Blogging Cornucopia: Battle of the Sexes

November 19th, 2007 · No Comments

Blogging Cornucopia: Battle of the Sexes!
a photoblog feature

Sunday, November 11, 2007

by Jason Chin
Eat Vancouver editor

Next up on my docket was Battle of the Sexes, in which a group of female wine experts takes on a group of males to answer the age old question: what gender is best at blind identification of wine. I know I’ve always wondered.

This is supposed to be a highly entertaining seminar/competition, so it was one that I was quite looking forward to attending.

 battle of the sexes
The female group included several powerhouses: Michelle Bouffard, DJ Kearney, Sandra Oldfield and Daenna van Mulligen. In a surprise move, David Scholefield, former BCLB wine guru, showed up in drag as some kind of Julia Child like character. It was unexpected and pretty hilarious.

 battle of the sexes
Anthony Gismondi and Kasey Wilson from Wine Access moderated.

 battle of the sexes
There was no shortage of talent among the guys, a team that consisted of Shayn Bjornholm, the hilarious Mark Davidson, Sebastian Le Goff (Lumiere/Feenie’s jokes ensued) and Mark Taylor.

 battle of the sexes
The slightly vague rules were that each team would be responsible for tasting four of the eight wines. Each of these wines was worth ten points in total, points allocated for identify various characteristics of the wine, its vintage, varietal, geographic area, vineyard, price (within $5), and the actual name of the wine. Further, each team could get an extra two points by guessing the vintage, price, vineyard or name if the other team failed to do so on their turn. Therefore there was a total of 48 points available to each team. This was my first blind tasting among such experts and I really didn’t know what to expect. Could they really identify the exact wine by its taste and smell? At this point in my wine tasting career, I consider guessing the grape a tremendous success.

The audience was given a few minutes to taste the wines and make our guesses. I gave it my best shot.

 battle of the sexes
And then we began. The men took the lead at the beginning with some inspired wine tasting. I quickly learned that yes, these guys and gals can identify a precise wine, which is pretty mind boggling with you think about the sheer amount of wine out there. The guys were very close with the first one guessing it was a BC semillion (Mission Hill).

 battle of the sexes
But it turned out it was from See Ya Later Ranch. Pretty close, if you ask me.

 battle of the sexes
Everyone except Scholefield/Julia Child, who thought wine six was a BC Chardonnay retailing at around $20. Turns out it was a $96 bottle from Penfolds in Australia which Scholefield absolutely nailed. This move basically cemented the victory for the ladies. They eventually won by a large margin, which proved once and for all, that women (plus David Scholefield) are pretty much better at everything. I ended up guessing the varietal for about half of the wines and the price for two thirds of them, which I consider a minor victory.

I am notified by my biopsych colleagues that the more appropriate title for this contest would have been battle of the genders. The term sex is geared towards more biological differences (chromosomes and genitalia), while gender deals more with differences in identity, which would allow the Scholefield-Child switch-a-roo.

Tags: Food Events

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