Well having qualified for the semi-finals of the Sommelier of the Year competition I have decided to give it my best shot. As it falls in the middle of my holiday, the hotel has very generously paid for my flights back from Oslo in order to compete on the 2nd April. So Mark and I have arranged a training schedule to try and improve on my blind tasting skills. Each day he has been selecting four wines, two reds and two whites to try and test me, and yesterday we looked at spirits as well.
There is a knack to blind tasting that involves looking at all the clues available and then making a series of judgements to help you arrive at a logical and sensible conclusion. I have discovered that often my first instinct is quite close, but I must teach myself to follow the pattern of observations, to gather all the available clues and then make that informed judgement. Sometimes it is easy to try and make the clues fit the wine that I think it might be, and hence ignore the clues that are there.
So far my success rate in training isnt great, but Ive got over a week to go, so hopefully there will be some improvement before the semi's.
I also found out yesterday that my mate Ian from Bishopstrow house has got through, so at least there will be one friendly face there.