Blind Cabernet tasting

Some people wrote up complicated notes on each wine's flavors and aromas, others just used smiley or frowny faces.

Some people wrote up complicated notes on each wine's flavors and aromas, others just used smiley or frowny faces.

Sometimes it’s fascinating to taste wine without using your most influential tasting organ.
Last week, Christine and I attended a blind Cabernet Sauvignon tasting at the beautiful Titus Vineyards off Silverado Trail in Napa Valley. In addition to enjoying the wonderful views of the valley, we had the opportunity to sample more than 80 cabs brought to the tasting by folks in the wine hospitality trade.

A nice backdrop for a wine tasting event.

A nice backdrop for a wine tasting event.

The wines, all wraped in brown bags to hide the labels, were arrayed on tables and folks tasted through them at their leisure taking notes on which entries they liked or didn’t like. Christine brought two cabs from her employer, X Winery, and it gave her a chance to see how her wines compared to other wines. The tasting also gave Christine a chance to review her own product without any bias because she had no idea which wine would be hers.
Blind tastings are great, because they remove your sense of perception, perhaps your most influential “sensory” organ. Our minds will often convince us that a $120 bottle of wine tastes better than a $12 because the “taste of money” is very persuasive. A blind tasting removes that perspective and the wines are judged solely on their merits.
Once everyone had tasted the wines, came the big unveiling in which people found out the names of the wines they loved or detested. Thankfully, Christine discovered she had given her own wines high marks. I also discovered a new wine, Two Angles, which I just loved.

Titus Vineyards has a relaxed "old Napa" feel, and has been owned by the same family for two generations.

Titus Vineyards has a relaxed "old Napa" feel, and has been owned by the same family for two generations.

What I’m drinking …

The new White X white blend from X Winery.

The new White X white blend from X Winery.

A little sweetness every now and then, it ain’t a bad thing.

Now, for full disclosure I should say that X Winery is where Christine works, but that has not infringed upon my objectivity as a journalist. I’ve been enjoying X’s new white blend, appropriately called White X. This is a novel blend of mostly sauvy b with some Chardonnay and Muscat Blanc and a touch of Roussanne. The Muscat and Roussanne give the wine some sweetness that never gets cloying or overpowering. I usually avoid anything sweet like the plague but I honestly find the White X to be a refreshing and enjoyable summer sipper. The wine has a subtle, floral aroma that’s backed with rich buttery fruit flavors.

This wine would be a great conversation starter at a summer barbecue, and it’s something that people new to wine would enjoy and find easy to appreciate.

CoCo enjoyed the White X but said blending Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay made him nervous.