How-to: Blind Wine Tasting

Here at Regale, we love parties – Fresco Croppedespecially one with a good icebreaker, and, even better, something involving wine!  Might we suggest incorporating a little blind wine tasting to your family gathering, game night, company team building, or throwing a whole party aimed at getting your guests interacting with a fun blind tasting.  It will get people thinking, comparing notes, and most importantly… talking! If you are looking for a gorgeous locale as a bonus, come visit us for a private event at Regale and have a blind tasting hosted by one of our wine specialists.  It make your party an event to remember and is great to add to an offsite as a team building activity!

A How-To for a Blind Tasting Party:

The Setup

  1. Gather three-five bottles of wine (definitely throw a Regale bottling in there!) – ideally single varietal bottles from different regions and vintages. Alternatively guests can each bring a favorite mystery bottle to share.
  2. Cover and number your bottles – for our team building events at Regale we have snazzy burlap blind tasting bags printed with numbers, but you can use brown paper bags, decanters, or even wrap your bottles in aluminum foil! Remember- a bottle’s shape can be a cue towards the varietal, so keep this in mind when selecting how to disguise the bottle if your guests are wine savvy.
    IMG_1252    Blind Tasting
  3. Provide tasting cards so your guests can take notes and eventually submit their guesses.  Decide if you want to provide a key of the different offerings or leave them completely in the dark.Lepori_0383

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As guests are tasting, you can sound like an expert by reminding them of…

The Three Steps to Blind Tasting:

  1. Consider the appearance for maturity and other cues
  2. Consider the aroma for varietal cues
  3. Consider the mouth for taste, body, finish, overall quality

Step 1: Appearance – Color and Opacity

  • What color is the wine? Whites gain color as they age, reds are most vibrant when young and fade or take on a more brick color with an orange or brown hue.
  • How opaque is the wine? Can you read text through the wine or is it so opaque that light barely comes through it?

Step 2: Aroma – Smell and Physical Indicators

  • 1st Sniff – Does it remind you of varietals you have tasted in the past?
  • Shirt sniffs vs. long draws; swirling for aeration
  • Think about the descriptors:
    • F – Fruit
    • E – Earth
    • W – Wood
  • Physical reaction – Acidity (salivation), tannin (bitterness), alcohol (heat)

Step 3: Mouth – Taste, Texture, and Finish

  • Body – Light-medium, medium-full, full:
    • Pinot Noir                            Light to Medium
    • Sangiovese                           Light to Medium
    • Cabernet Franc                   Medium
    • Barbera                                 Medium
    • Zinfandel                              Medium
    • Merlot                                   Medium to Full
    • Malbec                                  Medium to Full
    • Syrah                                     Medium to Full
    • Petite Sirah                          Full
    • Cabernet Sauvignon          Full
  • Is the wine balanced?
  • Dry, off-dry, or sweet?
  • Alcohol – Prominent (riper/warmer region) or balanced (cooler climate region)
  • Tannins, if any- how heavy?
  • Length – Short, medium, or long (acidity and complexity)

Conclusion

  • What varietal could it be? Use your past tasting experiences and memory.
  •  Are there any varietals you can rule out?
  • The important part is the journey to reach a conclusion – don’t worry too much about the final guess!

The more you practice, the better you get – so cheers to that!

March News From Regale Winery

 

spring_regale

APRIL EVENTS AT REGALE:

Spring Open House 

Saturday, April 04, 2015 – Open to the Public, Tastings are $10 for non-Club Members

• Do you have some friends who wish they could visit Regale as our members do? Our Open House day is the perfect event for them. No appointment necessary, open to non-members, and to top it off The Pizza Gypsy will be serving their amazing pizzas. Tell your friends, bring your family; it’s a perfect way to start the spring season.

(Above Photo Courtesy JJ Chen Photography)

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regale_pourTax Relief Weekend

April 18 & 19, 2015

Complimentary for Club Members

• We offer a relief from the pain of handing your hard-earned money over to the IRS, or an excuse to spend a hearty refund!  We pay the tax on any wine purchases, with additional wine specials and treats.

(Photo at Left Courtesy Dave Lepori)

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Hood ChathamMusic by the Glass Sundays

As the warm weather has arrived, we have begun hosting some talented musicians on most Sundays and will continue for the spring/summer season.

To be notified as to who is entertaining for a specific weekend, please follow us on Facebook.

 (Photo at Right: Hood Chatham and his Jazz Guitar)

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PRIVATE EVENTS: 

Fountain Saber 2Corporate Event Debut

Along with our other varied and unique corporate event add-ons, we will now be offering Champagne Sabering!  Learn a new party trick from Regale’s seasoned wine professionals – how to extravagantly open a bottle of sparkling wine using a Champagne Saber.

Sabrage is a technique for opening a Champagne bottle with a saber, in our case a blunt designer version specially crafted for popping corks in style. The saber is slid along the body of the bottle to break the entire neck away from the bottle, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to enjoy.  Your guests can watch and learn, or join in on the fun as they don safety goggles, gloves, and a brave face!

Learn more about the imaginative Private Event options we offer on our website at www.regalewine.com  

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IMPORTANT REMINDERS:lone_glass

• Updated Hours and Non-Member Tasting 

Our hours have changed! We are now open to members Saturdays 11-4 and Sundays 11-5. Non-members can enjoy tastings by appointment only, make appointments online at vinovisit.com or by calling us at (408) 353-2500.

• Picking Up Wine for Others

If you are a club member and would like someone else to pick up your wine shipment, we need advance notice (by 3pm Friday) through the office. To notify us, you can call (408) 353-2500 or email wineclub@regalewine.com.

• Children and Pets at Regale

Regale is an adult-only property and no children are allowed during tasting room hours. Dogs are allowed at Regale, but please be courteous to others and keep your dog leashed.

(Photo at Right: Image Courtesy of Kelsea Holder Photography )

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What's one of the best things to do in the Bay Area? How about enjoying Barbara Higbie!

One of the best things to do in the Bay Area is wine tasting. The aroma of wines and lush landscapes provide the perfect atmosphere for an enjoyable outing. Did you know, however, that you don’t have to trek all the way to Wine Country to enjoy such an experience? You don’t have to battle the traffic and crowds either. A location providing you with one of the best things to do in the Bay Area is right in your backyard in Los Gatos.

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Bocce ball is a highly entertaining game that’s played by enthusiasts of all ages. Here at Regale Winery, we have a flat, beautifully raked playing surface compose of tightly packed dirt. Our regulation court is approximately 76 feet long by 10 feet wide. Here’s how our patrons play the game while enjoying the mountainside views and our pristine wines.

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When it comes to ideas for a picnic, Regale Winery has you covered

One of the many benefits of living in the Bay Area are all the fabulous locations for picnicking. Ideas for a picnic location range from beaches to forest to parks and all points in between.

 Did you know, however, that one of the best ideas for a picnic venue is nestled inside the Santa Cruz Mountains near Summit Road?

Regale Winery, just a quick drive up Highway 17, will enable you and your friends to enjoy a garden setting loaded with amenities. 

Picnics don’t get much better than this.

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