Whether you are sommeliers, professionals or simple winelovers, surely if you are here it is because you like to drink good wine.

Tasting the wine means "evaluate its organoleptic characteristics and identify the best methods of use and pairings".

The goal of this article is not to deepen the techniques and the various stages of a "professional" tasting, which we will deepen in the future, rather to give you some ideas to organize a nice evening with friends.

We can identify four types of "comparative" tasting: vertical, horizontal, varietal, territorial.

Vertical tasting

It consists in tasting the same wine (same producer) but belonging to different vintages. It is perhaps the most famous and fascinating type of tasting as you can discover the magic of the evolution of wine over the years.

GOAL - In a vertical tasting you can evaluate the evolutionary potential of a wine, evaluate how wine changes between different vintages based on climate change and you can also evaluate the evolution of wine over the years in terms of color, aroma and taste . For example, if you taste the same red wine with several vintages apart, you will notice how the color gradually changes from a purple / ruby red to a garnet red or even orange. At the same time the aromas of fresh fruit and flowers will probably be changed to the aromas of jam and dried flowers. The taste in the mouth will be softer, with less rough tannins.

Example - in the photos you can see our tasting of 4 different vintages of the Tancredi by Donnafugata.

Horizontal tasting

It consists in tasting wines belonging to the same vintage, to the same area or denomination but from different producers.

GOAL - The purpose of a horizontal tasting can be both the choice of the best producer and the study of the wine making choices of each individual winery, the company style and the interpretation of the territory in which the producer operates.

Example - tasting of at least 4 wines belonging to the denomination "Chianti Classico DOCG".

Varietal tasting

It consists in tasting wines produced with the same grape variety in purity but coming from different areas.

GOAL - A varietal tasting highlights the differences of the same grape variety in relation to the territory and the type of soil. At the same time you can also "play" with the different winemaking techniques and compare, where possible, the same grape variety vinified in white, red and sparkling wine.

Example - tasting of at least 4 pure Pinot Noir wines from four different areas or countries.

Territorial tasting

It consists in tasting wines produced in the same territory, in particular a specific denomination or wine region.

GOAL - A varietal tasting already requires a certain level of experience because it aims to highlight the characteristics of a territory and its influence in wines. At the same time it is the best type to discover and deepen lesser known wine regions.

Example - tasting of at least 4 wines produced from vineyards on the slopes of Vesuvius.

... and blind tasting?

Blind tasting does not fall within the type of comparative tasting but can be an added value to be applied to all the previous ones. It consists in tasting wines with covered bottles, without knowing their name, the producer and the vintage. It is possible (and recommended) to communicate the common topic among them all the wines.

GOAL - Avoid conditioning of any kind, especially related to the reputation of a producer or a specific label.

Example - take a look at our previous Wine Battles.