Dec 312010
 

Video: The New Year is a Good Time for a Texas Two Sip Challenge

Being a proud but discerning Texan, it’s time to take a Texas Two Sip Challenge. Prove to yourself how far Texas wines have progressed up the wine quality ladder and see how they compare with wines from major wine regions. But, what’s a Texas Two Sip?

A Texas Two-Sip tasting is a blind tasting [that's done with name and place of origin withheld from the tasters]. It includes Texas wines poured alongside comparable non-Texas wines from the United States or other wine regions around the world. Host your own Texas Two-Sip with family and friends. But, how do you do it?

Here is a step-by-step Texas Two-Sip guide:

1. Printing: Select one of the three tasting sheets to use for your tasting. Each option highlights different Texas wines. Print enough copies of your selected tasting sheet for all your guests. You can also print blank tasting notes for them to use during the tasting. Finally, print copies of the tasting placemat to make it easy for your guests to know which wine to taste and in what order.

If you can’t find the particular wine vintages shown, that OK. Substitute 2009 and shortly the 2010 vintage wines will be available, too.

2. Wine Purchase: Purchase the wines needed for your tasting. Remember that an average-sized bottle of wine (750 mL) holds approximately 25 ounces of wine. Since you will pour small, one- ounce tastes for each wine, a bottle should serve approximately 10 to 12 people.

3. Wine Preparation: Chill your whites and feel free to slightly chill the red wines as well. Open all the bottles and disguise any labels. The easiest way to do this is to get the small brown paper bags they have at wine shops and liquor stores. Put a bottle in each bag and secure the bags around the necks of the wine bottles with rubber bands or string. After bottles have been appropriately covered, label the wines according to the tasting sheet – 1A, 1B, etc.

4. Hosting the Texas Two-Sip: Put a tasting placemat and blank tasting sheet at each guest’s seat and arrange the wine glasses. Pour approximately one ounce of each wine into each glass.

Taste each flight one at a time and ask guests to discuss the wines. You can reveal the wines’ identities at the end of each flight of two wines, or wait until the end. When the tasting is finished, give each guest a copy of the tasting sheet.

Examples of Texas Two Sip wine pairings include:

Becker Viognier (Texas) vs. Miner Viognier (California)

McPherson Cellars Rose’ (Texas) vs. Belleruche Cotes Du Rhone Rosé (France)

Inwood Cornelious 100% Tempranillo (Texas) vs. Pesquera Tinto Ribera del Duero (Spain)

I’ve participated in several blind tastings using the Texas Two-Sip format:

2010 Grape and Gridiron Classic

A Tweet Victory for Texas Wines

For more info, watch the video to see what two of the top wine guys in Texas found out during the Texas Two Sip experience.

I’ve been surprised at how hard it is to tell which wines are from Texas. At first, I didn’t realize that this was really the good news. Texas wines are world class and it’s high time to give them a try side-by-side with the wines of the world.

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