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Bedales of Borough Market (London, UK)

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

A departure from our regular reporting on winery experiences, we decided to write about the Self-Guided Blind Tasting Experience at Bedales of Borough Market during our recent trip to London. Bedales is known for its wide selection of exciting wines from around the globe, so we knew we were in for a challenge with the blind tasting. To warm up and cleanse our palates, the host gave us a glass of Prosecco to kickoff the tasting challenge. He then brought over a carafe of water and breadsticks for nourishment during this strenuous exercise, along with the three wines we were to taste and identify.

Our host provided us with the self-guided blind-tasting brochure to assist us on our journey. The brochure did a terrific job outlining the basics of describing a wine in its appearance, nose, and palate, as well as how to make conclusions about a wine's origin. Additionally, the booklet contained a link to watch a short video on the basics of blind wine tasting hosted by a Bedales sommelier. Within the brochure, we found the famous Wine Aroma Wheel, developed by Ann Noble in 1984, with over eighty aroma descriptors that can be found in a wine. The Wine Aroma Wheel helps wine tasters identify various aromas and creates a common language of descriptors to help communicate the characteristics of a wine with others.

"It smells like a library on a warm spring day" was a descriptor given by a so-called wine professional during a virtual client event in my previous career. Although I should have spent more warm spring days in the college library, I have no idea how that smells! Generally speaking, fresh grapefruit and green apple are two aromas that would have a similar smell anywhere you go in the world. That's why we are big fans of Ann Noble's Wine Aroma Wheel and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Systematic Approach to Tasting®, providing terms to accurately describe and identify wines.

Back to the tasting, the Bedales of Borough Market staff did not make it easy on us. We did not correctly identify any of the wines in the flight, though we did a wonderful job describing the wines, nearly matching the answer key identically. I guess we need to practice tasting more wines! Oh darn!!

Experience Vibe: Seated Wine Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes

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