Thursday, August 9, 2012

Can saddles & horseshoes affect the taste of wine?

Recently a group of us went to a Napa Valley winery well known for its Zinfandel. Great experience. We walked the vineyard while the winemaker told us about his ancient vines and how the various slopes affected the grapes. Then we tasted the wine in the cellar while the winemaker explained his secrets. Oh so perfect. Cellar smells enveloped our senses. The wines were great. All of us bought some. 

That night we drank those same wines in one of our hotel rooms. Faux paintings on the wall, TV blaring in the next room, antiseptic aroma of whatever they spray to kill germs, all in the unromantic glow of low-energy flourescent lights.

We were disappointed in the wines. They tasted different. 

We concluded that the atmosphere affected our taste judgement. What do you think?

Could the horseshoes, saddles and cowboy boots in the tasting room at the Black Stallion winery affect your tasting experience? 
How much could this branding influence your wine buying decisions?
A horse barn atmosphere with the beams in the tasting room.
Horse shoes with small hooks at the tasting bar for women to hang their purses. That's attention to details.

I have no idea what these containers near the wine bottles are or do, but they look horsey cool?