The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 91 of 136

november 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  91 Our ability to taste wine is inextri- cably linked with our ability to smell. This isn't news to any of us in the wine business. But how often, as profession- als, do we subject ourselves to actually testing our abilities? When was the last time you were presented with, say, a black glass challenge? And when was the last time you really made a concerted effort to taste out of a varietally correct wine glass? On the occa- sions when I've participated in a blind tasting or paid careful attention to my glassware selec- tion, the result is generally revelatory—I find I'm able to decipher new aroma profiles I had previously written off as out of my sense-range, and am often surprised by how a wine I had thought to be merely average, suddenly comes alive and is vibrant and complex, all because I was tasting it from a varietally correct glass. At The Winemakers Studio at Wente Vineyards in California's Livermore Valley, these moments of discovery are of keen interest to the education team members, which is why they have developed two new courses aimed at tapping into the power of our sense of smell: Black Glass Blind Tasting and Size and Shape Matters. THE WINEMAKERS STUDIO AT WENTE VINEYARDS TESTS OUR MOST BASIC PRECONCEPTIONS PUT TO THE TEST by Jonathan Cristaldi photos by Alexander Rubin

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