The event was hosted by John Casella of Yellowtail, and Doug Frost, a wine writer/consultant who is one of only three individuals in the world to hold both a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier designation.
Our DC group was one of 20 from around the country, and while we gathered around the TV in Giramondo's conference room, we sampled two white Yellowtail reserve varietals (Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay) and hors d'oeuvres while we waited for the event to begin.
The purpose behind the event was to see how we would evaluate these wines without the bias of knowing what brand we were drinking (this is, of course, the purpose behind any blind tasting). Participants were asked to "tweet" their thoughts as they tasted, and it was interesting to read the various comments popping up on the television screen while we watched and listened to Doug Frost guide his group, along with the rest of us, through the tasting.
I am happy to say that I accurately guessed which wine was the Yellowtail Reserve. I am a little less happy to report that my opinion on Australian Shiraz has not changed any. I've never been a fan of Aussie wines overall, and this event reinforced my bias. There was one exception - the 2006 Dead Arm from McLaren Vale - which I actually enjoyed. But with a retail sticker of approximately $65, I think I'll stick to something from Northern Rhone.
Despite being less than enthusiastic about the actual wines tasted, this was a really fun, informative event and I thank Laurent for including me in it!