What is a Vertical Wine Tasting?

Are you looking to throw a wine-themed event this holiday season? So if you want to opt for something a little different from the traditional wine tasting, you’re in the right place.

Vertical wine tastings

According to Wine About, a vertical wine tasting is where you “survey a series of wines based on vintages years.” Basically this means that you don’t drink the wines in random order. Instead you pick several bottles from one particular varietal of wine, and drink them in ‘vintage-year’ order.

This may seem pointless, but vertical wine tasting can help you get a better feel of a particular winery’s varietal style and composition. This is why we’d suggest that you supply literature on the vintages when you hold a vertical wine tasting. With this information attendees can compare and contrast vintages from different years. This will allow them to assess how a number of circumstances, such as weather patterns, effect the overall quality of the final product.

How to set up

It’s pretty easy to set up a vertical wine tasting. All you need to do is pick one varietal, do a little research and buy the vintages you want to try out. The real issue is how you present the wines. It really doesn’t matter, but there are different advantages to each method. If you present them oldest to youngest, there’s often a natural progression of tannins and body, because younger wines tend to be more tannic than their older equivalents.

If you take the opposite course of action, and present the vintages starting with the youngest and ending with the oldest, you can show attendees the advantages of wine aging. This is because, as the Ideal Wine Company has noted before, some wines grow increasingly complex as they age. Therefore if you choose this option you can follow the varietal’s evolution as it ages, which can often make for a fascinating wine tasting experience!

Try it out

If you like the idea of a vertical wine tasting, why don’t you try throwing one? You can buy a range of Chateau Lafite Rothschild vintages from the Ideal Wine Company that’d work really well. If you use them for a vertical tasting you can see how your chosen wine’s style changes from year to year!


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