Wine

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Tweefo (June 25, 2013, 13:13:04 PM):
This article http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/23/wine-tasting-junk-science-analysis support what I always believed in, as far as wine is conserned. My father in law and a cousin of my wife are "expert wine tasters" (so they say) but they've never took me up on a blind tasting test, even when I proposed to put my money where my mouth is. As for myself, I don't think I can tell the difference between red and white,(blindfolded and same temperature) never mind quality. Sweet and dry I can maybe do.
BoogieMonster (June 25, 2013, 13:52:00 PM):
I enjoy red wines a lot, but I suck at the whole taste-notes thing. I'm often bewildered when someone describes a wine as having:
"Vanilla with a bit of wallnuts and roasted chestnuts, and a mango aftertaste". The best I can muster is "chocolatey" or "coffee" or "lekker"/"kak".

BUT, I have been drinking and aging wine at least long enough to pick up on other things.... My arch nemesis Shiraz (oft highly praised by those in the know) can usually be tasted even in blends. And I never like it. I would venture that in a blind tasting I would have trouble telling a merlot from a cab. sav or other varietals, even though I prefer Merlot in general. It's just shiraz (or "syrah", my mistake) that I can't stand.

I say aging because I do get a "softness" with aged wines that I prefer. I tend to keep a small number bottles for about 5 years before I imbibe them.

I'm actually relieved to find it's not just me that finds the whole "fine art of tasting" thing a bit of baloney.
Hermes (June 25, 2013, 14:47:43 PM):
Blind tasting of wines is hardly anything new: there are connoisseurs who can identify the type of grape, geographic origin, year of harvest etc. with remarkable consistency. I therefore take Hodgson's comments with a pinch of salt - he has hardly invented blind wine tasting and all manner of tricks to test the skills of wine tasters have been conducted before. That is not to deny that there also is a lot of snobbery and pretence around wine tasting. Perhaps the "experts" that Hodgson refers to are self-proclaimed. The real connoisseurs exist.
brianvds (June 25, 2013, 15:37:51 PM):
On a similar note, it is not clear that anyone can distinguish the sound of a Stradivarius violin costing a million dollars from that a well made factory instrument costing a few thousand.

And even experts are not all that good at distinguishing abstract art by great masters from doodles by children or apes:

http://www.significancemagazine.org/details/webexclusive/1234837/Abstract-art-grandmasters-score-like-Class-D-amateurs.html

http://www.significancemagazine.org/details/webexclusive/1416033/Monkeys-get-a-silver-in-Abstract-Art-Olympics.html

BoogieMonster (June 25, 2013, 16:08:20 PM):
This all actually reminds me of a double-blind test administered to "audiophiles" where Coat Hangers were indistinguishable from expensive speaker cable for perceived audio quality over short distances.

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