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July 31, 2018 | Yorkville Cellars

Yorkville Cellars Presents 'Name That Varietal'

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Blind Taste Bordeaux-Style Wines in Our Tasting Room Game

So you’ve been drinking wine for some time now. You’ve done a few tastings and you think you know the drill, but what would you say if we changed the rules?

Instead of being presented with a wine first and tasting it second, we’re letting you taste the wine before its identity is revealed. We love this tasting format for its nontraditional approach, but we love it even more for the opportunity it gives you, the wine taster!

Blind tastings aren’t just for sommelier hopefuls; they can be just as helpful for a novice wine drinker as they can for a wine aficionado. For the average wine drinker, blind tastings help remove any preconceived notions about what varietals are better than others (see: The Sideways Effect), and allow you to experience a wine through your own lens and interpretation.

That’s the magic of our beloved tasting room game, Name that Varietal. Here’s the setup: you’re presented with 6 unique wines and a list of the varietals they could be. You taste your way through the line-up, making notes on their characteristics, your opinions, and which varietals you think they might be. At the end of the game, the truth is revealed and your paper is graded. And more often than not, you’ll be surprised at which varietals take your top vote.

So what’s on the menu? You’ll taste each of the six Noble Red grape varietals that originated in the Bordeaux region of France: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Malbec, Petit Verdot. Each grape is quite similar and genetically part of the same family, yet each contributes in unique ways to the complexity of a Bordeaux blend wine. The Noble Reds are a hallmark of the Yorkville Cellars wine experience, bringing a piece of Bordeaux right to California.

Ready for an example?

Let’s imagine you’re tasting the first wine in the line-up. When you peer at the wine in the glass, you’re seeing a lighter shade of red, almost a ruby red. Aromas of spiced earth, dried herbs, cocoa powder, and bright red fruit jump out of the glass. Once you take a sip and swirl it around your palate, you're noticing the wine is medium-bodied with slightly gritty yet mild tannins and medium acidity, and you’re tasting flavors of strawberry, green pepper, red plum, and chili pepper. The finish is long and luscious. You’re thinking about possibly eating a steak with this wine, but it would pair just as well with a chicken or turkey dish on account of the subtle tannic structure. So the big question: Which Noble Red is in front of you?

See! It’s much harder than you think!

The Noble Red we’re describing here is Cabernet Franc.

Now it’s your turn! If you’re ready to put your taste buds to the test, join us in the tasting room every day of the week, 11 AM - 6 PM. We can’t wait to see how your answers stack up!

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