I often perform blind wine tasting events where I brown bag a few bottles and make people try and guess specifics. It's usually a theme of sorts like, all cabernet sauvignon: guess the region or all California red wines: guess the varietal.
I recently heard of folks tasting blind that couldn't guess if a wine was red or white. Initially, I thought the people tasting were morons but the more I thought about it, I figured it would at least be an interesting test some time.
Well, it was time to give it a shot. My family gathered over one weekend and I received a big sampling from Icon Estates, so the blind blind tasting was on.
No one knew how many red vs. how many whites or even which varietals were there. What my father didn't know was that two of his own wines were mixed in. His Chardonnay and his Cabernet Sauvignon.
This was going to be interesting... Among my dad's personal wines were a Wild Horse Pinot Noir and Montes Chardonnay.
Since I didn't have black glasses, I opted for theatrics and blind folded everyone during their tasting. Everyone guessed the Wild Horse Pinot was a red wine and everyone got that the Montes Chardonnay was a white wine. Unfortunately for my Dad, people mixed his wines up... and even worse thought they were pretty bad. Even he couldn't guess that his Cabernet Sauvignon was a red wine. He and many of us thought it was a funky white and his Chardonnay was a cheap red wine.
To my Dad's defense, these were his first wines ever made and they were from kit concentrates so we all cut his some slack but when he heard the results, it was like someone punched him in the gut.
This was more family fun than an actual experiment but it proved that mixing up red from white is possible. I've since bought black glasses and will be performing this test again with a few ranges of varietals.
So lesson to all you wine tasters, when you're smelling the aromas and taking in the flavors, take note for maybe one day someone will put your palate to the most basic test!