# syllables used to describe wine is inversely proportional to the value of the wine

posted Sep 9, 2010, 8:28 PM by Christy Bergman   [ updated Sep 9, 2010, 8:40 PM by christy bergman ]
After Monday night's Muscardini Cellars tasting at the Secret Wine Shop, one reviewer left me this sheet of paper, which I found fascinating. According to this wine reviewer's self-referential definition of good value wines, Muscardini Cellars wines are good value since the reviewer gave very short word descriptions of the wines: "good nose", "tannin & struct", "balance", "best, yummy". Last Monday, 20 people showed up to taste 6 different Michael Muscardini wines. Of the 20 people, 12 filled out their reviews and favorite rankings sheets.
Lesson #1 about tastings is when you greet people, get them to sign your signup sheet, then hand them a score sheet & ask them to score the wines & give you any comments. That way you'll get more ratings results and handwriting clues if you need them.
The results: 2008 Barbera won people's favorite wine 5 times! The 2009 barrel sample Zinfandel won 4 times. 2009 "Tesoro" won 2 x. The 2008 Sangiovese won 2 x. The 2009 Rosato won 1 x. One person voted a tie for favorite wine between the '08 Barbera, '09 Tesoro and '09 Zinfandel. With this tasting, I paired a very smoky sausage with the 2008 Barbera. Everyone, except 1 person, said they loved the sausage with the wine. Interestingly the 2008 Barbera won this tasting as most people's favorite wine of the evening; usually it's the Zin that wins.
Lesson #2 about tastings is food can make a big difference in how people perceive & rate a wine. Don't worry about getting the pairing perfect for everyone. Pairing is a matter of personal taste, so not everyone is going to love your choice but more people will love the wine.