Do you trust a bottle you can’t see? If you have ever bought a wine based only on its label, you know that it’s easy to judge a book by its cover. While we love our beautiful labels, blind tasting offers a new perspective and offers the potential to help you learn more about what you love about a wine. As a plus, it’s just plain fun! Using the tips and ideas provided here, we hope you’ll gather your favorite wine lovers and make it a party.
What is “blind” tasting?
A blind wine tasting is when you try a wine without first knowing what it is. We like to cover the whole bottle with our handy numbered wine bags so it’s easy to keep track of which bottle is which, and it makes for a dramatic reveal when it’s time to unveil the bottles. If you host a blind tasting, choose a few bottles that have something in common, and see if you and your guests can tell them apart.
What should the variable be?
The variable you choose for your blind tasting depends on how dramatic you want the differences to be. You could do a “vertical” tasting, where all the wines are the same varietal and producer, but different vintages, i.e. a 2016 Rubino Estates Sangiovese, a 2017 Rubino Estates Sangiovese, a 2018…and so on. You can also set up a “horizontal” tasting selection, which features wines from a single vintage and producer but different varietals: a 2019 Rubino Estates Barbera, a 2019 Rubino Estates Sangiovese, a 2019 Rubino Estates red blend…and so on. You can also do a flight that covers a region, like a set of Livermore Valley Petite Sirahs from different wineries in the region. You can also do a blind tasting based on price range, with categories like a $10-20 bottle, $21-30 bottle, $31-40, and beyond.
Why do a blind tasting?
Blind wine tasting doesn’t have to be complicated, it just offers you a way to learn about wine and have some fun with friends. Take it as an opportunity to try wines objectively, enjoying them without the influence of knowing the price, region, winery, or other variables that play into our perception of wines. You might learn more about what you really like, or confirm what you already know! It’s okay to relax, enjoy yourself, and don't take it too seriously.
Other tips and tricks
Remind your guests that wine is about more than just the taste. Swirling the wine, examining the color, and enjoying the aroma all provide hints to a wine’s identity. Rinse your glass or get a new one between wines so you can start fresh with each new one. You may also want some tasty snacks like cured meats and cheeses to balance the palate. If you’re the competitive type, we encourage you to make a game of your blind tasting! Whoever’s guesses are the closest to the correct answers gets to take home a prize bottle! Alternatively, you can have a sheet of possible answers, and whoever makes the most correct matches is crowned the winner.
We hope you enjoy a new way to enjoy tasting good wines with good friends. Salute!
This week, we are celebrating two new scores from Wine Enthusiast! Our 2020 Proprietary Red and 2020 Founder’s Blend both received a competitive 92 point score, reflecting the quality and value of these phenomenal blends from our Landmark Collection. Every single wine produced here at Rubino Estates involves a relentless pursuit of quality, so what sets Landmark wines apart from our other collections? To answer this, we will share about the philosophy behind the Landmark series.
In every wine, there is a truly infinite number of factors that influence the outcome of the wine. We consider everything from the genetic makeup of the vine to the soil it grows in, the yeast that ferments the juice, the oak it is aged in, and so much more. For Landmark Collection wines, we spare no expense at each step in the process. We use the finest grape vines. We drop fruit, cutting off clusters before they are mature so the clusters remaining are nourished by the vine, rich in quality and flavor. These grapes are harvested by hand, sorted by hand, and lightly crushed. Slow and careful is the name of our game when creating wines of this caliber. These are aged in fine oak with specialized yeast strains for premium results. Only the best fruit from the best soil becomes Landmark wines, meaning each vintage has a limited production.
Within our Landmark collection, you’ll find two blends: the 1885 Founder’s Blend and the Proprietary Red. Blends like these result in something truly unique that you can only get right here at Rubino Estates. With a blend, our winemaker is not constrained to a single varietal and is free to craft the best wine all around, hitting the mark in terms of aroma, body, flavor, tannin, and more. Working only with fruit that is grown on our property also allows us to keep an eye on the fruit and wine quality at every step of the process.
Our Proprietary Red is a top-secret blend and absolutely beloved by many of our staff and longtime members. The newly-released 2020 vintage features aromas of rich prune with accents of pink peppercorn followed by juicy raspberry and bing cherry on the nose. Savory elements with a touch of cocoa, blackberry, and ripe currant chime in on the palate, while red fruit and vanilla trail beautifully into the finish. This vintage boasts an enticing bright garnet hue and medium mouthfeel, built with tenacious tannin and elegant gravitas.
The Founder’s Blend commemorates the year 1885, when our estate vineyard was first planted and our place in California’s winemaking history and heritage was secured. Our 2020 vintage is a silky-smooth blend of 40% Barbera, 40% Petit Verdot, and 20% Syrah. Savor an opulent and alluring aroma of red fruit with prominent cherry character and a touch of violet. On the palate, comely flavors mirror the nose, accented by elegant oak notes of vanilla and toast. The body has enticing weight and seamless tannin integration, with acid balance that is ideal alongside your favorite dish.
For premium wines that never disappoint, choose the Landmark Collection!