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!

Team-Building for a Better Business

Here at Regale we take great pride in our goal of helping corporate clients not only have an amazing time in a gorgeous locale while they are onsite, but also encourage the focus on leaving with a stronger sense of community and pride in their company and team! Our diverse range of team-building activities offer something for everyone- from new teams looking for an icebreaker to competitive coworkers looking for bragging rights.

Aroma Discovery

Aroma Discovery: Discover aromas in our Regale wines, learning to describe wine as the winemaker does.  Learn how to explain what you are smelling in the wine by identifying real-life aromas of fruits, flowers and other materials in comparison with our Regale bottlings.

Blind Tasting in the Gardens

Blind Tasting: Test your knowledge of different varietals and growing regions under the guidance of one of our wine specialists. Work together in small groups or individually to identify the mystery wines using three basic senses – taste, smell, and sight.  Each member of the winning team will receive a member area tasting pass for two!

 

Cake Off Decorating Competition: Receive a primer in the art of cake decorating, and then let the creative juices and icing flow as teams work together to design and decorate the best cake possible using a variety of freshly baked cakes, sprays, icings, and cake décor. You will be judged, but everyone wins when you dig into your sweet creations!

Successful Saber
Champagne Sabering: Learn a new a party trick from Regale’s seasoned wine professionals- how to extravagantly open a bottle of sparkling wine using a Champagne 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 googles, gloves, and a brave face!

 

Cork Engineering: In this high tech world get back to basics with this low tech form of fun!  Teams will be given a set supply of corks and rubber bands and will set out to build the tallest cork tower possible.

Cork TowerCork Engineeringteam 5

 

 

 

 

 

Wood-Fired Pizza Making Competition: Put your culinary creativity to the test with this team building activity facilitated by our wood-fired pizza specialists.  Teams will be assembled and set at stations with a variety of toppings and sauces to construct what you believe to be the best pizza.

Pizza Making Dough & Sauces

Finished Pizza CompetitionPizza Ingredients

 


 

 

 

 

Giant Jenga

 

Sports Package: Your guests can entertain themselves with a variety of different physical activities, with an in-house bocce ball court, badminton court, ping pong table, cornhole, horseshoe, and giant jenga you can even set up a tournament for your guests to throw down a little healthy competition amongst each other!

Our rainy day back-up option includes an indoor set up of ping pong, cornhole, horseshoe, giant jenga and an assortment of classic games such as chess, dominos, backgammon, dice, playing cards & poker chips.

Ping PongCornhole 1

 

 

 

 

 

Jeopardy in the Barrel Room
Wine 101 with Wine Jeopardy: Learn the basic fundamentals of wine tasting from a Regale wine specialist.  You’ll be taught a basic understanding of wine terminology, where wine comes from, and how to taste.  Then test your listening skills with a wine focused rendition of America’s favorite quiz show.

 Wine Blending In Progress

Wine Blending: Try your hand as a winemaker for a day. Work in teams to develop the winning Bordeaux style blend from traditional varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Use beakers and graduated cylinders to measure the components of your concoction, tasting the myriad options as you work.

 

 

Wine Flight, Missing Sight Scavenger Hunt: Sighted leaders must coach and anticipate the needs of their blindfolded cohort as they navigate the Regale gardens and villa in search of tools to open and serve a bottle of wine. Each member of the team will give up their sight, then play the role of leader in this communication-building scavenger hunt.

 

Grape Stomping Platform

Wine Stomping: While learning to stomp wine in the traditional fashion, gain a new appreciation for winemaking and the lengths our ancestors went to in creating this desirable beverage.  Work as a team to stomp your way to victory in a race to produce the most grape juice, using only your bare feet!  Feel the rush of grapes squeezing out from between your toes as you begin to understand this time honored tradition.

 

We also partner with amazing companies to host Casino Nights, Painting Parties, Culinary Chef Competitions and anything else you can dream of!

Casino PartyPaint NitePizza Chef Dan with Hands on Gourmet

 

 

 

All of this, and amazing wine in a gorgeous venue- what more could you ask for?

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 )

A Feast Fit for a Wedding

During private events at the winery, we often get questions from our clients about the gorgeous Italian inspired mural in the upstairs executive dining room. The painting clearly depicts a feast, appropriately in line with the Regale definition ‘to entertain lavishly with food and wine’ and, of course, featured front and center is a distinguished gentlemen tasting wine. While it definitely sets the mood of the space, many people are not aware of the full story- that this painting is actually a truncated version of the famed Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese.

The original painting which inspired our fresco is nearly 500 years old, and the original feast that was depicted, as well as the painting itself, are of note. The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese is a depiction of the dinner in Cana, Galilee in which Christ preforms his first (and our favorite) of seven miracles, turning water into wine.  As the story goes, towards the end of the banquet the wine was running low so Christ asked the servants to fill the stone jars with water and offer them to the master of the house, who found that the water had been turned to wine.  Veronese depicts over 130 attendees in his painting of the feast including Jesus and his disciples, not to mention a number of musicians and animals that round out the lively nature of the painting.

The Benedictine monks of the San Giorgio Maggiore monastery in Venice commissioned the Wedding Feast at Cana from Paolo Veronese in 1562 to decorate their new refectory, with the requirement that Veronese work with the most precious (and costly) pigments and that the work of art be immense (to the tune of 750 sq ft) in order to fill the end wall of the refectory.  The painting hung in the refectory for over two centuries, until 1797 when Napoleon plundered the painting and shipped it back to Paris, not letting the massive size stop him- true to his reputation.  Veronese’s painting currently hangs in the Louvre where its massive size is dwarfed by a lovely lady named Lisa who hangs directly across the room.  While all eyes are on her, she is taking in the beauty of Veronese’s masterpiece.

While our version isn’t a 16th century masterpiece, it is impressive in its depth and brings an appropriate air of historical ambiance to the room.  A gentleman by the name of Willy Baet painted this beauty freehand over the span of more than 20 months, while only referencing an 8 ½ x 11” image he had created.  This truncated version brings together either end of Veronese’s painting, becoming a beautifully lively representation of 16th century regaling. It also seems rather apropos that the painting depicts a lavish wedding as, in addition to using the upstairs of the villa as our executive dining room for holiday parties, corporate functions and social events, it is also our bride’s room for weddings hosted at the winery.  If you are looking for a little art with your wine, a unique meeting space with friends or colleagues or a great private event space for your next social event come take a peek at Regale’s nod to Veronese.

Mural in Executive Dining Room at Regale Winery and Vineyards

Mural in Executive Dining Room at Regale Winery and Vineyards


Veronese

Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese