Wine lovers going in blind

Wine lovers get to treat and test their taste buds when the Cayman Wine Boutique hosts its monthly Blind Tasting evenings. 

Guests taste six wines, paired with food, under the guidance of an internationally renowned sommelier who is revealed on the night. 

Co-owner Mario, who goes by only his first name, was raised in the heart of Tuscan wine country and says wine tasting is all about experiencing the wine. “During a tasting, you try your best to focus on what’s in your glass – the color, the smell, the taste and the feel. But when preconceived notions intervene, you might narrow your focus and look only for the characteristics you like or dislike in a particular type of wine,” Mario says. 

“During a blind wine tasting, your preconceived notions don’t play a role, so you get to truly experience everything that’s going on in your glass.” 

Research has demonstrated the power of suggestion in perception, as well as the strong effects of expectancies, he says. 

“For example, people expect more expensive wine to have more desirable characteristics than less expensive wine. When given wine that they are falsely told is expensive, they virtually always report it as tasting better than the very same wine when they are told that it is inexpensive,” he explains. “Similarly, people have expectations about wines because of their geographic origin, producer, vintage, color and many other factors.” 

The evenings also demonstrate the role foods play with wine.  

“When pairing wine and food, you must always take into account the quality of the wine and the quality of the dish. Complex recipes made for special occasions are complimented best by a complex and special wine. On the other hand, simple, everyday foods match best with simple and easy to drink wines,” Mario says. 

“Putting a simple wine with a special dish would be as unsuccessful as mayonnaise on a rack of lamb.” 

One must always try to match the relative quality of their wine to the quality of their food, he says. 

“If you are going all out on a meal, with the highest quality ingredients turned into a dish possessing intensity and complexity, you owe it to yourself to find a wine that also fits the bill. If your food comes out of a box, well then, your wine probably should too.” 

Blind tasting tickets are $100. Visit www.caymanwineboutique.com or phone 322-4925. 

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