Bob relates to his guests and will ask about where they are in the world of wine. Whatever their level, he will start there and will go from what they already know to what they don’t know. Bob has lived in Sonoma over 40 years, has worked in numerous Sonoma Valley tasting rooms for the past 20 years, and rides his bike to work.
“When you come in to the tasting room I want you to see the wines through your eyes”, says Bob Chaber of Jeff Cohn Cellars. Every person has different opinions of the wines he or she likes. “If we have, let’s say ten wines, and we serve many guests on a busy day, every single wine will be someone’s favorite wine and someone else’s least favorite wine.”
Each person, then, gets to evaluate the wines according to his or her own palate. In the tasting room Bob has many ways of giving each person his or her own chance to evaluate the wines. His favorite is to do a totally blind tasting. He hides the menu and pours several glasses of wine side-by-side.
The person tasting can tell red from white, but, beyond that, he or she doesn’t know the variety of grape, or, if it is a blend, and doesn’t know the price. All the person has to go on is whether he or she likes the wine, or, perhaps doesn’t. Isn’t that what wine tasting is all about? If the menu were in view, the taster might very well feel he has to like a wine because it is the most expensive. Or, maybe, he sees a certain variety on the menu and before even tasting it rejects it “because I don’t like that variety”.
“Well”, Bob opines, “you may have had 100 Zinfandels before, but Jeff Cohn’s is the hundred-and-first, and by going into it blind, you find that, imagine that, you like it!”
This method works just as well on people very experienced in wine as it does on brand-new wine beginners. For the people new to wine, after the wines are revealed, Bob will give explanations on the varieties of grapes, the terroir of the vineyard, the origin of the grapes and rootstock and get into a discussion of wine blends which carry made-up names.
Come taste wine with Bob at Jeff Cohn Cellars.