You almost certainly don’t need me to remind you that we’re entering the final countdown. There’s exactly two weeks to go before Christmas Day… which, speaking as someone whose university speciality was handing in essays right on the deadline, is plenty of time!
Hopefully, the essential questions such as “who is bringing the bread sauce?” and “how many Brussels sprouts do we really need?” have been addressed. Chances are that there are a couple of people for whom you are still struggling for a present.
If you’re still wondering what to get for a wine connoisseur, I have just the thing!
The “Honest Grapes” Taste Lab Kit
The Taste Lab Kit is perfect for amateurs, enthusiasts and even the most “know-it-all” wine connoisseur in your entourage.
It contains 10 tubes (each of 50ml – a tasting serve) of unlabelled wine. Five white; five red. You try each of the wines, noticing the differences between them and as a result, understanding your own preferences.
Novices need not worry because along with the wines come the instructions! These guide you through the tasting experience and ask structured, leading questions (but often with simple “yes or no” answers) to provoke you to reflect on what you have in the glass.
What’s so brilliant about this idea is that you don’t need to have any wine knowledge to enjoy the Tasting Lab. Anyone with an interest in wine can get something out of it.
Whenever I’m asked “how can I improve my wine knowledge?” I reply “by tasting as much and as many wines as possible.” Tasting by comparison is one of the best ways to learn.
Afterwards, you can enter your preferences on the Honest Grapes website and they’ll email you a personalised Personal Wine Profile to enable you to make better choices when purchasing your next bottle of wine.
Because the wines are tasted blind, there is no time nor place for haughty preconceptions. The wide selection of countries, regions, grape varieties will challenge even the most advanced sommeliers.
I personally loved the Taste Lab because it was a really fun way to test my tasting ability. The quality of wine in the Kit was far higher than I was expecting and, rest assured, it will certainly not disappoint your nearest and dearest wine snob!
The Taste Lab Kit retails at £35; which includes free shipping and a £5 Honest Grapes gift voucher.
To find out more, you’ll find all the relevant information on the Honest Grapes website.
Full disclosure: Tom Harrow is a friend of mine and I received a free kit but the opinions expressed here are (and always will be) entirely my own.