#TastingInTheDark with Laithwaites Wine*

by - 5/26/2017

Hello, my lovelies! I hope you're all well and if you're in the UK, like I am, I hope you're making the most of our summer sunshine!

As most of you will have already seen on my Instagram and Instagram Stories, last week I headed down to London for a very exciting event courtesy of Laithwaites Wine and The Blogger Programme. The event was wine tasting in the dark (yes, in the dark!) and it took place at the Vintage Festival 2017.

The journey started off at 2am in Sheffield. Myself and my friend Emma spent the evening keeping ourselves awake until the early hours so that we could make the long journey down to London. We traveled by MegaBus - this was a first for me; I'd usually catch the train but the MegaBus is an excellent option for anyone who's on a budget or is willing to travel for longer periods of time. Our coach departed from Meadowhall at 3:15am and we arrived in London Victoria at 8:00am sharp. We freshened up at a hotel and grabbed a quick (obligatory) coffee from Starbucks. We then headed to one of my favourite places for breakfast, Cafe Rouge.

After breakfast, we hopped on the tube to Monument Station and made our way to the venue.

Hosted in The Grand Hall of Old Billingsgate, one of London's most prestigious and historical buildings, the event took place on Friday 19th May between 10:30am and 4pm. Overseeing the north bank of the river Thames and with sights such as The Shard, Tower Bridge, and City Hall all within the distance, the Festival oozed sophistication and culture.

In the company of a handful of amazing bloggers, the day started off with us being led into a pitch black and utterly quiet room. We sat around a table with no phones, no cameras (we took photographs afterward, of course), and were told to put our fingertips on the edge of the table in front of us. The Lathwaites team had night vision goggles on so they could serve us the mysterious wines.

The first activity involved being handed two glasses of wine and tasting them and noting the differences between them. We were told they were both pinots, but we had to determine which types! The first glass was a pinot grigio, it was dry and sweet and very light. The second, a pinot noir; this had more body, texture, and bitterness - although you could still taste the fruitiness from cherries and raspberries.

In the second task, we were handed a single glass of red wine. This time, we were played a piece of music and told to taste the wine after. The first piece of music was rather festive and Christmas-like. After this had played, we tasted the wine and as a group concluded that the wine tasted fruity, sweet, full-bodied, and rich. The next piece of music to be played lacked any structure and was a jumble of different sounds - basically, it wasn't music. After this, we tasted the wine again, but this time, the same wine tasted bitter, less rich and less sweet!

The third task involved using our sense of touch. We had two pieces of material stuck down to the table in front of us, one velvet and one sandpaper. We were given another glass of wine, this time a white. We tasted the wine each time after feeling the material with one hand. After feeling the velvet, the wine tasted sweet, fruity and rich. Whereas, after feeling the sandpaper, the wine tasted more bitter, less sweet and less fruity and dry.

The purpose of these activities was to prove that the smallest things, like lighting, our mood, sounds and even textures of materials around us, can influence how our brains perceive different wines. Using our senses and creating the perfect environment to suit a wine can really make a difference on the quality of its taste!

After our minds had been well and truly blown with #TastingInTheDark, we were granted access to explore the rest of the Vintage Fair. With wines, whiskey, craft alcohol and gin from all over the world, the event was not only plenty of fun, but culturally educational too.

Why not browse the spectrum of wines that Laithwaites has to offer for yourself?

I learned how different wines are pressed, filtered and bottled from France to Italy to the USA. Everyone had a different story to tell and every wine I tasted was unique. Personally, I'm a big fan of Italian wines. Ever since I visited Venice a few years ago, I've been in love with the country, its food, and its wine.

Of course, wandering around, drinking sips of delicious wine all day makes you a tad peckish. I was super excited when I stumbled across the food available at the festival. From fresh vegetarian and vegan wraps and salads to indulgent chocolates - the festival had it all.

The event came to a close all too soon, and so, Emma and I had a lovely stroll around Tower Bridge and also shopped in London Victoria.

If you're interested in attending the event next year, you can buy early bird tickets now! You can also find out more about Laithwaites wine too.

I'd like to say a special thanks to both Laithwaites and The Blogger Programme for organising such a lovely event!

*This post is sponsored and product(s)/service(s)/experience(s) have been paid for. However, all opinions and content remains my own and is 100% truthful. 

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