Conclusion: I'm not very good at blind tastings

Blind tastings. Pretty intimidating for the casual wine drinker. Hell, it's pretty intimidating for those who have dabbled in the industry and passed certifications! But I'm no professional.

The Young Winos and Weygandt Wines co-hosted a blind tasting last night where we featured Loire Valley wines up against the same grapes from different regions. People were allowed to bring their own bottle of  popular Loire grapes to compare. All wines were in paper bags, keeping them completely anonymous to the tasters, labeled only by numbers.

Tasting sheets were provided so we could guess each wine as we tasted. There were 12 wines total, from all over the world. As we tasted we didn't know if it was in fact a French or a New World wine, that was completely up to us to guess. Grapes, styles, wine terms were all being thrown around loosely as we talked about what the wine could possibly be. Having no guidance other than knowing that the grapes are grown in the Loire Valley made it hard to narrow down for most of us! Loire Valley is the most diverse region in France, growing nearly 15 different grapes. It's also very diverse due to the fact that it is a large region with many different types of soils and climates. This didn't help in guessing the wines.

However, it was great to discuss with other Winos their thoughts on what it could be and why. A lot of knowledge was shared and questions answered. We were learning from each other, exactly how wine tastings should be, in my opinion.

Once all of the wines were revealed, many of us were wrong in our guesses but hey, that's ok! I didn't expect to be right, I expected to learn things I didn't know, taste different wines side by side to see how they compare and maybe come across a new variety!

All in all, those things were accomplished. I had never tasted Pinot D'Aunis (that I know of) and luckily that was Number 3 as a rosé. Pinot D'Aunis is a lesser known grape variety that is grown in the Loire Valley and this particular wine was from the Touraine region, on the eastern side of the Valley. One wine that got a lot of attention was the Celler Escoda-Sanahuja, a Chenin Blanc from Spain. This Chenin Blanc had the weirdest nose I've ever smelt. Strong aromas of burnt popcorn were prevalent and others noted "woof" as their remark. Needless to say, this was a rather harsh white wine and no one knew what grape or where it was from. Who knew it was a Chenin Blanc?!

Conclusion: I suck at blind tasting especially when the options are endless! Maybe I'd be better with multiple choice options ;) I do, however, love that it's a great learning experience from fellow winos and professionals alike. The only way to improve...DRINK MORE!

Full tasting lineup

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