The President of the Madrid Association of Sommeliers, Luis García de la Navarra, will be in charge of leading the session
There is no doubt that a tasting session is in itself a world of sensations in which three senses come into play: sight, smell and taste. However, what happens if the first of these senses is missing? The 5th National Trade Fair on Wine of Ciudad Real, FENAVIN 2009, in collaboration with the ONCE (National Spanish Organization of the Blind), has programmed an original tasting session called "Tasting Session for the Visually Impaired", the same on Wednesday, May 6th as of 10:30 hours.
With the collaboration of the ONCE in Ciudad Real, about twenty people will be trying out between eight and ten prestigious Castilian-Manchego wines at this edition of the National Trade Fair on Wine, representing an initiative that will be directed by Luis García de la Navarra, President of the Madrid Association of Sommeliers and Sommelier at the Madrid restaurant Aldaba.
"The idea is to make a play on words with the term Cata a ciegas (blind tasting) that is usually employed for these type of sessions in which the three main senses hold an important role, these being smell, taste and sight, and given our particular characteristic which is a lack of sight, we have decided that why not hold a tasting session for the visually impaired, at which new olfactory sensations focused on taste and smell, instead of sight, can be discovered", explains Cristino Ortuño, Director of the ONCE Agency in Ciudad Real.
Cristino Ortuño is thrilled with the idea, "our other senses are more highly developed, thus the reason why we can capture new aromas and discover more tastes in mouth that would elude a sighted taster", and he comments that these type of experiences have already been tried out and they have turned out to be very interesting, while in turn he asks himself "why can't a visually impaired person be a professional sommelier in the future? It's simply a matter of becoming fond of the matter itself".
Wine as a healthy food product is not exclusive to anybody and it is open to all types of groups. The ONCE has organized some pilot wine and cava tasting session trials for the visually impaired in collaboration with some important wineries and some of them are even studying the possibility of translating the information to brail in order to facilitate tourist tours of their wineries.