Planning to be in Whistler for the 18th annual Cornucopia Wine & Food Festival? So are we! Quini is thrilled to be the exclusive wine app of the festival. To make sure everyone gets the most out of this tasty 10-day event, we thought we’d share our top 5 wine tasting event tips. Happy sipping!
Wine Festival Tip #1: Taste Judiciously – Try not to race to taste as many wines as you can. That’s a wholesale wine buyer’s mission. Even a professional wine tasting judge’s palate can tire at 60 wines or so. Take your time and judiciously taste fewer wines. It’s not about the numbers. Great wines do something great for you. They give you pleasure, evoke or create memories, and expand your knowledge and appreciation for life and the art of wine.
Wine Festival Tip #2: Be Selective – You are your own judge. As a wine enthusiast, you have surely bought wines based on a store clerk’s or friend’s recommendation. You may have asked them for something ‘exotic or unique’, only to regret it after the first sip. Your disappointment was your mistake, and you recognized it. Think of wines you have tried in the past. What you liked and did not like about them. Always realizing that your palate is unique, tell the representative at the table what you’re looking for, or trying to avoid. A wine is more likely to satisfy your palate if you let the rep know what you like.
Wine Festival Tip #3: Take Tasting Notes – If you’ve ever taken mental note of a wine only to forget it later, you’re not alone. This is especially guaranteed when you taste many wines in a row. Take a moment to write down your impressions of your favourites as you work the room, and snap a picture of the label if you can. Writing down things like “the lady wearing blue gave me that wine” can be great memory triggers as well. If you have a smartphone, use it to take notes and pictures.
Wine Festival Tip #4: Mark Peaks and Valleys – Set personal expectations for wine experiences you want to remember. Criteria that mean something to you and are bound to make you take notice, and with that, more easily remember the wine in the future. Extreme sweetness or dryness perhaps, or a strong acidic flavour that awakens the senses.
Wine Festival Tip #5: Break It Down – In wine tasting, judgment is more accurate when you break down the experience into components. Unless the different aspects are rated separately, and carefully, one can easily slip into a judgment call, unintentionally discarding or diluting other key pieces. Follow and rate these five aspects of a wine when taking notes, taken from the Quini wine app. Eye for appearance, Nose for aroma, Mouth for taste, Finish for aftertaste and duration in the mouth, and Opinion for an overall impression.
A good app developed with experts can be the perfect aid. Use it to evaluate stand-out wines, scoring the five key areas before moving on to the next wine. If you’re pressed for time, plug in your initial impressions and set each wine review to be completed later on with more details and notes.
The wines destined for serving at the event are in the Quini app database. Festival attendees can rate the wines by typing the #cornucopia2014 hashtag into Quini and then narrow it down from there.