GuildSomm Community Manager Stacy Ladenburger interviews Master Sommeliers Admin, Jim Rollston, and Jack Mason on their approaches to blind tasting.
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"Weird Poodle" - Classic!!! This might take me to the next level!
I loved the bit on not getting hung up on a factor in a wine, but understanding what makes those factors appear in a wine and recognizing the cause. Also, loved the concepts on being nervous and making sure you really know your stuff! Thank you sharing!
I have just passed the certified sommelier exam and studying for the advanced. The following is my humble opinion on tasting. My approach is very similar to Geoff Kruth's and it helps me build a solid knowledge base on which to develop a more precise tasting palate. Knowing by heart the key markers of examinable grape profiles as indicated by the Court grape profiles has helped me improve my tasting significantly as long as the wines are typical for the grape and region. In fact, based on those profiles, I developed two grape profile charts, one for red and one for white, that allow me at a glance to see those characteristics that should or shouldn't be in a grape. For instance, when I looked at the chart, I noticed that Chardonnay is described as the least aromatic of the examinable white grapes. Yet I know that Chardonnay wines can be aromatic. It dawned on me that the source of the aroma can come from something other than the grape such as oak especially American oak. So, next time I tasted a white that had indicators pointing to Chardonnay, such as no organic and no minerality, I considered if most of the aromas hitting me were from oak rather than the grape. Took anther sniff and yes they were. Voila! I guessed correctly California Chardonnay. Rather than thinking of this as simplistic, I think of it as basic. A solid base on which to build further tasting knowledge and finesse.
Great stuff!!! Thanks for putting this together, and Kudos Jim Rollston on your 1st podcast with the guild! Bien Jouie!