"The senses can definitely be educated, it is not about being a genius, just hard work, memorising, tasting and staying open minded, finding a language and method to describe taste and flavour, being able to communicate it."
Andreas Larsson, Best Sommelier of the World
THE BLIND TASTING CONDITIONS
For professional tastings the environment is as neutral as possible, with various environmental factors strictly controlled to guarantee perfect tasting conditions: temperature, degree of humidity, air pressure, noise, smells, colours, and last but certainly not least, lighting conditions.
These criteria are strictly reproduced at our tasting facilities, whether in our Bordeaux base or abroad when Andreas is travelling. The room temperature is 20°C (+/-2°C) and the degree of humidity are permanently controlled and adjusted.
All parameters are checked at regular intervals. The tastings take place in quiet locations where noise from the outside is almost completely excluded. Silence in the tasting room is also strictly controlled in order to avoid any distraction to Andreas. It is paramount that the tasting room remains a neutral place in terms of smell, and it is always aired regularly. As for the lighting, it is neutral and constant in order to ensure all wines are viewed in identical conditions.
The wines are stored in temperature controlled wine cabinets set at the appropriate temperature for the category of wine. The tasters cannot see either the preparation of the tastings or the bottles.
The wines are served to the tasters directly by our team members and each wine is identified by a corresponding number. This number is matched to the sample number of the wine. If Andreas expresses a doubt on the overall quality of a wine (corked, oxidized etc.) the second sample of the wine will be used. Shall the second bottle also display the same defect, the producer will be informed and the comments will not be published. Each wine will receive a comment by Andreas as well as a score on a 100 point scale.
After the wine has been tasted by Andreas Larsson, the producer might want to obtain a video presentation of its wine. Thus, at the request of the winemaker we can produce a video where the wine is not repeatedly blind tasted but simply described fairly and reliable. This explains why the bottle is present in the video.