Don’t get the wrong idea… this meeting is going to be just as serious and somber as any other. However, given the holiday, it’ll be a little bit different in a couple of ways:
1. Winos are encouraged to come wearing their costumes
2. Winos are asked to bring bottles wearing nothing at all
And by that I mean — bring any bottle of wine you’d like, and please remove all of the labels prior to arrival. We’re going to be doing a new type of blind tasting, one in which all of the labels are laid out in front of us like a game of memory, and we’ve got to guess what we’re drinking based on the choices we have.
I’m giving you guys a nice 48-hour cushion here so that you have plenty of time to a) buy some awesome bottle, red or white, and b) remove the labels (both front and back if necessary) in one piece. It’s important to make sure the label is not mangled so that it can be read; I suggest soaking the bottle in water, maybe with a little soap disolved in it, and then removing the label carefully a la Frank Abignale in “Catch Me If You Can.” If you manage to destroy the label completely in your efforts to remove it, simply take a small piece of paper and write out all the requisite information — producer’s name, region, vintage, grape types, whatever’s listed on that labal that no longer exists — so it can be placed into the mix for the guessing game. When you show up with your totally naked bottle, we’ll use masking tape and a sharpie to write your name on it so that you can eventually reveal to us its identity.
Several things to keep in mind:
–Bottle shape can be a good clue in blind tastings, so you can attempt to trick people by buying a varietal in a different bottle than the one in which it usually appears (a Sauvignon Blanc in a Burgundy bottle, a Chardonnay in a flute, etc.)
–Some bottles will have important information on the back, such as the varietals in the blend, while other bottles will have all the necessary info on the front label. Make sure you remove all labels and then bring whichever ones are necessary.
–Feel free to remove the foil prior to arrival if the colors match the label
–The bottle closure (cork vs. plastic vs. screwcap) may give some hints as well. Check out this interesting article from Erik Nye regarding the bottle closure debate: http://www.latimes.com/features
–Make sure you chill your whites
We’ll be meeting at la casa de Jesse y Don up in the Sh’oaks. Bring a bottle devoid of all markings and identifications, the label for said bottle or a proxy, and a winning attitude. Or none of the above and a $10 donation. And a costume if you’re cool. See you on Wednesday at 9pm—