In the past, I was clueless when it came to picking wines, often selecting the one that sounded the nicest or had a decently presented label that would catch my attention.
Does this resonate with you?! It wasn’t until my recent travels to wineries in Tuscany and Northern California, that my understanding of and interest in wine really developed.
So when Laithwaites Wine (one of the UK’s biggest online wine retailers) reached out with the opportunity to attend a wine tasting event in the dark, I was obviously intrigued and curious to find out more.
Upon arriving at the Vintage Festival based in Old Billingsgate Market, we were guided into a blacked out room with boxes placed on the tables to hide the wines we were about to try.
Armed with a pair of infrared goggles, the Laithwaites staff carefully placed two glasses of wine into our hands. With my vision impaired, my other senses were at a heightened state when it came to sampling the wines poured into each glass.
The second stage of this wonderfully unique tasting experience integrated our sense of hearing.
With just one glass of wine in our hands, we were told to listen to a calming orchestra number followed by a chatter of mind-numbing noises. The impact of this? During the first musical piece, the wine came across as sweet and smooth, while during the second piece of random chatter, the same wine tasted dry and bitter. Perhaps thoughts in our mind do really impact our perception of our in-the-moment experience!
The final tasting of the day was centred around the sense of touch. Upon being given another glass of wine to try, we were also provided with two pieces of cloth to feel during the drinking.
While holding the first, which had a smooth and velvety texture, the wine came across as sweet, floral and light. After switching to the second cloth resembling rough sand paper, the wine’s taste came across more bitter.
The message to take away from this fascinating experience? When you next have guests over for dinner, make sure to put out velvet tablecloths and background orchestral music! You’ll be applauded for your choice of wines for the evening, all with a little help of playing with their senses.
Big thanks goes out to Laithwaites Wines for the awesome experience and opportunity to cover this insightful event.