In wine, sometimes you have a “jack of all trades, master of none” moment. That moment when you realize that while you’ve been learning and writing about wine for more than ten years, you remain humbled. For me, the further I journey with wine, I realize how little I know – especially during blind tastings. Sometimes I perform like a pro, sometimes notsomuch.
I was provided with a Master The World sample, a new wine education platform for enthusiasts and industry professionals seeking to hone their palate. I received an at-home blind tasting kit and access to an online wine evaluation process. There was an online webinar scheduled to taste with other writers, but unfortunately it conflicted with another event.
Master the World Program is designed by Master Sommeliers Evan Goldstein and Limeng Stroh (Co-founder/CEO). Both are long-time business partners in Full Circle Wine Solutions, a leading California-based wine & spirits marketing and education firm. Your Master the World blind tasting kit allows you to taste wines, access on online evaluation tool allowing you to assess each wine prior to reveal and compare your findings to those of a Master Sommelier and then provide access to monthly seminars hosted by Master Sommeliers.
Once the kit arrives at your door, the fun begins (or the realization you don’t know as much as you thought you do). You’ll have the chance to choose grape variety, region, and/or style from a selection of curated wines. Over 1,400 wines were evaluated for the MTW 2020 kits to choose the 72 wines in this year’s selection.
Kits can be shipped to 45 states (excluding AL, DE, MS, SD and UT). You can choose between three payment options: an à la carte single kit, $90, a monthly “pay-as-you-go” subscription, $80 per kit, or an annual subscription of 12 kits for $840, i.e. $70 a kit, including free overnight shipping during the summer months. Through a partnership with Napa Valley Wine Academy, MTW is also providing study kits for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program.
Let me stop there and note the importance of being in a focused frame of mind where you are solely focused on wine tasting. I wasn’t – we had just returned from visiting John’s family where we had to bury his youngest sister and take care of his father after his release from the hospital after being diagnosed with COVID. I wrote about the experience a few weeks ago. Because there were obvious risks involved, my family went to be tested as soon as we returned to make sure we didn’t have COVID and we were waiting on our results while mourning the loss of his sister-in-law. This was the background of when I tasted. And let’s just say that I completely blew it due to that lack of true focus and concentration (note: COVID tests negative). Lesson learned — be in the right mindset.
I’ve always found blind tastings to be humbling, but I always jump at the chance to test my skills. Let me tell you that this was a great experience. It’s easy, it’s packaged well, the wines are diverse and good and it certainly is a challenge. At the end of the day, it’s a fun way to try difference wines, learn about regions and to learn what distinguishes various grape varieties and regional wines from one another with a selection chosen by the experts.