Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Guardian - Wine-tasting: it's junk science

Every year Robert Hodgson selects the finest wines from his small California winery and puts them into competitions around the state.

And in most years, the results are surprisingly inconsistent: some whites rated as gold medallists in one contest do badly in another. Reds adored by some panels are dismissed by others. Over the decades Hodgson, a softly spoken retired oceanographer, became curious. Judging wines is by its nature subjective, but the awards appeared to be handed out at random.

So drawing on his background in statistics, Hodgson approached the organisers of the California State Fair wine competition, the oldest contest of its kind in North America, and proposed an experiment for their annual June tasting sessions.

Each panel of four judges would be presented with their usual "flight" of samples to sniff, sip and slurp. But some wines would be presented to the panel three times, poured from the same bottle each time. The results would be compiled and analysed to see whether wine testing really is scientific.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 09:05:34 AM EST
Of course it's not scientific, and afaik has never pretended to be.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 09:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He isn't contesting that, more he's referring to the contests which now take place to determine the "best" wines. An aspiration he demonstrates to be utterly flawed

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 09:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right. My winemaking friend (we had our annual tasting last Thursday to choose the sixth special cuvée he'll be putting together for us) proudly tells how professional winetasters (plural) identified one of his wines as a Médoc (worth two to three times the price of his).

At the same time though, they were not wrong in their identification of the grape varieties that went into the wine. He says the pros are very good at this.

Establishing rankings, though, is rubbish.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 23rd, 2013 at 10:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series