03/16/11 – March Delirium week #1

By Jesse on March 14, 2011

As our once-proud tradition of weekly meetings has lately been marred by scheduling conflicts and the increased responsibilities that come with advancing age, we decided it wasn’t a viable possibility this year to host a full-scale eight-week March Madness tasting tournament as we’ve done in years past.  But don’t despair, blind-tasting buffs; we haven’t forgotten you.

This year, we’re hosting a shorter, less intense version of the tournament, which we’ve decided to call March Delirium (to reflect its relative mildness as compared to full-blown “madness”).  Instead of six single-varietal meetings, we’ll instead be hosting either two or three combination meetings, as determined by your interest levels.  Furthermore, instead of simply blind-tasting varietals and regions, March Delirium features guessing on a scale that will likely become all the more relevant to us this summer as fuel costs hit all-time highs: price.

Each week, we’ll feature several bottles of two different varietals, one white and one red. For each, we’ll blind-taste the bottles, one at a time, providing participants only a bare minimum of extra information about each one. Everyone secretly writes down their price guess, rounded to the nearest dollar. Then we de-bag the bottle, discuss our impressions, and compare our guesses. Jason has devised the following scoring system for tabulating points:

The score one would get would be the difference between the actual cost and the cost estimate, in absolute value. To turn that into positive points, we can give points per bottle:
–Closest to actual (rounded to dollar) gets 3 points each
–Second closest gets 2 points each
–Third closest gets 1 point each
–Within one dollar of actual (i.e. exact match) = +5 bonus points

After the two (or three?) meetings are up, the taster with the most accumulated points will win an awesome bottle from the Winos’ stash!

This week, we’re starting with Riesling and Syrah.  The Young Winos will be buying all of the bottles ahead of time, so all you need to bring is your $15 tasting fee.  That’s five dollars more than what we usually charge for tastings, but the extra cash outlay will be rewarded in the experience of getting to taste higher-priced versions of both varietals.  (Of course, whether or not those will be the wines you like best remains to be seen.  Prepare to be surprised!)

We’ll be meeting at Nick’s place on the Santa Monica / West LA border. The RSVP system functions like this: if you want in, you click on this link and tell me so (don’t forget your full name, e-mail address, and a cute message conveying to me your intentions). Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, all you need to bring is fifteen dollars, and your favorite tasting hat.

See you on Wednesday at 9pm!