Comments on: Tasting wine blind http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: JAFDC http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6802 Tue, 15 Sep 2009 01:53:03 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6802 Felix-

Good sentiment, but you are confusing two issues: whether you know thw price of the wine; and whether you taste half a glass or half a bottle. The second matters more than the first.

-JAFDC

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By: Craig http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6759 Mon, 14 Sep 2009 12:40:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6759 You’re conflating multiple things, of course, and European snobbishness, to be perfectly blunt, is just one of them (if a California wine would beat a French one in blind tasting, that must be an indictment of blind tasting rather than an endorsement of California wine).

“Sip tests” are well-known to be less than ideal for evaluating products that are consumed in larger quantities than a shot glass–the canonical story is of the Pepsi Challenge and the New Coke debacle that ensued. The blindness doesn’t enter into it–it’s the quantity in the test that doesn’t work well. If the way to appreciate wine is by the glassful, over the course of an evening, then that is how tests should be conducted…and if you can only try two or three wines in an evening, rather than twelve, well, there you are.

To say that tests shouldn’t be conducted blind is to say that tasters should be allowed to overrule the evidence of their senses based on a corpus of past experiences, prejudices and conventional wisdom. The problems with this approach should be obvious after a moment’s consideration. You might do nearly as well by simply displaying the bottles to the judges unopened, and letting them write down their scores based on how the wines “should” be rated. It’s an interesting idea, and of course it would spare the egos of the tasters from such embarrassments as the Judgment of Paris, in which California wines were praised as the embodiment of centuries of French genius, and French ones criticized as jumped up Colonial pretentions. No wonder blind tasting is frowned upon.

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By: gawain http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6756 Mon, 14 Sep 2009 07:04:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6756 londenio

you point out well the difference between liking and preference; we often prefer things we don’t actually like (such as a better paying job, for example; or pleasing mommy rather than self); i suppose this is the case here: one might prefer (for whatever reason, fill in your own blanks) to drink an expensive mouth-challenging wine, but actually not like it; a blind test will rudely reveal the pretense; it doesn’t mean the blind test is wrong; au contrare.

(think of all the jazz-loving people sleeping through their subscriptions at the opera at the met. they prefer to go to the opera, yes. it don’t mean they actually like it).

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By: larry schaffer http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6755 Mon, 14 Sep 2009 06:38:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6755 Interesting reading indeed. Blind tasting is a very humbling experience for all involved . . . invariably someone will turn out ‘liking’ something they thought they never would . . . inevitable.

I agree that there is a time and a place for blind tasting – it is an ‘educational’ tool but not always the most ‘fun’ thing to do, especially at something like an Anniversary dinner!!!

Wine tasting has so much more to do with just the wine itself – it’s the ‘romance’ of the setting, the food served with the wine (if food is to be served). the company you are with, how talkative or quiet the people are that you are tasting with, etc . . .

I can say that if you can remove as many ‘picture clues’ about what you are tasting, it makes the task that much more educational . . . . try dark wine glasses and a darkened room sometime, and see how many wines you pick out as red that are actually white and vice versa!!!!

Thanks again . . .

Cheers!

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By: MarshalN http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6749 Mon, 14 Sep 2009 00:41:40 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6749 I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’m a tea-blogger, and one of the things I used to do more of, but less so nowadays, is tasting teas blind. In the case of tea the problem is even more acute, as there is much less collective experience with drinking tea, with more variables involved (unlike wine, which has a bottle to take care of most elements, tea does not). The issue, ultimately, is one of changing standards. As one of the comments above pointed out, it is useful to rate wines (or teas) that are similar on a scale of 100 and make that a fair comparison, but it is much more difficult to do the same once you cross regions and styles.

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By: londenio http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6747 Sun, 13 Sep 2009 11:55:41 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6747 In blind tasting, most people prefer Pepsi. When they purchase, most people prefer Coke. Branding experts like to claim that all the investment Coca Cola Company has made in the brand explains this reversal. However, another explanation is that Pepsi tastes sweeter and therefore we like it more when we drink small amounts.

This excellent post reminds me that the same happens with wine.

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By: gawain http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6745 Sun, 13 Sep 2009 07:16:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6745 I find the notion that a properly conducted blind test might lead me to prefer a wine which I actually do not like — well, to tell the truth — confusing. I suppose I do not understand what you mean by ‘like’ and I must wonder (in a friendly and non-confrontational sort of way) whether you do. (But don’t feel bad: most people appear confused about the meaning of that word). cheers

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By: ang http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6744 Sun, 13 Sep 2009 04:04:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6744 This is a testable hypothesis, maybe a good graduate level thesis. Hold a (regular) blind taste test, then distribute unlabeled cases of wine and check back in a year.

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By: Jon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6743 Sat, 12 Sep 2009 23:40:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6743 I read this entire post thinking I was reading Jamie Goode, whose blog I also read in Google Reader. I thought the comment about drinking lots of cheap wine was a bit strange for a critic, but I thought maybe he’s going through a phase. Then I got to that last bit about Time Warner, and I couldn’t decide if Time Warner was now providing access in England or if Jamie’s moved to New York. So I scrolled to the top and lo and behold, it’s Felix. Hmmmmm, I guess I should read that again, right? Thinking the post was written by one person obviously affected how I read it. Then I realize: it’s the same thing with wine! I just had Yellowtail (Felix) poured into a bottle of Lafite (Jamie Goode). And it messed with my palate.

Just kidding, Felix. But I thought the mix-up was oddly topical.

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By: Uncle Billy, Mental Gidget http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/comment-page-1/#comment-6740 Sat, 12 Sep 2009 20:55:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/09/12/tasting-wine-blind/#comment-6740 If you were a wine, which wine would you be?

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