The verb “catar” “to taste” comes from the Latin “captare” “to capture”, so the essence of catar is TO CAPTURE. The idea is to use our sight, our sense of smell and our taste buds to discover and capture the virtues and defects of a wine.
There are different types of CATA or wine tasting.
Horizontal Varietal Tasting: Is when we taste several wines made with at least 80% of the same grape, from the same year and from different wineries.
Mono-varietal Horizontal Tasting: This is when we taste several wines made 100% with the same variety of grape, from the same year and from different wineries.
Horizontal Winery Tasting: Is when we taste different wines (white, red and rosé) from the same winery although they can be from different vintages. These tastings are generally led by the winemaker or winery manager and are usually accompanied with some appetizers designed to combine and enhance the flavours of the wines presented (Pairing).
Horizontal Marketing Tasting: This is when one or more wineries present all the wines that each one makes, regardless of variety or year, in a fair or salon. These are organised to attract wine shops or restaurants that later buy and sell their wines.
Extreme Horizontal Tasting: It is when we go to a tasting, such as those mentioned above, and we drink (we do not taste) wine regardless of the vintage, the winery, or the colour of what we drink. As it is on an empty stomach, we tend to end up very upset, in a HORIZONTAL position on a bed, in the best of cases.
We now go to our central theme, VERTICAL TASTING.
It is when we taste the same wine, produced by the same winery, generally from the same terroir, of the same category: young or aged (reserve) but OF DIFFERENT YEARS.
These tastings have the virtue of comparing not only the flavours and aromas, but also tell us whether the wine has improved or deteriorated with the passage of time in the bottle. We can also compare the change in colour or brilliance that shows the age of the wines.
We will know in advance what happened the year the grapes were harvested and the wine was made, thanks to the cataloging carried out by the Regulating Council of the Denomination of Origin in question. The harvest could be Excellent, Very Good, Good, etc.
Another interesting subject has to do with art, which is evident in the changes in the designs of labels, type of bottles, corks and general presentation.
The problem with these interesting tastings is that, if they are not organized by large wineries, which may have kept bottles from different vintages, it is very difficult to find them, and even less for free …
We can try going to a wine shop or restaurant and see if by chance they have the same wine from a different vintage, but these will not be more than one or two years apart. We would also have to check if the bottles were stored in a good place and at the right temperature.
I trust, and pray to Bacchus and Dionysus, that some wine lover has taken the trouble to safely keep bottles of the same wine and different vintages so that some of us mortal drinkers can enjoy this kind of get-together.
Your very good Health!!
Marbella, September 30, 2020