The first time we went wine tasting was in 2012. We went to the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City Michigan. We both liked wine, but I (Ryan) was pretty picky when it came to drinking anything that wasn’t a big California style red wine. California has a much different climate than Michigan, but regardless I was going to find my big, bold wine. To me any lighter reds, whites, or sweet reds were for the birds – well I still think sweet reds are a waste of grapes. Over the course of the day, I learned a lot about wine: specifically that the bigger and bolder a wine is doesn’t necessarily make it higher quality (sorry California). That the lighter wines can also have an extraordinary depth of flavor and nuance that is not “better” or “worse”, but different from the big wines I had formerly associated with quality.
We have done wine tastings in the US, Chile, and South Africa in at least 60+ different wineries over the years. We are going to review some of the wineries & wine regions, so we decided to create a some scoring criteria. Each criteria is scored out of a total of 10 points for a maximum score of 50 for the wineries we have taken tours of; 40 points maximum for the ones we have not. The criteria are:
- Sommelier/Service: this one can make or break a wine tasting. You can have the busy server who is trying to fill 10 different glasses on one hand or a completely private tour where you are tasting with a sommelier.
- Wine quality (overall) – is this a good producer of wine? Is it more mass produced, or are they striving for quality. Any wine faults?
- Tasting room/ambiance: What is the tasting room like? Anything notable?
- Vineyard Views: Anything remarkable about the vineyard/view/etc?
- Winery Tour (If taken): Wineries we take a tour of will also have another 10 points possible for the quality of the tour: what sets them apart, barrel room, anything interesting or unique?