Learn about wine: barrel tastings and vertical tastings explained!

director - December 13, 2017

What is a Barrel Tasting?

You might have noticed the “Save the Date” for our second annual Barrels & Verticals event coming up on February 24, 2018. And you might have wondered, “what is a barrel tasting?” A barrel tasting, quite simply, is a chance for you to taste wine that has not yet been bottled, straight from the tap, er barrel. (For information about why wines are aged in barrels, check out Wine Folly’s excellent tutorial about oak and wine.) Wine is extracted from the barrel using a tool called a “Wine Thief” and then transferred to your glass for you to sample. (Also note, a wine thief is the perfect gift for that person who has everything. I can guarantee they don’t have one of these!) This is a great opportunity to learn about and sample vintages before they are bottled and released. Some wineries will even let you pre-purchase the wine!

What is a Vertical Tasting
And now you might be wondering, “well, what is a vertical tasting? Does it mean I taste while vertical?” That is an excellent question. A vertical tasting is a comparative tasting of wines wherein the only thing that differs is the vintage year. For instance, a vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon might feature a winery’s releases from 1988, 1995, 2001, 2007, and 2013. I personally love vertical tastings because it is an excellent opportunity to learn about the conditions that took place in the vineyard during different vintages and it also gives a good idea as to the ageability of the wines. (For more information on how to organize your own vertical tasting, check out VinePair’s great post!) 

Both barrel and vertical tastings are a great opportunity to expand your wine knowledge and please your palate. Tickets for this event are $30 pre-sale and $35 at the door. You can purchase your tickets today at eventbrite.com. And, might I say, they also make excellent stocking stuffers. Or last-minute gifts, if you, like me, wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping.

Happy Holidays!

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