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!

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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?