I had the opportunity to attend the Wine Twits Barone Fini Pinot Grigio Blind Taste Challenge last week. I loved the premise of the brown bag challenge, happily removed my wrapped bottles from the wine tasting kit and eagerly anticipated putting my taste buds to the test. Count Giovanni Bonmartini-Fini, the winemaker, graciously hosted a large group of bloggers and wine enthusiasts.
The Barone Fini family has been making wines since 1497 with a focus on producing quality wines with a family focus. I fully expected that the tasting would focus on the Barone Fini Valdadige and the Barone Fini Alto Adige, the winery’s two Pinot Grigio wines that are made in different styles.
However, the organizers had different plans for us. I gathered several folks at my house and we opened the first wine at the appointed time. I was not a big fan. It had a creaminess to it, but was somewhat flat with some apple and tropical notes. I couldn’t quite reconcile the flavor on my palate. I think if I had the right pairing, I would have liked this wine more, but I didn’t want to just sip it.
The second wine had notes of green apple, citrus, floral and almond that appealed more to my palate. The wines were so different that I made the remark at some point that evening that this appeared to be an old world vs new world tasting.
At this point the tasting was still blind and it was entertaining to watch the live simulcast from New York. Finally, the unveil. The first wine was Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, an overproduced and overpriced wine that is not on my favorite list. As a blogger, I was so glad that my pre-conceived notions stayed true or this would be a column about eating crow. I was surprised that how many bloggers that I respect preferred the Santa Margherita.
The second wine was Barone Fini Valdadige. Of the two wines, this was my personal preference as well as my entire group of wine tasters in Dallas.
Cheers to Wine Twits and Barone Fini for putting together an interesting and informative tasting that challenges wine styles as well as pre-conceived notions (see if you also can find the surprise visitor who did not taste wine that evening).