Survey Respondents on Blind Tasting

“I must have been just 15 years old and, my father offered me a taste of a red wine in his glass asking: what do you think of this? I was brought up in the European tradition drinking wine since seven or eight years of age but always diluted with some water, this one, was very special because it was offered to me “straight” — that meant I was being ’elevated’ to the category of “thinking adult”…I said I liked it very much because it reminded me of smooth velvet and black cherries…My father said, “good!” (as if, ’you passed the test’). It was a 1975 Pétrus…”
Delia Viader, owner, Viader Vineyards

“I had just gotten the wine column for GQ [magazine] in the mid-eighties and was in the office of Robert Chadderdon, a famous and feared importer known for quality and inaccessibility. After I interviewed him, he opened a wine he said was undiscovered by Americans and poured a glass for me to taste blind. “What do you think of that?” he asked. I sipped and said, “Oh, yes, Moscato d’Asti. I quite like it.” Come to think of it, I don’t believe I’ve ever again guessed a wine correctly when the pressure was on.”

Alan Richman, food and wine writer

“In the Rhone valley, I was invited to dinner at the home of Jean-Louis Chave with his father, mother and the wine critic Robert Parker. Monsieur Chave had prepared a meal with truffles as the main theme…and [a mystery] wine tasted blind. No one spoke…It was extraordinary…Then Parker says, “Alright Johnnes, what is it?” I thought I would choke…I tasted the wine again. It had an opulent nose redolent of dried roses and violets, smoke, plums and pepper…I barked out, Hermitage 1978. Monsieur Chave stood up and revealed a magnum of a wine with no label. It had come from his cellar a few yards away and was never labeled for shipping. It was, in fact, a Hermitage 1978. I could breath again…”
Daniel Johnnes, importer

“I was with my fathers best friend, Bill Warre and [our host], a wine merchant. After a number of very nice wines, our host served the port blind. On tasting the port, Bill turned to me and said “Your Grandfather served this wine the evening I got engaged” — and pronounced it to be Warre 1922 [Vintage Port]. He was absolutely correct. I can still remember the wine, and the look of astonishment on our host’s face!”
Dominic Symington, co-owner, Symington Port Companies

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