On December 10, eighty-five wine professionals, wine aficionados, and wine-curious friends gathered at the home of Palate Press Publisher David Honig for the 2010 Palate Press Grand Tasting, an evening of blind wine tasting. We opened 135 different wines from around the world, from Ahr to the Yakima Valley, and from Assyrtiko to Zinfandel.
When most people imagine visiting a winery certain things come to mind. Sunlight shimmering off rolling green hills covered in row after row of grape vines. Tastings of newly released handcrafted wines. Guided tours through rooms filled with rows of pristine barrels.
The Wine Trials 2011 is an interesting book. It has two basic premises, which it purports to support with scientific research. The first is that people, both wine experts and regular wine consumers, are so subject to the placebo effect that they cannot accurately judge the wines they like without tasting them – blind. The second is that people, when tasting wine blind, prefer inexpensive wines to their more costly brethren. Indeed, they go so far as to say there is no reason to purchase expensive wines. Therefore, they limit their reviews to wines that retail for $15 or less. The book is broken up into two sections, a discussion of methodology and support for the underlying hypothesis, and the reviews. This review will be similarly divided.
I had just finished my Intro Sommelier course and was determined to distinguish the difference in aroma of all the different flower colors. How else was I expected to know “white roses” from “yellow roses” during my next exam? So I began to smell.