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Taste

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Tweefo
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« on: February 02, 2011, 20:48:12 PM »

How many ordinary people can taste the difference between two similar products? Wine for instance or lamb. Can you tell, in a double blind, if the lamb was highveld or Karoo raised? I think the average yuppie can hardly tell the difference between lamb, pork and beef if it comes down to taste alone. In wine tasting there is a saying "A peep at the label is worth a thousand sips" How true is that? My father in law profess to know wines down to the year but he always find a excuse not to do the test.

I know I can tell if it taste good or bad, but that is about it. People working with wine every day I hope will know the difference, but Joe Soap? I doubt it.
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Faerie
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 07:13:58 AM »

I agree, years ago, during my voluntary days dealing with alcoholics, I came across a wife of one of the patients who had the dubious "responsibility" to keep the glass filled.  She used to give him water with brandy essence in and he used to get drunk on that.... now there is an absolute distinct difference in taste to alcohol laced brandy and brandy essence, but he never realised the difference (although alcholics are a different specie altogether)

At home too, I'm fond of offal (yes, yes I know its disgusting), and I often make it and bake it in the oven as a pie (although they're never home when I make it due to the very distinct smell whilst cooking), I also, quite often make chicken pie, and the family firmly believe the two to be the one and same thing and rant and rave over my pies.
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Brian
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2011, 07:18:37 AM »

you're right about Joe Soap, but there are people who are able to taste the difference and have 'educated' palates. A friend of mine is a brewer (beer) but his fine taste sense can detect spices in food that are very subtle or the difference in whiskeys etc. It's quite remarkable. Then you have the snobs whoi know it all...I love fooling them with Tassies decanted!  Evil
I distill alcohol (Moonshine) and must split the methanol (poison) from the ethanol, lest I go blind (Now that's a real double blind test!)...no mistaking the difference there, but after a few tastes, my lips are numb (I don't ingest!) and have a lot of fun making different liquors from this.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 08:47:22 AM »

According to Brian Eno, there’s a robust lady somewhere in Limbourg who exceeds all the norms:
The Fat Lady of Limbourg
looked at the samples that we sent
and furrowed her brow.
You would never believe that
she’d tasted royalty and fame
if you saw her now.
But her sense of taste is such that she’ll distinguish with her tongue
the subtleties a spectrograph would miss,
and announce her decision,
while demanding her reward:
a jellyfish kiss.

'Luthon64
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GCG
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 09:23:25 AM »

all wine taste like kak to me.
i think, that if you drink wine often, then you may be able to tell subtle differences.  but i mean, honestly now, is one merlot any different from another?
the are a few things where i demand a particular brand/flavour.  coffee, chocolates, and soy sauce.
the rest i cant really be bothered with.
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Brian
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 09:26:24 AM »

you've tasted kak?  Huh? Grin Grin
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GCG
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 09:44:16 AM »

i've tasted vomit, and i didnt want to put people off their breakfast....
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 12:15:25 PM »

I guess, given this discussion, I'll take the dubious role of the person who likes to taste things and discriminates based on it...

Quote from: faerie
At home too, I'm fond of offal (yes, yes I know its disgusting), and I often make it and bake it in the oven as a pie (although they're never home when I make it due to the very distinct smell whilst cooking), I also, quite often make chicken pie, and the family firmly believe the two to be the one and same thing and rant and rave over my pies.

I happen to absolutely hate liver, and kidney. Can't stand the stuff, the taste is just way too overpowering for me. My mom used to try the above with me. She'd bake a pie with some kidney here and there and hoped I wouldn't notice. I can, and did, much to her irritation. I went to bed without much food a couple of times. Sad But the point is she maintains that, no matter how small the amount of kidney she put in, I could always taste the subterfuge.

Quote from: GCG
i think, that if you drink wine often, then you may be able to tell subtle differences.  but i mean, honestly now, is one merlot any different from another?

Absolutely. Sometimes me and my S/O sit down for a dinner out and often we end up ordering different wines. (We both have our own preferences wrt to it)
It's sometimes STUNNING how different labels and wines and vintages can be when put side to side.. The secret is to NOT TASTE the stuff. I would take a good couple of whiffs of one glass, expell air as much as I can from my nasal passages and mouth, and then smell the other one.... and yes, I say shit like:

Quote from: BM having wine and trying not to be snobbish
Oh wow, there's definitely a more vanilla-like, cherry taste to this one, whereas with that one I get more oaky meaty vibes, a bit acidic... etc....
.

To me it's like a whole exploratory experience, almost 1/2 the fun of the meal! HOWEVER, I don't claim to have the kind of nose where I can tell you the vintage, area, blend, etc... At best I could take a swing at identifying the varietal.

Quote
the are a few things where i demand a particular brand/flavour.  coffee, chocolates, and soy sauce.
the rest i cant really be bothered with.

ALL GOLD! Anything else they can remove from my table immediately. Also, fine cigars; the character varies (for me, anyhow) significantly based on the country of origin and blend. And there is nothing more kak to me than a cigar that is burning too hot, or has gotten too dry.... (no things that say "blackstone" on them aren't cigars)

To be completely honest, this is something I missed dearly during my time as an everyday smoker.

 
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 20:44:29 PM »

Wine? Love it. Haven't met a bad one yet. And one's palate does improve, but I won't mislead you - it takes time. After years of practice, I can successfully pick out a semi-sweet white from a line up of dry reds. Eight times out of ten. Blindfolded.

Mintaka
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 06:54:55 AM by Mintaka, Reason: weekend spelling » Logged
Tweefo
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 15:46:40 PM »

I am on my hobby horse again. Had a few days in the Karoo and on Monday evening was convinced by the guesthouse owner to try their Karoo lamb (he is also part of a farming family it turns out). Tasted like lamb to me. The thing is they are grain fed in a feedlot. Lambs are put into the feedlot at weaning, so they don't really have time to pick up the local "flavour". Of course, one cannot really tell without a control and only one test but I did not experience anything special.
Here is a nice party trick. You will be surprised how many people, while properly blindfolded, can not tell the difference between Coke and Sprite. 
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 16:00:56 PM »

Hrm. I do claim to be able to taste the difference between SA Coke (sugar) and US Coke (corn syrup). I should really have someone set up a blind taste for me.
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Hermes
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2015, 16:22:23 PM »

The way I understand it, the Karoo lamb is supposed to roam freely.  Because of the scarcity of food, their meat contains very little fat.  Some people don't like it much because it tends to be dry.  The bushes they eat are also supposed to give it a special flavour.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 16:30:13 PM »

Although I wouldn't be too surprised if they've changed that completely and are now just skating by on the name.
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Tweefo
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 16:42:36 PM »

Although I wouldn't be too surprised if they've changed that completely and are now just skating by on the name.
I think you are correct. Maybe back in the day but not anymore.
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brianvds
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2015, 17:54:30 PM »

Hrm. I do claim to be able to taste the difference between SA Coke (sugar) and US Coke (corn syrup). I should really have someone set up a blind taste for me.


Well, I want to give a Noakes-ish diet a try, so don't tempt me with all those carbs. :-)

Anyway, years ago I had occasion to experimentally test the difference in wine that has "breathed" versus wine that has not. I was at a friend's home, he opened a bottle of red, we both had a sip of it immediately after, and then, he shook the bottle to shake some air into it. There was a marked difference in taste after the, er, succussion. But was this perhaps just because we knew which was which?

We tried it out on his wife, who did not know, and she had no trouble telling the two apart.

There seems to me to be a definite difference in taste between various wines, and some are better than others, but I doubt very much whether this difference is very big, or justifies a huge difference in price. What's more, I often find myself very much liking wines that have been shot down by the learned critics. As far as I know, most of those subtle flavours ("a bouquet of smoked oak and blueberry") that the "experts" claim to be able to discern are also nonsense - they can't do so under properly controlled circumstances (or at least, they can't agree on just what exactly any specific wine tastes like).

The same goes for many other things. E.g. I can't remember the details, but apparently in some or other test, even expert violinists and listeners could not tell the difference between the sound of a Stradivarius and a well made modern instrument. For decades, if not centuries, there has been speculation about what exactly Stradivarius' secret was: specially aged wood? The varnish? The exact thickness of the various bits and pieces? But, as with the Bermuda Triangle, they were trying to find a solution to a non-mystery. The man was a very good luthier, but no better than the good ones of today.

As occasional blower of tunes on a recorder, I have to wonder whether the same thing goes in cheap plastic versus monstrously expensive wooden instruments... :-)

And that brings me to my pet peeve, which is some (but by no means all) of modern art, and the prices that get paid for it. But let me not even go there... :-)

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenlewis/quiz-can-you-tell-the-difference-between-modern-art-and-art#.pyxjxoLBJ

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2015, 15:20:40 PM »

Anyway, years ago I had occasion to experimentally test the difference in wine that has "breathed" versus wine that has not.

Paradoxically, I don't drink that cool-aid, I prefer it un-breathed. IMHO a wine that has "over breathed" for more than 30mins starts to turn too acidic. How much of this is in my head, I dunno.

Quote
We tried it out on his wife, who did not know, and she had no trouble telling the two apart.

Do you know which she preferred?

Quote
There seems to me to be a definite difference in taste between various wines, and some are better than others, but I doubt very much whether this difference is very big, or justifies a huge difference in price.

It depends. Some expensive stuff I find to be nectar of the gods, whilst others make me want to spit it out (and not in the wine-tasting way). On the flip-side there are cheap wines that are really stunning. It is, like so many things in this world, all about branding. "Cheap" wines are often the ones that haven't made a name for themselves yet. Once that happens, you can say bye-bye to the low sticker price. The brands would have you believe this is down to the age of the vine. It plays a role, but it's not everything, I've had "60 year old vine" wine that truly sucked.

Quote
What's more, I often find myself very much liking wines that have been shot down by the learned critics.

It depends on which critics at what juncture. Certain wine awards work by blind tasting, some don't. Also IMHO wine depends way too much on personal taste.

Quote
The same goes for many other things. E.g. I can't remember the details, but apparently in some or other test, even expert violinists and listeners could not tell the difference between the sound of a Stradivarius and a well made modern instrument. For decades, if not centuries, there has been speculation about what exactly Stradivarius' secret was: specially aged wood? The varnish? The exact thickness of the various bits and pieces? But, as with the Bermuda Triangle, they were trying to find a solution to a non-mystery.

Well, to add to the lore for you: I've heard it claimed that he made violins during/after an unusually cold spell in earth's history, which means the trees had tighter-packed rings which means the density of the wood was slightly higher. Hence why it has since been "impossible" to replicate. That's the legend I heard, anyway.

Regarding art: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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brianvds
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2015, 06:14:10 AM »

Do you know which she preferred?

The one that had breathed. As do I, though your point that a wine that has hyperventilated gets too acidic may well be valid. The solution is to drink it all before over-breathing can set in. :-)

Quote
It depends. Some expensive stuff I find to be nectar of the gods, whilst others make me want to spit it out (and not in the wine-tasting way)

After a glass or two, the taste hardly matters anymore anyway. :-)

Quote
Well, to add to the lore for you: I've heard it claimed that he made violins during/after an unusually cold spell in earth's history, which means the trees had tighter-packed rings which means the density of the wood was slightly higher. Hence why it has since been "impossible" to replicate. That's the legend I heard, anyway.

Humans seem to have a propensity to believe in a mythical golden age in the past, when everything was better. Me, I think the modern age is much better than the past. Well, that is to say, the modern age up until around when I was twelve;after that we went into a decline. :-)

Quote
Regarding art: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

That's true enough, though when it comes to "investment art," the prices have zilch to do with whether anyone finds the work beautiful...
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Mefiante
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2015, 16:41:44 PM »

More huffy airs from Planet of the OenophilesIn vino veritas, indeed.

'Luthon64
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