Quale Preferisci?

Which do you prefer?

The Mystery Wines

A friend of ours set up a blind wine tasting at his place. 5 wines, ranging from 2 euro at the grocery store to over 50Euro/bottle. We were given a scorecard, and as we mingled, we tried to figure out which wine was which.


It’s a simple concept – but it was *really* *really* fun. Certainly any party that starts with sampling 5 wines is bound to be festive. But the air of competition made it even more fun. When the big reveal happened, there were some who found that they preferred the 2 Euro bottle (lucky them!), and we were in disagreement about the mid-range wines. The biggest twist was that the two most expensive bottles actually had gone bad. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring that out – I’ve only sent wine back once in Rome, and it was a pretty intimidating experience.



Filed under Activities, Culture, Friends

4 responses to “Quale Preferisci?

  1. Katharine

    I’ve been wanting to have some type of party like this! (And actually I’ve wanted to do it soon-ish and been disappointed you guys were still gone!) I’ve also heard that if you taste red and white wine at the same temperature you can’t really tell a difference. The intersection of taste, culture, and psychology when it comes to wine is pretty fascinating.

    • Ryan apparently has the magical powers to arrange work emergencies every March Madness … so he’ll be back almost the whole month of March. I guess maybe wine doesn’t go with basketball though, does it?

      re: the temperatures of red vs. white … I imagine it would depend some on the types of wine, but I’ve certainly tasted cold red wine and found that the more I warm it with my hands, the more the flavors and scents come out.

      Also… there’s nothing that says this kind of thing can’t be done more than once. Maybe we’ll host one when we come back. :)

  2. what a great idea for a party!

    If wine is bad – they still expect you to pay full price if you drink it so good for you for sending it back.

  3. Temperature does seem to influence my perceived taste of a wine. I had read higher temps accentuate the alcohol “bite” and very cold flattens everything. So I conducted a little experiment with a thermometer and an Alexander valley Cab & later a chianti classico ( from the kate/ryan tuscany wedding winery tour). Bottle in fridge @ 38F & glasses poured and timed to be @ 55, 60 & 65F and one at “room temp” which turned out to be 74F.

    Most notable finding the alcohol did seem more prominent at MY room temp, 74F at the time, & 55-60F was my favorite for both.

    Right out of fridge they were all just expensive, weird tasting grape juice – SURPRISE!!!!!!

    So that second glass from the bottle that has been sitting on the table and warming may indeed be different than the first, especially if it was properly cellar stored @ 50-55F to start

    I suspect that at the very low temp it may be as much about numbing taste buds as it is the chemistry & associated physical/volatile attributes (aroma).

    And of course each of the poured glasses had a chance to “breathe” for different time periods, so this is not a perfectly controlled experiment – but do we really want to get all scientific method over mellowing with a nice glass of wine anyway?????

    Here are some temperature guidelines that make sense to me:




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