What’s so special about a blind tasting?
Of course, for full disclosure, you’re talking about a tasting where the bottles are bagged or otherwise disguised so that no one will know what they’re putting in their mouths. While I’m not sure how special they are, blind tastings have two main objectives: 1) they offer professionals a chance to review a wine on its own merit without encouraging any bias or prejudice against the producer and/or country of origin; and 2) it gives wine geeks a chance to try and get their James Bond on by showing off their palate prowess as they attempt to determine what’s in their glass with only a few hints (maybe) and their past experiences to go on.
Call me irresponsible, but to quote The Pursuit of Happiness, one of Canada’s greatest bands of the ’80s, “I’m an adult now.” Show me the label. I can taste a wine knowing who pressed the berries and still make an impartial assessment without any fear of unleashing some personal retribution on the winemaker.
And I have no hunger for games. So guessing who made what and the ancestry of its flavour profile is about as entertaining for me as watching grape juice ferment.
If going blind is your vision there are a couple of options. The classic version (often called a single-blind tasting) allows a little leeway for the participants. Generally they’re told the wine’s homeland and maybe the fruit used to make it. If the organizers are feeling especially giving, they might also reveal the vintage.
During a double-blind tasting everything’s a secret. Black glassware might even be employed to try and disguise the colour of each wine being presented for evaluation.
Not that I want to put a cork into anyone’s party; it’s just that I spent my university years behind a cash desk selling booze. The last thing I’m interested in doing is putting more bottles into brown paper bags.