The Local Nose was back with a twist on its recent event. Though this was not the first time a blind tasting event was being held, but it was the first time a spinning game was involved. All the wines were served in black glasses and all the wines were lined up in black bottles. This is literally drinking in the dark, without any usage of blindfolds though. (Idea for next time? :p)
A line-up of Local Nose recommended wines were poured:
Lion's Lair Chenin Blanc (South African)
Domaine Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner (Austrian)
Neudorf Chardonnay (NZ)
Tasca D'Almerita Cygnus (Sicily, Italy)
Red X (California, USA)
Los Boldos Malbec (Argentina)
But wait - the pouring order was totally unknown. And more, the Schott Zwiesel tasting glasses were so black that we couldn't really tell if it was red or white! We only had our palette as our inner guidance, or so I thought.
Thirty people were present that night to participate in this unique event. As usual, I was super ecstatic to be one of them. What’s not to love about drinking wine, getting to know people and being introduced to a recently opened cool hangout place!
Intrepid Gastrobar whipped the following lovely menu for the pair-up:
Soup of chilled peas and fresh mint, lemon zest, almonds
Poached potato pearls with fresh chives, smoked oysters, baby capers
Risotto of grilled prawns and spicy chorizo, lemon thyme, burn butter
Roasted tomato salad, carrots, shaved fennel, beets, asparagus, parmesan chips
Tortellini of Australian lamb, burned butter, lemon zest, truffle foam
Crispy pork belly and mushy peas, poached quail egg, basil oil
May I say the last dish was really oh-to-die-for that I ignored the invisible warning where I might need to watch out for some buttons popping out of my jeans. I couldn’t help it, it was divine.
Before the fun really started, guests were welcomed with a refreshing and easygoing Sauvignon Blanc from Mount Brown (New Zealand). When most of the guests have arrived, the blind tasting began. I too opted for this experience because what’s the fun in knowing everything, right?
As the guests were busy sipping blindly, I noticed the two schools of thoughts, when asked what they thought the wine they were holding was. Some of them formed an opinion pretty quickly, giving me the answer when I asked them to guess. The others said they would love to wait until they tasted everything before making any decisions. How interesting. I really wondered if that’s how they too make decisions on their daily matters. I started to self-reflect for a while … until my glass was empty.
Then there was another group who simply knew what they wanted to do that evening – to win the guessing game and bring the prize back home. From the moment they stepped into Intrepid, they had their strategies in place. Sun Tzu would have been really proud to witness them in action. They have taught me even our fingers can replace our palette during blind tasting to determine if the wine is red or white.
There was also a quiz component to this evening. People who answered the most numbers of correct answers would get the chance to spin the bottle, guess the wines and win prizes. I learned quite a few facts from this quiz such as:
“Grüner Veltliner is an indigeneous grape of Austria.” (not a Swiss German aviator or Slovakian sausage!)
“The Zinfandel grape is called Primitivo in Italy.” (definitely not Primrose, and note people, not Pipparedello, either)
“Chenin Blanc has another name in South Africa - that is Steen.”
As for the star of the night, it definitely was wine #5 - Red X Blend (Syrah, Petit Syrah, Malbec and Dolcetto) which was a full bodied red with a lovely nose and attached with interesting tagline on its label – “Bad at rules. Good at wine.” Some of the rules are really worth remembering.
However, the most important fact I’ve learned (which was part of the quiz too) is that I think Local Nose wine events are really fun, of great value, super creative and educational! Not to mention, one may just win exciting prizes, like my friends Yvonne and Louise, through the mastery of art of wine war, they won themselves a bottle of wine.
Some of us continued this celebratory moment by ordering more food from Intrepid and discovered they have so much more tasty food in-store! I am definitely going back there again! As usual, I am looking forward to the next event. For those of you, who missed it this time, hope you will be able to join the fun at the next one. I love Local Nose events and I simply cannot lie.
Contributed by: Donna Daritan, TLN Blogger