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blind wine tasting
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international food Anytime is a wonderful time to enjoy a wine tasting. The Bacchus Box is a complete wine tasting evening in a box. Learn the style of wine that you prefer while challenging your guests to choose their favorite. The twist? Nobody, not even the host, knows which wine is which. Here's how it works:
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1. Planning the Wine Tasting

Typically our tastings have included six wines and six tasters. Each taster brings a wine that they have chosen to win the tasting. Each taster must have a separate glass for each wine. In our example this would require a total of 36 wine glasses. Many department stores sell affordable boxes of wine glasses. But don't let the thought of identical glasses bog you down. Improvise with plastic stemware from the grocery store. When purchasing the wine it is best to establish some parameters. Set a comfortable price limit for you and all of your guests. Inform your guests of the type of wine (red, white, rose) and the price range. If you are tasting whites have your guests chill their bottle before arriving.

2. Concealing the Bottles

In a blind wine tasting, the fewer people that know which wines were selected the better. When they arrive, have your guests uncork their bottles and place them in one of the purple satin wine bags provided. Discard the corks. Pull the ties so that no information about the wine can be seen. Once their bottle is completely cloaked, it can be placed on a central counter.

3. Color-coding the Bottles

After all of the guests have arrived and all of the bottles concealed, a guest is selected to mix up all of the bottles. Just sllide them around a bit so no one knows which one is theirs. Have another guest place a color-coded topper in each bottle. From now on the bottles will only be identified by the color of the topper.

4. Pouring the Wine

It is important to keep the wine glasses in order during the tasting. In the kit you will find a bag of wine charms for each taster. The charms match the toppers on the bottles. One guest is selected to pour the wine, carefully matching topper to charm. This way the samples do not get confused. Continue pouring until all of the tasters have a sample of each wine. Pour only about one-third of a glass for each sample. This will help avoid spills when the wines are swirled.

5. Tasting

Now for the fun part. Your guests arrive at their places to find a tasting notes sheet and a tasting tips card (provided) in each chair. On this sheet, they can record their impressions of each wine.

First, examine the color. Notice the clarity. Is there any sediment? Does one wine look thin and watery compared to the others? Write down what you have observed for each wine.

Second, smell the wine. Place your hand over the bowl of your glass and gently swirl. This aerates the wine and releases its aromas. Some common adjectives are fruity, oaky, earthy and smoky. Compare the smells of the four wines. Can you pinpoint specific aromas? Which is most appealing to you? Remember that most of our sense of taste comes through smell. Often those wines that exude the most attractive bouquet will likewise excite your tastebuds. Again, be sure to record your impressions.

Third, taste. We've read a good deal about the proper method for tasting wines and all of them make us feel a little ridiculous. The best recommendation that we could give you would be to let the wine sit in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. Different areas of the tongue are sensitive to a different aspect of taste. Allowing the wine to come into contact with the entire surface of the tongue will expose you to more nuances of the wineís character. To cleanse your palette between each sip try some unsalted crackers and water. Wine tasting is completely subjective. Write down which wine you preferred, and why. After all, if you are thinking about which wine to purchase in the future your choice should be based on enjoyment, not cost.

6. Ranking

Under the "my rank" column on the tasting notes sheet rank the wines. One being the best. Remember this is just for you. Which wine did you like best and why? As you continue to enjoy the Bacchus Box you will begin to discover characteristics that you like in a wine, and others that you want to avoid. This way you can be more confindent when you purchase your next bottle.

7. Voting

At each tasters' place is a stack of voting disks. These disks are also color-coded. The host will begin the voting process by taking the charms bag marked "one" and pass it around. Each taster is instructed to place the color disk of their favorite wine in this bag. Then the bag marked "two" is passed around. Voting continues until each taster has voted for every wine. Then the host dumps out the disks from the last place bag. On the score sheet provided, the host will score the wine with the number of points on the bag. In other words all of the wines whose disks are in the fourth place bag will receive 4 points. Continue until all of the bags are empty. Total the score for each wine. Like golf, the lowest score wins!

8. the Big Reveal

Add suspence by unveiling the wines from worst to first. Each taster now has the oopportunity to hang their head or rejoice in their win! But don't worry, you can use the Bacchus Box over and over, so revenge is the best medicine. The kit comes With a 12 minute instructional DVD. A great evening and a great gift.

the mix:
A blind wine tasting is all about having fun and trying some new selections with0ut any pressure. Obviously, a few rules apply. Don't invite someone who is not really into wine, or a recovering alcoholic. (I know this sounds crazy, but we went to a wine tasting where this actually happened!)
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