What does blind tasting mean and which role it assumes for experts and those who work in the wine industry?
A blind tasting, for the less experienced, means to taste wine from bagged bottles (covered) so you do not have any information about the producer in particular and therefore the design of the label. It is the practice used throughout the world for the most important competitions: judges assess the quality of the wine without being affected by the name of the winery, price or whatever. The judges are generally provided with informative sheets including info depending on the competition: alcohol, grapes, production area, in some cases, price range, and so on.
The experts would probably agree when I say that I personally find that the blind tasting has a crucial value and that the conditioning exists: one can approach a wine tasting with the best of intentions but somehow the visual impact of packaging as well as the name of the producer can certainly influence us in positive or negative. Exactly what should not happen in a contest! The blind tasting allows you to measure yourself, measure your beliefs and often holds surprises or confirmations!
But what’s the opinion of some other wine experts with different backgrounds?
Giacomo Manzo, Winemaker responsible at the Regional wine and oil Institute in the region of Sicily (south of Italy), confess to be extremist, according to him wine experts should not be even told the production area in order to freely identify the real characteristics of the wine resulting from the terroir. Giacomo believes that blind tasting is a fundamental training but which requires an excellent knowledge of the territories.
Alberto Lupini, director of the populat italian magazine “Italia a tavola” (meaning: Italy at the Table) claims “generally I prefer the competitions which foreseen monovarietals tastings because they allow to investigate more upon technical nuances”
Finally, Maurizio Valeriani, journalist, lecturer at the national wine association ONAV, clearly states “for me blind tastings are almost a religion, I wrap the bottle myself at home, leave them somewhere and make blind tasting even alone; it is not necessarily the best method, but certainly the most honest one”.
See you soon with the next curiosities at Chiara’s Food & wine discovery!