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How to blind taste Bordeaux

Right/Left, Merlot or Cabernet: easy, right? Maybe in theory, but attempting to discern one sample of a Bordeaux wine from another, with no clues, is a major test even for the world’s keenest palates. Here’s a truly expert guide to how to go about it.

It’s a bit like one of those bad dreams. There you are, with a line-up of glasses half full of red wine laid out in front of you. You know that you are going to be asked to identify the origins of those wines. No one will give you the slightest clue. And you’ve only got a few minutes per wine to do the job.

Nightmarish as this sounds, the scenario will be familiar to anyone who’s ever sat a blind-tasting wine exam. But let’s make the task a little bit easier, shall we? Let’s assume that you’re told that the wines all come from within the Bordeaux region.

Even then, trying to pin down the source of each of them is no easy task. Nevertheless, every glass of wine contains clues – the question is, what’s the best way of making these clues add up to a strong conclusion?


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