Tasting in the Dark: A Blind Wine Seminar

Tasting in the Dark with Francis Ford Coppola Wines

You’ve no double heard of a blind wine tasting before. This involved tasting wine where the label is covered. The idea matching how good of wine connoisseur you are to be able to discern the wine. But this wasn’t the kind of wine tasting I attended. And no, it wasn’t anything kinky either. This was all about elevating your senses by taking away one. This was Tasting in the Dark.

You know the name Francis Ford Coppola from his legendary films. What if he were to take away all of the images? Your senses would suddenly enhance aspects you never noticed—the sound of a child laughing in the background of the scene, the scent of the perfume of the woman in the row behind you, and the saltiness of your popcorn. This is the premise of Tasting in the Dark.

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As we all gathered in the corner of the restaurant, we were each given blindfolds to put on. Instructed that we’d put our hand on the shoulder of the person in front of us, we slowly and very carefully walked into to our seminar room. First we were given glasses of different items to smell, to get our sense of smell activated. Anise was easy to identify as the strong smell of licorice was present. Vanilla bark was harder to discern. But one thing was for sure, it really helped us focus in on that sense of smell.

Next were three different wines placed in front of us. The white with fruity notes was easily identifiable. The reds, although easy to pick out different hints of cherry, vanilla and other notes were not as easy to identify. This was a neat way to explore wines. The subtle nuances of wine are no longer subtle, instead having our full attention. You can smell the fruit. You can feel the tannins. You realize how much more you get out of tasting wines like this.

Hoby Wedler, recently awarded Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 for Food and Drink, was our host of the unusual wine tasting. Hoby says blindfolds help participants concentrate on the wine, accentuating the sensory experience of its flavors and aromas.“You’re really focusing just on the wine and not on the visual cues,” Wedler says. You bring your curiosity we’ll bring the blindfolds.