Blind Tasting: Old World vs New World Wines (Intro)

Total Wine & More LogoCharlotte, NC – On Saturday, March 9, 2013 I attended a blind wine tasting class sponsored by Charlotte’s Total Wine & More store #613. Located at the corner of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Providence Road in the Promenade on Providence Shopping Center, this blind tasting class featured eight (8) different wines broken down in to four (4) separate categories.


Total Wine - Ryan GilbertAt the helm teaching the class was local food and wine connoisseur Ryan Gilbert. Gilbert has a real gift for sharing his in-depth knowledge on grape varietals as well as covering the many unique aspects of terroir within each of the world’s wine regions. Gilbert’s resume includes various degrees: an AS in Culinary Arts; a BA in English; and an SWE Certified Specialist of Wine. He also runs his own personal blog at

To get things started, Gilbert lead us to a table filled with a light assortment of hors d’oeuvres. Each person picked a small plate full of their favorite assortment of meats, cheeses, bread and grapes to be sampled along with our wines.

Wine Blind Tasting - Our ToolsGilbert then gave a brief summary of what to expect next – a tour across the globe, sampling wines from various old world and new world regions. For those of you unfamiliar with the terms; Old World simply refers to the European countries, who have established a rich heritage for growing famed wines throughout the centuries. New World, on the other hand, refers to The Americas and Southern Hemisphere regions.

Finally, we were given the standard 4-S Rules of Wine Tasting: Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Spit. Since I am all about enjoying my wine to the fullest, I decided to embark on a simpler 3-S approach instead. You see, I prefer to allow the wine to speak to me fully – in all of its glory. Which means the alcohol must be consumed to be appreciated fully. To put it more bluntly, spitting out good wine is simply not in my constitution. (grin)

With food now on our plates and wine rules having been read, it was time to let the tastings begin…

  1. Part 1:  Blind Tasting (Wines 1 and 2)
  2. Part 2:  Blind Tasting (Wines 3 and 4)
  3. Part 3:  Blind Tasting (Wines 5 and 6)
  4. Part 4:  Blind Tasting (Wines 7 and 8)