Wine Blind Taste Test: Pick the Red Wine of the Year 2018 Winner

Cellarmasters Wine of the Year blind tastingWho knew you could have so much fun with paper bags! Have you ever thought about throwing a blind tasting wine party for your friends? If you haven’t even done one, it is some serious fun. Mr. Spittoon and I have thrown a number of blind tasting parties over the years, to the point that our friends continue to ask us when the next one is.

Wine Blind Taste TestThe lovely team at Cellarmasters recently sent me over a sample of their newly released Red Wine Of The Year Finalists 6 Pack to try.

Inside the box, I found:

  • 6 bottles of Aussie red wine
  • 6 paper bags
  • 6 blind tasting guides
  • And a little booklet with some extra info about each of the wines such as food matches and how long each of the wines can cellar for

When you can’t see what wines you are drinking, it forces you to really use your senses and concentrate. It’s a great way to discuss wines with your friends, and a fun way to learn more about the great world of wine,” explains Christine Ricketts, Cellar Director at leading wine retailer Cellarmasters.

Wine of the Year 6 Pack - Cellarmasters

So how does this wine blind taste test work?

Well my friends, this is what I find very cool about this pack. I have never actually thought to hold a blind tasting party quite like this.

  1. You number each of the paper bags 1-6
  2. You put the wines into the bags
    **Hot Tip** If the person doing this doesn’t want to spoil the show for themselves, simply mix up the bags and put the wines in (avoid looking at the numbers). I would also suggest taking the caps off (they are all screw caps) as the branded ones may also give the game away!
  3. Give everyone a blind tasting guide to read through
    This handy little booklet explains how the tasting works, how to analyse each of the wines alongside tasting notes for each of the wines. I found this super handy, as it means you can taste and read through the notes to try and work out what’s what. 
  4. You can either give everyone 6 glasses (only advised if you have a dishwasher!) or just pour the wines one by one. I used my lovely Riedel Ouverture Red Wine Glasses to help the wines show at their best
  5. As you go through the tasting you then put the number of each bottle alongside the wine you think it is

Red Wine of the Year Blind Tasting Guide from Cellarmasters Paper Bags for Wine Blind Tasting How to blind taste test wine - Cellarmasters Blind Tasting Sheet from Cellarmasters

By having the tasting notes right there in front of you, it really makes you think about what’s in your glass. It also makes the fact that you’re blind tasting a little bit less daunting as you have a starting point rather than simply trying to guess from all the wines in the world (this is what I had to do when I completed my WSET Level 3 exam, from memory one of my blind taste tests was a Corvina from Italy!!).

Tasting tip from Cellarmasters: 

Ask your friends to arrive with a ‘clear palate’

To properly appreciate a wine, your palate should be as ‘clear’ as possible. So kindly ask your friends to avoid drinking coffee, smoking or brushing their teeth at least two hours before the party.

Pick the Red Wine of the Year 2018 Winner

Cellarmasters Red Wine of the Year Blind Taste Test

If you didn’t guess from the name of the 6-pack, they are the Cellarmasters Red Wine of the Year Finalists. From these 6 bottles, one will be crowned the King come June.

I have my suspicions on which one it might be, however, what I suggest you do, is grab your pack (currently $120, normally $173) and comment below with which one you think it might be.

Over the next week or so, I will be adding my tasting notes for each wine to this post. You’ll probably be able to work out which is my pick ;)

Wine Blind Tasting Party with Cellarmasters

4 thoughts on “Wine Blind Taste Test: Pick the Red Wine of the Year 2018 Winner

  1. That’s the word for it – less intimidating! Most blind tastings I have done, have always been completely blind, i.e. I’d have no idea what the wines are. So doing it this way, definitely makes it a bit easier yet you still really think about what’s in your glass :)

  2. I think this is brilliant by cellarmasters! A blind tasting all set up for you! Blind tastings can seem so intimidating, but you are right having the tasting notes there for you, makes it much more of a matching puzzle so It’s easier and less intimidating for everyone. We did a tasting like this with aromatic Alsatian whites at Claiborne Churchill in San Luis Obispo a year or so ago and it was amazing! I need to host a blind tasting!!

  3. Ahhh yes that’s so true about the fuller bodied wines doing well nearer the end Allison! I would definitely be up for a few blind tastings focused on a specific variety – good thinking!

  4. We’ve done blind taste parties like this with brown paper bags as it really levels the playing field and takes any intimidation out for people that aren’t confident about wine. What we have found though is that the fuller bodied wines will always be chosen toward the end due to palate fatigue. We need to do more around a specific variety. so much fun!

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...