The Wine Curmudgeon likes blind tastings a lot, and it’s not because I always get them right. It’s because they are a humbling, necessary experience, something to remind me that I don’t know nearly enough about wine.
Which brings us to last week’s Texas-Beaujolais blind tasting, where I correctly identified three of the six wines. And I was happy to do that well.
Blind tastings are exactly what they seem. When you taste the wine, you don’t know what it is. Most of the time, you’ll know the wines that are in the mix, which helps. But it’s still not easy. (There’s a technique to tasting blind, but it’s fairly technical – if anyone is interested, leave a comment and I’ll explain it there.)
We did three Texas wines and three wines from Beaujolais, the region just south of Burgundy most famous for Beaujolais nouveau. My score was not unusual. We had 50 or so people taste, and only two got all six. One was the much-respected Clint Barrett of Goody Goody Liquors in Dallas, who was genuinely surprised. The other was a financial advisor named Peter Tanguy, who seemed even more surprised.
I correctly identified two of the Texas wines (a syrah from Brennan and a merlot from Becker) and the Morgon from Beaujolais. I missed a gimme, the Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages, which I have been drinking for 30 years. I also missed the McPherson Tre Colore, which I thought was the Jadot. My third miss was a Moulin-a-Vent from Beaujolais, which I wasn’t too familiar with.
What struck me about the wines was how well made all of them were, which is something that many in the crowd didn’t expect, and especially from the Texas wines. The tasting was hosted by a French business group, and one of the speakers, a local wine merchant named François Chandou, made just that point in his talk. The Texans in the crowd were quite pleased with all the kind words.