Tag Archives: horizontal wine tasting

Today’s Wine Word: Horizontal Tasting

What’s a horizontal wine tasting?

Don’t worry – you don’t have to lie down. Unless you want to 😉

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What is The Tasting Group?


“Authors waiting for their books to be agented”       courtesy of author Judith Land, on Pinterest

Question from Andre: Hi! I enjoy your blog. Why is it called The Tasting Group?

Reply: Hi, Andre. Thanks so much for writing! The Tasting Group is the name of a book I’m working on. The idea is to learn about wine by tasting it in an organized way with your friends. The photo and caption above feel quite literally true. One of the first rude awakenings for an aspiring author is that it’s almost impossible to get a literary agent to represent you. It took me forever to find mine, but I believe I have a good one. 

The story, below, is the introduction to my book and tells you why I believe so strongly in the concept: 

When I moved to Napa Valley, fresh out of school, and took an entry-level job at Robert Mondavi Winery my boss handed me a copy of Maynard Amerine’s Wine and was only half joking when he said “Commit this to memory.” This textbook was far too technical for the novice I was at the time so I bought a copy of Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Wine Course to begin educating myself.

Yet wonderful as that book is, after a full day of work, hitting the grocery store and getting dinner on the table I found my eyes drooping and my attention wandering as I tried to absorb the information in Zraly’s book. How was I ever going to learn and retain what I needed to know to forward my career? And, what could he possibly mean by describing a Sauvignon Blanc as “flinty?” Continue reading

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How to Host a Blind, Comparative Tasting at Home

What a great way to spend a Friday night with your wine-loving friends! 

If you think of a “horizontal tasting” as the way to describe your physical state after tasting several wines, it’s actually just another name for a blind, comparative tasting, which is tons of fun and also quite educational!

Here’s how it goes: You taste several wines of the same variety and vintage side by side, without knowing which is which (a vertical tasting is trying several different vintages of the same wine). 

Here’s what you need to do: Decide what kind of tasting would be fun and get in touch with your friends. How many wines to taste depends upon how experienced your group is. If most of the group is inexperienced, probably six wines should be the max. You could taste six Napa Valley Cabernets or two flights of three wines, three Chardonnays and three Zinfandels, for more variety. Continue reading


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