Wine Discovery Session on Friday, July 11 with Jackson Family Wines
– a Sponsor Note from WBC supporter and former keynote speaker, Steve Heimoff –
When Jackson Family Wines asked me to moderate this panel, I jumped at the chance because this particular subject—“Evaluating Wines: How the Pros Taste”–is obviously near and dear to my heart.
Tasting wine—the actual, physical act of it—is the most fundamental thing a wine lover can do, whether he/she be a critic, blogger or winery CEO.
As a former wine critic with more than 25 years under my belt, I developed my own methods of wine tasting, but it’s amazing how little my colleagues and I ever compared notes on the nuts and bolts of our procedures. We compared our findings, of course—but not how we arrived at them. So, in this panel, the panelists will strip themselves bare (so to speak) and describe, exactly and specifically, how they go about the daily tasks of tasting.
Our panel is an extraordinary one. Joe Roberts AKA 1WineDude needs no introduction to this audience. He’s quite clearly one of the most successful wine bloggers in America. A former sommelier, Patrick Comiskey is an esteemed wine critic and writer for Wine & Spirits, one of the country’s most distinguished magazines covering the alcoholic beverage industry; he reviews the wines of the American West Coast.
I’m currently the Director of Wine Communications & Education at Jackson Family Wines, and spent more than 23 years at Wine Enthusiast and, prior to that, Wine Spectator. So together, Patrick, Joe and I combine a lot of years of hard work in this tasting business.
Each taster ultimately ends up tasting wines in his or her own particular way. I’ve been grilled more times than I can remember on my thinking when I taste wines, and whenever it happens, I discover something new about myself and my approach. Nor has my approach over the years remained the same. I’ve adapted and modified it to suit the circumstances. But I think every taster has this in common: we all recognize that the only valid tasting results are those that stem from honesty, a healthy disregard of external pressure, and the years of experience upon which to build a knowledge base. Speaking for Joe and Patrick, we hope to share all this with you—and learn how you, yourselves, go about this important and pleasurable business of tasting.