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  • Manda Villarreal

Wine Tasting... for Research!

Over fall break I had the chance to go to a wine tasting at Spicer's Orchard in my hometown, Fenton, Michigan. After a very productive weekend it was the perfect thing to do on my Monday off of school. And a great way to celebrate indigenous people's day (which is now an official holiday in the state of Michigan!)

But anyways... back to wine! Here's some photos of our wine glasses and my family. From left to right, Dylan, Macie, mom, grandma, me, and Tommy.

Because I see my coasters as adding to the wine flight experience, it was actually really helpful to have a wine tasting myself. Although it wasn't a wine "flight" (tasting is 1 oz per serving, flights are around 4 oz per serving), the experience helped me understand what I liked about it and what I thought was missing.

The sheet of paper that went along with our wine tasting (left image under glasses) listed all the kinds of wine Spicer's had, and then on the left side you checked off which wine you wanted to taste. Out of around 20-30 or so types of wine, you pick 7 to taste at Spicer's. As I was drinking, I wished I had some sort of graph or sheet of paper to mark if I liked the wine I was drinking, what I liked about it, etc. Over the course of drinking 7 different kinds of wine, by the end I couldn't remember what I really like or didn't like cause it all happened so fast. And of course by the end, you're slightly intoxicated which doesn't help memory either! Having something to mark as you're going through the experience would be better. This makes me think I should add sheets of paper in the package to go along with the coasters, where you can mark that information, write down the official name/brand of the wine so you can purchase it, etc.

Also, Spicer's gave us no information about the types of wine we were drinking aside from the name. Although this didn't necessarily hinder my experience, it would have been nice to know a little more about the wine I'm drinking, how it's made, where it's ingredients come from, etc. I'm guessing most of the wine is made in-house, but there was no way to know for sure without asking or searching for the bottle myself. My coasters will definitely focus on this information, which you can find in my last post detailing the research I completed for each type of wine for each of my coasters. I will say, the tasting was much more rushed, so I'm not sure if this information would be read in that amount of time. Where as in wine flight you'd have the chance to take it back to a table and spent more time with the set of wine, giving you more time to look/read the information.

Nothing food wise was paired with our wine tasting at Spicer's. Because my coaster information heavily focuses on what to pair the wine with, I think I should definitely include a place for food to be stored. I'm currently working through sketches/ideas regarding how to add in a place for food pairing on my coaster tray, but I know that would heighten the wine flight experience, and would allow the user to actually try the pairings listed on the coasters!

Overall, this experience was helpful and it gave me a lot to think about!

- Manda V.

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