Say the secret word and win $100. OK…umm, merlot? Well, maybe, maybe not. Blind tasting of wine can be much more challenging than answering questions from a 1950’s quiz show, and perhaps more fun. However for many people who enjoy wine, blind tasting is often a very humbling, albeit educational experience. There are professionals who regularly blind taste wines as part of what they do for a living. Other people do it for the fun of it. Quite frankly, there are so many wines being made today in so many different styles in so many different regions, the odds are against successful identification in many cases.
It’s not always enough to know what the basic flavor profile of a particular grape is. Our friend merlot for example (yes, that’s right – our friend, there’s no need to be wine snob), is often characterized as having black cherry, plum, currant, and clove flavors (there are chemical compounds that make this so). But even if you could remember that information and the basic flavor profiles of 50 of your other favorite Vitis vinifera grapes, there are several other factors that need to be considered.