Photo by Arrels del Vi

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to be part of the sommelier judging panel that did the blind tasting for the Arrels del Vi awards up in Empordà. It’s always a fun experience to partake in a judging whether super serious or more for sport. The blind aspect made it even more elusive as tasting wine with no reference as to what it is makes for a curious adventure, although in this case all the 50+ wines were from the same region, Empordà.

There are those in the wine trade who will emphatically state that they know exactly which wine they’re drinking without seeing the label, despite tasting what is perhaps hundreds if not thousands per year. Those who say this need to be called out it as it is quite frankly, impossible and there’s a great deal of luck involved. To remember a wine once you see the label is entirely possible, but to guess a wine blindly, not. This was even poked fun at by Roald Dahl in his short story, Taste. It was further shown how difficult it was with Mariona Parals, a trained sommelier and the co-owner of Roig Parals, who was sitting in on the tasting (but not judging) and even she was barely able to guess which of the wines being poured were from her own winery.

If you would like to see the winners, have a look. While not the exact list we picked, it generally agrees overall with what we find to be some of the finer wines the Empordà region has to offer.

Photo of the Arrels del Vi judging panel courtesy of Diari de Girona