A Proper Pinot Noir (aka Blind Taster’s Treat)
The oh-so serious sport of wine tasting is receiving a major reality check in Season 5 of WineAlign’s “So, You Think You Know Wine?”. Without any clues, host Seán Cullen takes each table through the swirling, sniffing, and gurgling ritual of wine tasting – asking them to correctly identify the grape, country, region, vintage, and price of the wine.
Table 10 brings together Sara d’Amato, Véronique Rivest, Brad Royale and chef Chris McDonald. Véronique has her heart set on pinot noir from the very first sniff and leads off with that strong suggestion. Then, for the others, it comes down to a contest of vintage, country and region. The one thing they all agree on is that this is a lovely wine.
Click here to watch Table 10 or read on to learn more about the contestants and the scoring method.
Tensions are mounting as the scores have now been released. ONLY the top six will advance to the playoffs. Here’s a look at how the contestants are doing so far, not including today’s episode.
As always, the video series brings together Canada’s top wine experts, but this time a few well-known food personalities have taken on the daunting task of competing against wine critics, sommeliers, and wine educators.
Sara is a Toronto-based wine consultant, sommelier, wine critic and principal partner with WineAlign. She has worked in cellars both in Niagara and in France, as Sommelier at the Four Seasons Hotel and at the Platinum Club of the Air Canada Centre. She is also a contributor to Chatelaine magazine. Sara is the first and only woman to have won the Grand Award at the prestigious Wine Tasting Challenge.
Brad has been involved in retail and restaurant management for fifteen years and he is now the Wine Director for Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts. He has won multiple awards for his wine programs. In 2012 Brad launched his own wine label, Kitten Swish…it’s delicious.
Véronique won second place at the prestigious Sommelier du Monde Competition in 2013, in fact, she is the first woman ever to have made it to the podium. She is a wine columnist for Ottawa’s Le Droit newspaper and Radio-Canada and she has just opened her own wine bar in Gatineau, Quebec called Soif.
Chris has worked in Toronto restaurants for 40 years. He started out as a busboy and quickly traveled up the ranks eventually becoming chef and owner of two of Toronto’s most loved restaurants – Avalon and Cava. He’s now taking a well-deserved break before he starts his next adventure.
The scoring on each wine remains similar to past seasons with points for Variety, Country, Region, Appellation, Vintage and Price.
Variety: 3 points
Country, Region, Appellation: up to 4 points
Vintage: up to 2 points
Price (within 10% on either side): 1 point
Let the games begin! Pour yourself a glass of wine and watch table 8.
For those of you new to our video series, “So, You Think You Know Wine?”, we have saved all previous episodes under the Videos tab.
Previously on Season 5 of “So, You Think You Know Wine?”:
Table 1 – Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay 2013
Table 2 – Creekside Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Table 3 – Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Table 4 – The Grinder Pinotage 2013
Table 5 – Faustino VII Tempranillo 2012
Table 6 – Gnarly Head Pinot Noir 2012
Table 7 – Laroche Chablis St. Martin 2012
Table 8 – Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2010
Table 9 – Root: 1 Carmenère 2012
We hope that you find this new series entertaining and that you have as much fun watching as we did filming. As usual, please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to share this video with your friends and family.
Special thanks to our glassware sponsor, Schott Zwiesel, for their beautiful glasses and carafes used during filming.