Horizontal Wine Tasting
As the name suggestions, you are tasting wines of a similar nature — whether it be a particular year’s vintage, a region’s production, etc. Common horizontal tastings are the same year’s vintage of a particular wine from various producers.
Horizontal tastings are done with wines from varying wineries to establish differences in winemaking styles and also to highlight the terroir and actual vineyard differences that make their wines so special. This is a great job of showcasing the importance of the proper grape growing process and how vineyard location, climate, soil type, and such (all part of terroir) heavily influence the final product.
Vertical Wine Tasting
If horizontal tasting is similar wines from the same vintage, it stands to reason that a vertical tasting is the same wine from multiple years. It’s not uncommon to have the opportunity to taste the same Cabernet Sauvignon from three different vintages when you are visiting a winery.
Vertical tastings are ideal if you love a particular wine as you can see the vineyard’s characteristics over time.