What Is a Horizontal Tasting?

Are people always asking you how to get into wine? You've already done the research and drank the bottles but now you can host your very own Horizontal Tasting to teach those who are a little unfamiliar.  This is one of the easiest ways to teach beginner level wine drinkers about specific regions of the world. 

All you need to do is set-up a tasting with one grape varietal, such as Pinot Noir, to showcase how different weather, temperature, and soil can create a big difference of aromatics and flavor in your glass. You and your group will taste through each wine recognizing characteristics like aromatics, texture, acid, tannin, and flavors and as you move to the next wine each guest will see, smell and taste the change in region.

Below is our selection of wines for you to try during your next horizontal tasting. Feel free to get creative make your own Horizontal Tasting using other types of wines.

California- Sonoma County Region: St. Francis Winery Pinot Noir 2014v

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards source their Pinot Noir fruit from the cooler areas of Sonoma County where fog from the Pacific Ocean rolls in at night during the summer, dropping temperatures substantially. This natural air-conditioning allows the grapes to develop deep flavors while retaining natural acidity. To capture the distinct varietal characteristics of each vineyard, the lots are fermented separately starting with a five to ten day cold soak to extract optimal color and flavor. 

Food Pairing: Pairs well with salmon, roast chicken, grilled vegetables and light pasta dishes.

Argentina- Río Negro Valley Region: BARDA BY BODEGA CHACRA 2014v 

Barda is 100% Pinot Noir. The fruit is produced at “Treinta y Dos” and “Cincuenta y Cinco” vineyards, with 20-year-old vines. The fruit is hand harvested with no automated mechanization used at any stage of the production process.

Food Pairing: Pairs well with roast beef, salmon, swordfish, and pasta's with meat or seafood sauces.

Burgundy Region: Maison Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos Saint Jacques Premier Cru 2013v 

There are 26 Premiers Crus in Gevrey-Chambertin, of which half are located in the valley called Combe de Lavaux, on calcareous and clay soil with marl. Clos Saint Jacques is oriented to the southeast and has only five owners. The Pinot Noir grapes are fermented in vats for up to 4 weeks, and then the wine is matured in oak barrels for 18 to 20 months.

Food Pairing: Serve with game, meats, mushroom dishes and strong cheeses.