Kaarina and I poured 4 different cabernet sauvignon for a blind tasting:
- Painter's Bridge, California ($15.15)
- J. Lohr Seven Oaks, California ($21.95)
- Beringer California Collection, California ($9.95)
- Catena, Argentina (19.95)
Even after a number of blind tastings, I find myself sometimes unconsciously falling into the trap of thinking 'this is the most expensive wine' or 'this is the best wine,' when what I am trying to do is experience the appearance, aroma, taste and finish for each WITHOUT the influence of a label. Not necessarily attach a quick number to it, but observe whether it is sweet, spicy, balanced, tannin.
And most importantly, which wine did I actually enjoy the most? I found myself returning to glass #5 and enjoying it more with each sip. It seemed the most balanced of the four. Kaarina agreed. When we removed it's generic jacket, it turned out to be the J. Lohr.
The least favourite? Again we were united. Painter's Bridge. This was made by J. Lohr, so we were expecting it to be a 'good value' wine. I found it quite tannin and not improved when served with food.
The best value? We agreed on Beringer. Not only was it the lowest price, it had a great finish. It also seemed to be the the most improved with food. We were both guessing this to be the Catena from Argentina, because it had such nice colour, spicy notes and distinct taste.
The prettiest? Okay, not a real category. But Catena was the darkest of the lot, with great legs. Lots of sex appeal.
Interestingly, Natalie MacLean scored two of our choices for the evening, but not all. Although I agree with her ranking, I'm not sure Painter's Bridge deserves such a high score.
- Painter's Bridge 88/100
- Catena 92/100