WSDC Event - A Blind Tasting: You know your onions - but do you know your grapes?

What: A Blind Tasting: You know your onions - but do you know your grapes? Event Sold Out  
When: 05 Jul 18 ,18:30 -20:30
Where: Army & Navy Club SW1Y 5JN map
See summary here



A blind tasting is a little like one of the bubble companies of 1720 selling stocks on outrageous claims of potential value. One particular company was formed for “carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is”. On the first day of trading from an office on a short-term rental in Cornhill, the promoter took a thousand £2 deposits on £100 shares on the promise that within the month, full details would be published. The next day he made off to the continent with the £2000 (approximately £300,000 in today’s money), not to be heard of again. (Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Chapter 2 Charles Mackay 1848). Plus ça change….

So how can we convince you to part with good money to come and taste the unknown? The plan was hatched by Godfrey Rowland, one of your Dining Club committee members, and tested out on the committee at the compulsory and arduous tasting prior to each meeting and, as usual, accompanied by the still warm, homemade bread provided by Jo Ryan, the assistant secretary. (This alone is a good reason to become a committee member.) After much discussion between Godfrey and your honorary secretary it was decided to withdraw some very good wines from the club’s reserves of French wines or from the Wine Society and match the grape with a similar value wine from another country. So, one wine of a pair will be French and the other from elsewhere. There will be three pairs of reds and three pairs of whites. All you have to do is to decide the grape variety of each pair, which of the pair is from France and the country of origin of the other wine. You will have two wine glasses so that you can easily compare the wines from each pairing and make a decision before scoring the wine on our usual scale of one to seven: one being a wine you really would not want to receive from a guest and be expected to serve if hosting a dinner and seven being a wine you would only want to share with a few, very close friends on a special occasion. We also invite you to hazard a guess at the current cost of the wine.

There will be a fizzy wine to start and all we need is the country of origin and a sweet wine to finish and we wonder if you can tell the type of grape and for a bonus point, the country of origin.

To help, the red wines will be chosen from the following grape varieties:

• pinot noir
• syrah (shiraz)
• merlot
• gamay
• grenache (garnacha)
• cabernet sauvignon possibly with a dash of something else i.e. a “Bordeaux blend”

The whites will be from:

• sauvignon blanc
• reisling
• chardonnay
• viognier
• semillon
• muscat
• furmint
• vidal

After a reasonable time for tasting we will announce the results and remove the wines from their bags so that you can re-taste and re-evaluate.

It will not have gone unnoticed that scores could be allocated to your answers at least as far as the grape variety and country of origin are concerned. So “points” could accumulate and, as aficionadas of cheap television game shows would know, “points mean prizes”. However, the Dining Club is not competitive in any shape or form and so the member or guest with the lowest score will receive the “best” vinous reward: a bottle of truly excellent wine, to encourage more attention to detail at future tastings. (I really cannot tell you what that wine will be, but it is of great value). Of course, this paves the way for economies of truth so any one who really knows their wines and contrives to get a score well below random will not be considered for the non-prize. Statisticians will be at work during the evening.

We think this will be a very interesting tasting as the wines are of high quality and we hope that you will want to challenge your sense of smell and taste and memory of wines, some of which you will likely have tasted before.

Tony Wright, Honorary Secretary

Dress Code: Smart casual

Guests: £49
Members: £44

Forthcoming events:
Tuesday 18 September – Tasting at the Army & Navy Club
Monday 15 October – Château Léoville Barton Dinner with Lilian Barton Sartorius at the Painters' Hall
Thursday 15 November – Hermitage Dinner at the Apothecaries’ Hall
Wednesday 5 December – Christmas Tasting and Raffle at the Army & Navy Club

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