Blind Wine Tasting: Learn to Sip

ImageWe booked a Living Social deal for a blind wine tasting class at the fabulous 918 F Street space in downtown DC, and had a great time learning a few tidbits about what to look for in a good, affordable bottle of wine.  Special thanks to the Food and Wine Diva, Summer Whitford who led the class and shared the sipping tips.

The Summary: Colleen started early with a pre-class drink of Pinot Noir. Pre-class drink is always necessary acceptable in this case. We learned how to open a bottle of sparkling wine, tasted several wines, and learned some useful tips on drinking and tasting the flavors of a wine.
The Tips:
  • Champagne is a specific grape that comes from the Champagne region in France.  All sparkling wine is not Champagne!
  • Opening a bottle of sparkling wine with a cork flying and a loud POP is not the “right” way (We beg to differ, as this is the most festive/fun part)
  • Smaller bubbles=less likely to have a hangover and the flavor is better!
To Open Sparkling Wine:
Remove foil and wire cage.  Tilt the bottle at a 45° angle, obviously facing away from you and your guests.  Hold the cork firmly and twist the bottle. If you aren’t coordinated (Colleen usually hands the bottle off for someone to open), you can set the bottle down on a flat surface. You will have opened the bottle correctly if there is barely any noise.
  • Temperature matters when serving wine.  We tasted the same wine at two different temperatures, and each tasted like a completely different wine.  Wine that is too cold will not have as much flavor as wine that is the correct temperature.
  • Flavors you smell and taste in wine (grapefruit, florals, earthy, tannins, Band Aids?? (yes, someone said they smelled Band Aids! EW!) vary by person.  We learned that just because you may taste a certain flavor,  doesn’t mean the person next to you will taste the same flavor.  One could taste blackberries, while another could taste a more earthy flavor.
  • What are tannins?! Tannins refer to the textural elements typically found in red wines.  Summer described it as the component which dries the mouth out.  She compared it to “cotton mouth.”tasting
The best part: All the wines we tasted and Summer suggested were under $30 a bottle! You don’t have to break the bank for a fine bottle of wine.  View the list of wines from our blind wine tasting here:

Happy Sipping!

xoxo, Colleen and Sarah