PRE-EXAM BLIND TASTING
Wednesday 24 May 2017
If ever the phrase, “The more you know, the less you know” comes to mind then this was the night! I have Theory and Tasting exams coming up for the Cape Wine Academy Certificate Course on 5/6 June. The Tasting exam involves blind tasting of 6 wines – 3 white and 3 red from either Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Riesling or Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. That sounds easy perhaps but there just 7 minutes to assess and evaluate each wine. The assessment includes making notes on the appearance, nose, palate and conclusions. There’s 30 marks on offer for each glass. ‘Conclusions’ covers wine style, grape variety, climate, vineyard origin or location, vintage, wine quality, how the wine has developed, ageing potential, faults and the wine producer. That’s a lot in 7 minutes!
I was quite relaxed beforehand. I had tasted some 450 or so wines over the last 6 months, many blind, and read through my study notes. I was confident too that I could write all in the 7 minutes. Doing it and correctly in an exam environment was another thing. I am watching UK Masterchef at the moment and reminded how different life can get when the heat is in the kitchen. Suffice to say, I didn’t succeed too well with my wine identifications. I most likely wrote enough to pass the exam – it is quite possible to get all 6 wine cultivars wrong and still pass – but I was nonetheless humbled. Ill lick my wounds and get up again and pass the real thing. Meanwhile, learning about and exploring wine is a passion to share end enjoy. It can be so darn humbling too!