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Vox Wine Lounge Blind Wine Tasting

Two blind wine tastings in one day is almost too good to be true. Apart from the Dierberg & Star Lane blind tasting which I discussed in the previous post, I also participated in the Vox Wine Lounge blind wine tasting.

Twice a month (every other Tuesday night), William Sherer, Master Sommelier and wine director of Aureole in Las Vegas, organizes a blind wine tasting for wine industry professionals. Most of the participants to these blind tastings are master sommeliers, wine buyers and wine aficionados. These events follow a set format. At every tasting, one type of grape varietal or wine style is featured, and each of the participants must bring a bottle of the selected grape varietal or wine style. The blind tastings are held on a different venue every time.

This week, the blind tasting[/glossary] was held at the Vox Wine Lounge in Henderson, NV. Patrick Pretz, Vox’s sommelier, played host. We owe him a great thank you for his wonderful hospitality.

The Blind Tasting Format

The Vox Wine Lounge blind tasting was different from all the other blind tastings I’ve been to. I have participated in numerous blind tastings before and, in such events, the participants usually sampled and examined the featured wines then shared and compared tasting notes afterwards. The Vox Wine Lounge tasting followed a different procedure, however.

Each of the participants was given a specific role at the wine tasting. Every one had to examine, describe and analyze only one aspect of the featured wines be it color, nose (aromas & bouquet), taste (aromas), structure, origin, vintage, or producer.  For instance, one taster would sample a wine and assess it according to his aspect assignment (e.g. color); another taster would then sample the same wine and assess it according to the aspect assigned him (e.g. assess where the wine came from); and yet another taster would sample the same wine and evaluate it on yet another aspect (e.g. structure). The whole thing sounds complicated, I know, but you’ll be surprised at how much fun this type of blind tasting can be.

Wine Tasting Results

The Vox Wine Lounge blind wine tasting was very successful. It was very entertaining and, more importantly, very educational. One truly learns a lot by working in a group and sharing knowledge and expertise with others. In fact, working in a group also means greater accuracy as everyone benefits from the expertise of the other participants.

As a case in point, at the Vox Wine Lounge blind tasting, the group was able to guess the correct vintage of 60 percent of the 14 wines sampled. More amazingly, the group accurately pinpointed the geographical origin of 95 percent of the wines. Of the 95 percent, 50 percent was traced back to the correct region or area, 20 percent to the precise AOC or AVA and 15 percent to the actual wine producer. The only two wines we failed to place were a Pinot Noir Cava (sparkling wine) from Argentina and a Pinot Noir from the Loire Valley in France. My Vox Wine Lounge wine tasting experience definitely proves that one always learns more about a wine’s characteristics when discussing it openly with other wine professionals.

Get Set for the Next Blind Wine Tasting

The next blind wine tasting will be held on March 11th, 2008, Tuesday, at the Marché Bacchus in Summerlin. The grape varietal for that tasting will be Chardonnay, and the wines can come from anywhere in the world.
Be creative and bring something everyone can enjoy.

That’s all for this wine tasting.