The Nature of Critical Wine Club is an annual wine tasting party, which usually takes place in the beautiful natural amphitheater of the Santa Maria Novella in the city of Rome, Italy. This venue is selected as it’s relatively calm, rich, and organic with abundant environmental elements and vegetation. It is also a site with the best views to the region where Tuscany meets the rest of Italy and is thus a perfect setting for gatherings of all tastes. The event is organized by Artigianello brothers, who have graciously granted permission to publish this description of the event in an article for the Artigiano brothers’ website.
It is important to note that “Artigiano” is not related to any specific individual or family name, but rather the company that bears the name, as the original name is now gone. Artigiano owns and runs the Santa Maria Novella estate which hosts the club, which it operates in cooperation with the major Italian wine producers. The purpose of hosting this tasting is to encourage new and young wine consumers to appreciate the difference between good and great wines. It is believed that artisans, winemakers, and wine critics are those who make this distinction and if they are praised and rewarded for it, Italian wine will be infinitely better.
The event is organized in four phases starting from the selection of grapes to the bottling of the wine. Each phase has its own score, based on certain criteria approved by the organizers. These criteria allow for maximum enjoyment and pleasure of all wine consumers, regardless of their level of knowledge or experience. In this respect, the following are the four phases recognized by the Artigiano brothers: taste, aroma, color, and texture. Each category of these factors represents individual tastes and preferences. For instance, the color scale starts with green, indicating the wines having a delicate flavor, made for connoisseurs.
The aroma scale contains different scores depending on the smell emitted by the wine. Each category has a specific “weight” to be assigned to a certain smell, ranging from one to ten. The highest possible score goes to the most pungent, while the lowest ones indicate the faintest. The corresponding 100-point scoring system is used to determine the overall score of each wine. The tasting test also includes a tasting of all the wines, based on a specific set of parameters, which must not be changed from the ones stipulated by the judges.
The color scale involves using a different color scale that has no exact equivalent. The objective is to rate all wines based on their appearance, without taking into account any other aspect. The score assigned to this rating system is the sum of all the points, up to a maximum of one hundred. Only red and white wines may be tasted, by the judges, in the tasting portion of the tasting test.
The Tasting Baskets and Evaluation Sampling procedures are equally important in determining the final ratings of wines. The baskets contain all the wines that passed the judging process, as well as information about the tasters who tasted them. The number of bottles that pass each basket depends on the overall score the taster has given them. The samples, which are usually hand picked, are carefully observed by the cork masters. After they have picked the best ones, they are taken away and evaluated individually by the other tasters.
The ratings of wines considered by critics are considered as very important, since they determine what kind of wine drinker someone is. Some critics prefer red wines, while others prefer white wines, with corresponding scores. Others still consider both red and white wines when rating the wines for their respective categories. As for the critics who prefer white wine to red ones, they assign a score in accordance with their personal preference. While wine tasting events are held regularly all around the world, the US holds special ones, such as the APHA Wine tasting Championships, which includes international participants.
In order to taste the wines, one must be at least 21 years old. Before going to a tasting party, it would also be prudent to check whether the local winery is licensed to operate, especially if you are a newbie. There should be an address listed, along with a phone number. If you know anyone who has attended such a party, it would be helpful to ask them whether they enjoyed it or not.