As you recently read, I was attending a wine tasting party this past weekend where all the tastings are done blind. Everything is decanted and numbered, and you just taste your way through, trying to guess varietal, while voting for your favorites. I love this event, these hosts, and this type of party in general. Your preconceived notions of what you think you like can always be challenged. I ended up submitting a Bordeaux Blend called Lillie's Claret, by Guenoc, $14.99 at Bevmo. I've liked it as a weekday wine….but at the party, I only ranked it a 3 on a 5 point scale. Let it be known, however, I am a stuffy ranker.
I liked the ability at this party to have what I liked immediately jump out at me. Out of 17 that I tasted, I only ranked one a 5 and two I gave a ranking of 4, about 3 I gave a ranking of 3, the rest were 2s or 1s. Right away I knew the wines I enjoyed most. I will go out and make some purchases, but I find it interesting that out of 17 I'd only go out and buy 3 of these wines. That's probably typical, I'd guess.
So, I bet you are wondering what I liked, aren't you? Was I surprised by my preferences, not really. I still don't like Pinot (unless they are super expensive), as I've written before, and my scores echoed that, but, I do like cabs…and my scores echoed that as well. First place for me was a 2008 Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon, Four Bears, Napa. It was purchased at Taylor's Market in Sacramento for $14.97. I have never even heard of that wine before (that was my first new discovery from the party). Second Place was 2009 Decoy, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. Decoy is produced by Duckhorn as their lower end cab, and I have to say, it was really good. You can find it at Safeway for about $20, and many times I have looked at it and thought I should try it but thought it would be a disappointment, as I love Duckhorn high end cab (this was my 2nd new discovery). Third place for me (and my third new discovery) went to a red blend (I historically like blends) called 2009 Powder Keg Blend, Demolition Red, California. I've got to find out where to buy that one (guessing TJ), as well as the price. What I liked about this wine was that it had a very interesting flavor. It was smoky, kind of like a pinotage, but it had flavors of bacon and fruit, which I found to be very unique. When tasting a lot of reds that have similar profiles, this one definitely stood out to me.
I guess I'd wrap this up by saying that trying new wines is ALWAYS an adventure; it can be very worth your while. Sure you will encounter many wines you do not care for, but you may just find a new favorite. Be adventurous! Remember, you've gotta kiss a lot of toads! xoxoSusan