#2 Post by Ian Sutton » September 30th, 2017, 3:03 pm

Hi Bill
All good options, though I've not seen the 'winner takes all' idea before. Probably best with a group who couldn't play a round of golf without side bets!

I posted some thoughts previously here
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=107355&hilit=tasti ... p#p1597458

As for the best, I'd say the best is one the whole group is happy with e.g. some get stressed by blind tasting, whilst others believe it's the only way to the truth of what people think. Back when I started, we had the wines open, but I knew so little it didn't matter!

Normal for Norfolk

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Mike Kuller
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Location: East SF Bay Area

Re: Best Format for a Wine Tasting

#3 Post by Mike Kuller » September 6th, 2018, 3:32 pm

Our 6 member group has been meeting monthly for about 8 years now.

We each bring a bottle of wine (whichever varietal, region, price range, year, etc), bag them and taste them blind over about an hour or hour and a half. We talk about all sorts of things but not the wines. And not too much politics since people from both sides are represented.

We fill out a score sheet, rating them between "1" for our favorite and "6" for the least favorite. When we are done, the scores are tallied and we open them from 6 to 1 discussing our tasting notes before it's unveiled.

The winner takes home a "Wine of the Month" trophy with a wine glass on top and has bragging rights. [cheers.gif]
No Vino Sin Cojones

Rob Weaver
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Re: Best Format for a Wine Tasting

#4 Post by Rob Weaver » September 16th, 2018, 12:12 pm

Similar to what Mike posted, meet once a week, all wine tasted blind, everybody makes their call, reveal and move on to next Wine. At end of night group picks top 3. There is always a theme, usually minimum price as in 40+ etc. anything goes, but there is a bit of good natured shaming if you are clearly doing some cellar thinning.

Sometimes we will focus on a region, sometimes one variety vs another.

Four times a year we have a trophy event with the crown jewel being the super bowl. Naturally the winner gets name and wine on trophy and keeps it until the next event. Of course trash talking leading up to such events is good fun, but the wine is stellar as no one holds anything back.

It’s been quite a bit of fun and education over the years. One of the highlights of my week.

R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N
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Re: Best Format for a Wine Tasting

#5 Post by R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N » December 30th, 2018, 5:39 pm

There are many approaches. I prefer to structure flights or tastings so that I learn something as well as enjoy. That usually means a regional, varietal, horizontal or vertical component. If having a dinner each flight can have a theme. By mixing up the themes, I've found that I've learned a lot about what I like or don't like and how wines differ and evolve. Some times it's just fun to have a free for all as well but I find I enjoy some kind of structure to the selection.

Blind tasting is very effective, but I tent to not want to be that rigorous these days, but rather enjoy the wines and make note of casual impressions vs. WSET style notes. e.g. YUM

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