You are invited to a “Wine for your Personality” Blind Tasting Party! Discover what your favorite WINE style says about YOUR style!
Say what?! I thought blind tasting wine was for sommeliers and super wine geeks. And what the heck does wine have to do with personality?
Part of studying to be a sommelier involves tasting and remembering wines from all over the world. We often do this “blind” with other aspiring Sommeliers. This isn’t to say that we taste wines blindfolded (although THAT would make for an interesting experience!) But alas, an important part of tasting wine is LOOKING at it. We instead “blindfold” the wines in brown paper bags or foil so we can’t see what is being poured. This forces us to use our senses–sight, smell, taste and texture–to describe the wine and take a stab at what it may be. This is an extremely difficult task and even the best Sommeliers often guess incorrectly. The idea is to learn to taste the characteristics of different grape varieties grown in different parts of the world (among many other things such as vinification style, age, quality, etc).
It is through these blind tasting experiences that I have become convinced of two things: one is that different wine styles have a personality of their own; and two, often these wine “personalities” match those of the people who enjoy them most. For example, I would describe a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as sassy, fun and attention grabbing. I have also found it to be true that most people (ahem, WOMEN) who adore these wines are also sassy, fun and attention grabbing! Well isn’t that interesting?!
This theory I have is what led me to throw these “Wine for your Personality Type” blind tasting parties
I have participated in other, more serious blind tasting groups with wine industry professionals and sommeliers. Each of us brings a “varietally correct” wine in a brown bag and we taste and guess the contents inside each bottle. It’s a mostly quiet affair, with lots of swishing and swirling, quiet contemplation and note taking. That’s right: NOTE TAKING. If someone were to walk in on one of these blind tastings, they might mistake it for a study hall or prayer group until spotting the many bottles of wine on the table. There may be an abundance of alcohol but TRUST ME, we are boring!
Most people aren’t this geeky about the wine they drink. They simply want to enjoy wine with good company and convivial conversation. Unless you are a super wine geek, you probably don’t want to sit quietly with your wine; swirling, sniffing, sipping, swishing…and sometimes spitting it into a spittoon while taking notes. If you walked in on a serious blind tasting group, you would quickly surmise that it is not your kind of party. In fact, it’s not really a party at all. “Did that girl just SPIT her wine out?!” Shhh! Maybe you can silently tip toe back towards the front door and sneak out before anyone notices!
Despite my jest and criticism, I actually really enjoy these blind tasting gatherings (I do read wine encyclopedias for fun after all). HOWEVER, there is a time and place for everything. Sometimes I just want to let loose a bit! Sometimes I want to throw a tasting PARTY that’s exciting for everyone. More than just serving wine at a party, I found a way for wine to be the FOCUS, but in a fun and lighthearted way. I really enjoy introducing different wine styles to friends, especially when they find something that they really like (or don’t like, which can be just as exciting). So when I’m feeling playful, I plan a “Wine for your Personality Type” party. It’s a fun twist on blind tasting with friends who may not be as geeky about wine.
Whether super geek or super novice, tasting wines “blind” is a great way to discover what you truly like, without any preconceived judgements.
What I have found to work best is to pick out the wines myself and write fun little personality descriptions about each one (ideas for this coming soon!). Then I put the wines in paper bags and label them with a marker. (You can simply label them by number: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc…) I don’t recommend having people taste more than 6 wines, or it gets too complicated (and people get too boozy to remember what they like!)
You can divvy up the cost of the wine among your friends, who are often more than happy to bring cash rather than wine. Then, instead of intimidating your guests to try and guess what the wines are, have them focus on tasting the wines using their senses and decide which wine (or wines) they like most. The next part is where it gets really interesting…
Reveal the wines and the personality descriptions! The theme might be something like this: “Discover what your favorite wine style says about your personality!” or “What does your favorite wine style say about the kind of lover you are?” The funny part is, you can get creative and write just about anything and at least part of it will hit home for most of the group. If anything, it will get everyone laughing and make blind tasting a lot more exciting! Especially after a few glasses of wine, we love “discovering what our favorite wine says about us.” Heck, you could cut out horoscopes and read those! Tying in “personality descriptors” makes it a lot more fun!
Here are a couple excepts of personality descriptors for different wines:
Wine #1: Chianti. If Chianti is your fav: Keyword: PASSIONATE!
“You are friendly and outgoing. Family and friends are very important to you and you are fiercely protective of them. You give great hugs, but squeeze a little too hard sometimes…”
Wine #2: Malbec. If Malbec is your fav: Keyword: SWEET
“You are sweet and spice and everything nice, with a seductive side! You are in touch with your feelings, as well as those around you. Occasionally you cry in public, which can be quite awkward…”
See how fun this can be?
Another fun way to blind taste wines is to compare two wines that are the same grape variety but from different parts of the world (for example Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and France). I did this and used the “what kind of lover are you” theme for my most recent Valentines Day Blind Tasting Party (for ladies). We tasted two similar wines side by side, for a total of six wines. We each voted on our favorite of the two wines being compared. The first two wines described our “ideal first date”, the second two “After a few years” and the final two “After 20 years”.
It was hysterical! About half of the group discovered that they prefer New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to French Sauvignon Blanc (from the Loire Valley). These were our “ideal first date wines”.
Below are excepts from the descriptions:
If you prefer the French Sauv Blanc, then your ideal first date probably looks something like this:
“You share a delectable picnic (which of course includes this wine) in a secluded spot next to a beautiful mountain stream. Good thing you remembered those wine glasses!…He is eating up your every word and gazing at you like he’s never seen such beauty.”
If you prefer the NZ Sauv Blanc, then your ideal first date probably looks something like this:
“…It’s a hot summer night and you are on a sandy beach, drinking this wine straight from the bottle…Before you know it, you are both stripping your clothes off, running and splashing into the water…”
You see! Wine tasting is not just for geeks! Even “blind” wine tasting can be a fun, lighthearted event. Would you come to a “Wine for your Personality Type” Blind Tasting Party?