How we do it
Our goal at The Local Nose (TLN) is to help wine lovers "sniff out" quality wines that might otherwise go undiscovered on local wine merchant's shelves.
We do this by offering unbiased, reliable wine buying recommendations from a panel of expert "Noses" and by telling you where to find the wines in Singapore. This way you can educate your palate by trying newly recommended wines and comparing tasting notes with the three professional Noses.
One thing that is important to know...The Local Nose ONLY recommends wines that 3 of the expert Noses have selected for recommendation...not one, or two...but three. This gives consumers a reliable wine recommendation that is based on a broad range of palates, opinions, and tasting preferences.
Each month TLN invites local wine merchants to submit wines to a blind tasting competition. Merchants can submit any style of wine. TLN encourages them to offer value-for-money wines that are made by quality-minded producers who are perhaps not as well-known as the big brands. Yet, it is up to the merchant what they choose to submit.
Wines are blind tasted, which means that the Noses do not know the wine name, the vintage, the producer, the merchant or the retail price. The only information the Noses have is the wine category; for example 'Cabernet Sauvignon' or 'Sparkling' or 'Chardonnay'. TLN reveals the wine category intentionally so that the Noses can evaluate each wine's quality based on their tasting experience and knowledge of wine styles and grapes. In other words, the Noses know what to expect from specific categories of wine so they can evaluate each wine on its merits in the glass.
A wine is only chosen when three of the Noses independently choose to recommend it. This means that every wine selected is recognized as a quality, ready-to-drink wine by three experts, all of whom have different palates and wine preferences. Once a wine is chosen then each individual Nose will give the wine a "value-for-money" rating.
Here's how the rating works...
Since the Noses do not know the actual price of the wines when they blind taste, they must estimate a retail price for each wine as they evaluate it. The Noses must price the wines according to four different price groups.
- $ Inexpensive (SG$35 or less)
- $$ Mid-Priced (SG$35 - SG$55)
- $$$ High-Priced (SG$55 - SG$75)
- $$$$ Premium (SG$75 or more)
After every wine is tasted and the Noses finish writing their tasting notes with estimated prices, they each decide which wines merit recommendation. Only now does TLN reveal the wine name, producer, and the actual prices for the Noses to compare with their estimated prices!
If the prices are a close match then the wine is given a "good" value rating, or one glass. After all, it has already been recommended on a quality basis, and if the price is reasonable then it's a good buy.
However, if the actual retail prices is below the estimated price then the Noses can rate the wine either "excellent" (two glasses) or "sensational" (three glasses), depending on their perception of quality-to-price.
Most importantly though, if the actual retail price is higher than the estimated price then Noses can choose not to recommend it because it is not a good value-for-money.
In other words...it's all up to the Noses!