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Nobody is more disappointed than myself, when I say I don't remember what I drank that night at a St Aubin White Blind Tasting last week. Super pumped for this event, I was ready to record meticulous tasting notes for you readers here, from top producers such as Bachelet, Ramonet, Lamy and more.
In end, I committed a huge mistake – that is I got shit faced. That is quite obvious in hindsight, however I had too much hubris and forgot many valuable lessons from US undergraduate collegiate life: eat before you drink and pace yourself. This tasting was done with friends so no professional faux pas was made.
To help you, my dear readers, in hosting your own blind tastings, do make a note of the following lessons I learnt the hard way:
- Stay Organised (a.k.a. the hardest part).
- Ideally you have someone not involved in the blind tasting to help you organise the bottles so that you only know what you brought.
- Bring numbered bottle socks to keep the order straight.
- Record which number bottle is brought by whom before you start.
- Slow down. For some reason, many people like to breeze through the wines to get a quick "feel" for them before tasting begins. However you can honestly go at your own pace, if you stay organised and know which bottle is which. Then you can really go at without worrying about mixups, hence why staying relatively organised makes it so important!
- Bring spittoons. Sounds unnecessary when the tastings themselves are not professional and purely for fun but quickly after going through a few faulty bottles or an overly generous pour, you don't have to commit to drinking the whole thing or find the nearest sink to pour. This also is relevant to points 1-3.
- Optional: Additional glasses. This is optional because it's understandable not everybody has enough glassware around to do this. However it really helps to discern between two very similar wines and allows you to revisit.
Organising a blind tasting isn't as hard as it sounds. To be honest, it's the best kind of tasting in terms of pushing your experience, biases and palette, in a structured way. However when you have a lot of bottles and a lot eager drinkers, you can easily overwhelm yourself and get in over your head.
Any other tips? Let me know!
Domaine Arnaud Ente is a complete revelation for me. I have tried Coche Dury, Leflaive, Leroux, Boisson-Vadot and countless other white Burgundy producers but never have I been WOWed like this.
Perhaps you're like, oh no your young palate has never tasted the greats like DRC's Batard or Auvenay's Chevalier but to put this into context, the Arnaud Ente I tried was a mere 2013 Bourgogne Blanc - lowest of the classifications in Burgundy.
Such a simple wine, that gives so much! It has everything you want from a well-balanced Burgundy chardonnay - lemon, apple, mineral - all bound together with a hint of smokiness. The flavours instantly hits your note and palate from the first sip - this is a wine that does not wait to show off.
And showed off it did. As soon as we realised just how god damn good this wine was, we rushed off to the nearest oyster shop (thank god just diagonally across from us).
This all sounds ridiculously highfalutin, drunken scribble from your favourite, overly loquacious critics but this is not out of exaggeration and something you must taste ASAP for yourself - if you can find it of course.
I keep my eyes peeled for anymore to come and can't wait to try more of his village or 1er Crus. I hope to try his brother Benoit Ente's wines and I'll report once I do.