Blind Wine Tasting Study Tips from a Master of Wine

Blind Wine Tasting Study Tips

A Conversation with Lindsay Pomeroy, MW

While at SommCon 2018, Lindsay Pomeroy gave a session on high level wine certification studies and sat down with Chuck to talk about blind tasting tips. Lindsay's outstanding wine tasting ability earned her the Bollinger Medal, presented by Etienne Bizot, Chairman of the Madame Bollinger Foundation for her blind wine test performance of the Master of Wine examination. Here were the things she said she did to prepare for the blind tasting portion of her exams.

Blind Wine Tasting Study Tips

  1. Download several years of the Master of Wine Test List.
  2. Create shopping list and begin sourcing exact bottles (or as close to as possible.)
  3. Get large wine refrigerator & a Coravin + lots of Capsules.
  4. Number each bottle with number on the neck corresponding with a master list.
    • Create “flight lists” of: varietal, region, style, etc (based on mw evaluation guidelines.)
    • Get someone to pour random flights with minimal hints of content (similar to hints of mw blind taste testing questions.)
    • Leave answer key of flight # or bottle #s in a known place, out of sight. Once you have taken as much time as you have allotted your flight &/or written down your conclusions, you retrieve your answer key and compare.
  5. Confidence building activities:
    • Work with less time (time crunch)
    • Untimed tastings
    • Unblind tasting
    • etc.
  6. Try to keep your current study materials related to pre-planned weekly flights to help build brain connections. This way when blinding, you will have more connections to draw upon to identify what is in the glass.
  7. Join a wine tasting group or two. Find a group(s) that meets your needs and that you can give back. Some have a 'guide' who takes donations and buys the wines, others ask members to bring a bottle to share wrapped in a bag or foil.
 
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