Your Ah Haa Moment: Blind (Wine) Tasting 101, 6/14

Live it up Friday night, June 14. Attend Ah Haa‘s kick-off (the season) party, including hands-on demonstrations in printmaking, jewelry, ceramics and cooking. Head for Ah Haa ‘s home at the old Depot first – the event takes place 5 – 8 p.m. – then mosey on over to Over the Moon, 200 West Colorado (behind Patagonia), where sommelier Bryan Thames plans to conduct his blind tasting course, 6:30 – 8: 30 p.m.

Sommelier Bryan Thames (of Bottleworks)

Sommelier Bryan Thames (of Bottleworks)

Writing for The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin once described his knowledge of (and attitude toward) wine as close to the nexus of “ignorance” and “philistinism.” But what about so-called connoisseurs? Is it possible they too can’t tell the difference between red and white in a blind tasting?

In an effort to refute such expertise, the results of one infamous experiment was published in the Times of London. In the test, a group of wine drinkers were asked to describe what appeared to be a white wine and a red wine. In truth, they had been given two glasses of the same white wine, one of which had been colored red with a flavorless, odorless dye. Turned out their comments about the “red” were in line with common red-wine descriptors. The conclusion? “We taste what we are expecting to taste.”

But what if we are not experts? What if we are Average Janes and Joes out for a good time and just enough knowledge to be able to choose our dinner wines based on criteria somewhere north of the great graphic on the label? Wouldn’t that be worth an investment of two hours – and a whole lot of fun?

On Friday, June 14,  6:30 – 8:30 p.m., certified sommelier through the internationally recognized Court of Master Sommeliers (that means he’s an expert) Bryan Thames, the general manager and wine buyer for Telluride Bottleworks since 2006, teaches “Blind Tasting 101” for the Ah Haa School for the Arts at Over the Moon, a newish family-owned retail and speciality food shop with A+ ratings on Yelp, featuring cheese and charcuteries cut to order. It is located at 200 West Colorado, behind Patagonia on Main Street.

That evening, Bryan will address questions such as why do certain grapes look, smell and taste the way they do? What differentiates new world wines (United States, South America, Australia) from old world wines (Europe)? While tasting a variety of wines, participants will get to sample some of the great Over the Moon cheeses that pair well with them.

Want to know more before you pop a cork? Click the “play” button and listen to my chat with Bryan Thames.

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