Wine Club Go Blind

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March saw committee members of Upton’s wine appreciate club presenting wines along a theme of “Blind Tasting”. While it’s often said that one look at the label is worth decades in the trade, how do we attempt to identify a wine when the bottle isn’t available for scrutiny?

Using benchmark wines from Riesling to Malbec, we explored the application of a systematic approach to identifying clues to the wine’s identity. And very quickly, it became clear that “Blind Tasting” did little to convey the importance of sight and smell when looking to identify a wine. From appearance, we deduced clues as to the wine’s age, grape variety and possible alcoholic strength. The smell of the wine could then be used to give an indication of the wine’s development, varietal group, climate and winemaking techniques (such as oxidative or reductive techniques and oak treatment). Having started to form an opinion, a considered taste of the wine could be used to consider sweetness, alcohol levels, acidity, tannic level and development, as well as the intensity, character, complexity and endurance of flavours that can help to distinguish a simple Chardonnay from a fine Burgundy.

If you would like to enjoy a glass of wine in convivial surroundings, perhaps learning a bit along the way, then why not join us? We meet in the Village Hall between 8.00pm and 10.00pm, and welcome everyone who has an interest in wine. We usually taste four white and four red wines per meeting – small tasting measures, so as to avoid any deleterious effects! We try to cater for all tastes and the evening is also enjoyed as a village social to meet with other village residents. With a membership of around 60 villagers, we regularly welcome more than 30 to each meeting and make a special effort to welcome new members from the village. If you’re interested, you are very welcome to come along to your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier! The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each month. Subject to final confirmation, we intend to meet on 19th April for an evening of “Food and Wine Pairing”.

William Betts