It’s time to change a portion of the wine menu at the restaurants. This change comes a few times a year and involves blind taste testing several wines over a two night period. It is a rough job, but some one has to do it. And if I must take one for the team, I guess I will have to. (insert smiley face)
The process is quite involved. First step is to identify the wines that are being cast off the list, then my wine loving husband sends the varietals to a list of wine vendors. They submit a wine(s) within a certain price range to be entered into the race. All labels are covered and all we know is the varietal. We are also told what flavor profile would be ideal. We go wine by wine. One person recording, several drinking, all recording, nobody talking… Lots of spitting.
When you have that many wines to taste you have to have a spit bucket. Let me tell you, the quickest way to bond with a group of people is over a spit bucket. My mom was right, there is nothing graceful about spitting. In fact I don’t know how to spit without looking like a hot mess. Anyway…back to the wine.
Each person ranks their top three of the category. There is a brief discussion on what wines should be passed, then three are pulled aside for the next round. From there the chosen one is selected. Wine is extremely subjective and I love hearing the different opinions and flavors that each individual finds. So far tonight i have heard wine compared to beach balls, butterscotch, wild orange flowers, fruit loops, large golden apple and we reds are tomorrow.
Bottom line when you have such a big group tasting you end up with a wine that suits many palates and that will fit a variety of our clients. And that my friends is how our wine list is created.