Our Blind Tasting Methodology

A simplified approach to blind tasting for the CMS exams (or just to look cool)

Part 1 – White Wines

4 Main Talking Points

White Structure: Dry/Off Dry, Acid, Alcohol

Key Indicators: Oak, Pyrazines, Rotondone, Terpenes, Lees Contact

Whites Key Indicators Explained

Oak: Use of French Oak, will most likely be accompanied by malolactic fermentation

Pyrazines:  Key chemical component in Sauvignon Blanc

Rotondone: Key chemical component in Gruner Veltliner

Terpenes:  Can be categorized into low, moderate, and high terpenes

  • Low terpenic grapes: Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, and California; Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Medium terpenic grapes: Chenin Blanc (will lean towards tea-based flowers), Albarino, Riesling
  • High terpenic grapes: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Torrontez

Peach Notes: Found in medium terpenic grapes, different than lees contact.  Includes Albarino, Torrontes, Chenin Blanc, and Riesling.

Lees Contact: Used to add body and texture to neutral varieties.  Can also be found in oak aged white wines but will be less detectable.  Varieties include Chardonnay from Chablis, Pinot Grigio, and Albarino.

Part 2 – Red Wines

Coming Soon