Seeking Advice on Selecting Appropriate Wines

I am part of a tasting group comprised of people preparing for the Certified Examination. Everyone has been through the Intro Course but I'm not sure we're always bringing wines that are true representations of the classic style and that we would see in an exam setting. How do you go about selecting wines for your tasting groups? How do you ensure a wine is appropriate?

Thank you in advance,


  • I know we constantly talk about how theory is the core of everything, but... theory is the core of everything. Winemaking info is widely available these days, whether through the importer or producer's websites, and if you marry that information with a concrete understanding of what is typical to the region, you can know if a given producer is working in a classic style.

    I do agree that it's nice to have a running list of producers or wines that are not classic, but I also think the discussions that can evolve when a wine is not quite typical can be valuable, and the more so the more advanced you are in your tasting (so if you're prepping for the certified, take this with a grain of salt or put a pin in it for later). What is the wine? What are the elements that are classic? What are the elements that are out of whack? Can you separate them out?

  • I'm sure that you are absolutely correct. One issue in our group is that we are all pretty new to all of this and lack an experienced palate/taster to help us when we're not sure.

    What resources have you used to develop your understanding of what is classic?

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