May 10, 2013

"I found this article piquant and slightly nutty with overtones of ripe boysenberry and green tea and a finish reminiscent of early morning in a Scandinavian forest."

Comment at Metafilter on a thread linking to an article titled "Wine-tasting is Bullshit and Here's Why."

33 comments:

El Pollo Raylan said...

I found this article piquant and slightly nutty with overtones of ripe boysenberry and green tea and a finish reminiscent of early morning in a Scandinavian forest...

...taurine vowel movements.

TosaGuy said...

I am curious to know how many people drink wine because they think they are supposed to drink wine?

Wine consumption has increased dramatically in the U.S.

Alan said...

I agree with the author's 2nd to last recommendation: "The upshot: screw the experts. Drink what tastes good/whatever you can afford."

I don't prefer beer to wine, so I'll have to disagree with the final one.

traditionalguy said...

Critics are a dime a dozen. Food tasting is good, word tasting is even better, but wine tasting is the best.

God gave us smell to enjoy food, a tongue to enjoy words and wine to enjoy other people socially.

Wine wins.

Brew Master said...

I'll have to second Alan on the authors recommendation:

The upshot: screw the experts. Drink what tastes good/whatever you can afford. Or just have a beer – it's unequivocally better, anyway.

But I will disagree with Alan on beer vs wine.(You can't expect a guy who calls himself Brew Master to prefer wine over beer now can you?)

For beer I'm an IPA fan, thats something you just can't get from wine. For wine, I like sweet reds and dry whites.

CEO-MMP said...

Among the ways we taste he mentioned, he forgot body chemistry and other things consumed--and not consumed with/during but consumed earlier in the day or even the day before.

Taste is very complicated. That's why it's so amazing when people are able to create a consistent product (without artificial means).

Think of pipe tobacco or cigars, things that stay the same year after year even though the base inputs change. People adding a little extra of this leaf, taking out that leaf and so forth.

Nonapod said...

Wine tasting may in fact be bs, but there's little doubt that there are certain individuals who have a much finer sense of taste than others.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We went wine tasting a few weeks ago in Oregon, which is rapidly becoming the Napa Valley of the north. We were trying to pick out some wine as gifts to clients. One of the wines was touted as being "earthy". Not being a sophisticated wine snob, scotch being my preference, and not always having much of a filter....I remarked. "Earthy!! No shit....it smells like dirt, mold or rotten compost. Blech!"

Not appreciated by the hostess. Needless to say. We didn't buy THAT one. I don't care if it was wonderfully earthy. I'm not drinking something that smells and tastes like dirt.

Chip S. said...

What the research being referred to at the link actually shows is that wine tasting is an acquired skill--or that wine prices are driven by the opinions of people w/ formal training in wine evaluation.

The best bottle of wine I've had so far wasn't the most expensive one I ever bought, but it was the second-most expensive one.

Chef Mojo said...

As someone who tastes wine, as well as cooks, for a living, I'd have to say most of that article is accurate.

Smelling and tasting are supremely subjective.

My first rule of wine: If you like it, then it's good wine.

rhhardin said...

There's a Thurber (I think) cartoon of an old lady with a shotgun guarding the sidewalk boysenberry bushes from an old basket-bearing passerby.

edutcher said...

They did something like that on an old episode of "Hogan's Heroes".

The tag was, "A little vintage we like to call 'Hussy of the Vineyards'".

ricpic said...

Wine has a medicinal taste.

bagoh20 said...

I happen to think this is also true of many other things to varying degrees but that still live the bullshit range:

Cigars,
Whiskey, Vodka, etc.
Fashion
etc.

In fact, everything we call "art" has a very high bullshit factor. That in no way diminishes it, but rather, makes it special. Maybe the definition of "art" should be human endeavor which is mostly subjective, and beyond objective measurement, which is also very close to a definition of "bullshit", but different. That's what makes art so unique. It's lying with so much style that you find some truth.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

traditionalguy said...

God gave us...a tongue to enjoy words and wine to enjoy other people socially.

I keep getting those mixed up. Still works out pretty well...

TerriW said...

When I go out for dinner with my dad, he always asks for "the second cheapest red you have" and he's always been happy with it.

traditionalguy said...

The trouble with the popular wine consumers is that they seem to have started out with cheap white wines so cold that their taste was not more than an alcohol tang, and they stopped there.

A good chardonnay such as Sonoma Cutrer is great at room temperature, but all red wines are better than any white wine. A cheap Zinfandel better.

Rules of thumb: buy Pinots from Sonoma and Cabernets from Napa. French wines have stronger flavors flavor and less sweetness than California wines and cost more. German Mosel River Valley wines are heavenly for sweetness taste even if they are whites.

Brew Master said...

DBQ....

We were trying to pick out some wine as gifts to clients. One of the wines was touted as being "earthy". Not being a sophisticated wine snob, scotch being my preference, and not always having much of a filter....I remarked. "Earthy!! No shit....it smells like dirt, mold or rotten compost. Blech!"

I laughed out loud at this, as I've actually had this exact experience.

Plymouth Bay winery in Plymouth MA, they had this nasty red I tried and nearly spit out. I was there with my sister and she gave me a quisical look. Given that the proprietor was right there, I told my sister that the wine was 'earthy', it litteraly tasted like dirt. UGH.


Sam L. said...

Abso-mo-lutely!

El Pollo Raylan said...

The best drinking advice I know is the old German saying:

Wein nach Bier das rat ich dir; Bier nach Wein, laß es sein [Wine after beer I advise thee; beer after wine, leave it be].

The advise means not to drink weaker potion after strong.

What of mead, the fermented product of honey which is often stronger than beer?

Honigwein nach Bier, schluck wie ein Tier; Bier nach Honigwein, laß es sein

GIY ;)

edutcher said...

Sam L. said...

What of mead, the fermented product of honey which is often stronger than beer?

Madame has been intoxicated with it since the summer of '09.

Patrick said...

I used to read the WSJ wine critics - a really cool column written by a husband and wife team. They frequently emphasized that people most often enjoyed the wines they had during times when they enjoyed themselves, regardless of the price or the "quality." I enjoy wine, but I've never been much for distinguishing it, so I always buy the coolest bottle available for around $10.

sydney said...

Once, when I was trying to pick out a wine, I was reading over the labels and came across one that described its contents as having a "hint of gunpowder." I passed.

wholelottasplainin' said...

@ sydney a friend reported she once mis-heard someone at a wine tasting describe a wine's bouquet as having "a touch of violence".

Actually said was, "a touch of violets".

(I asked if it was a Red wine)

baddabish

edutcher said...

sydney said...

Once, when I was trying to pick out a wine, I was reading over the labels and came across one that described its contents as having a "hint of gunpowder." I passed.

Undoubtedly made from old trade whiskey

Rusty said...

TosaGuy said...
I am curious to know how many people drink wine because they think they are supposed to drink wine?

Wine consumption has increased dramatically in the U.S.

There are supposed to be health benefits to red wine.
I like Beaujolais. I don't care whos. It just tastes lighter and simpler than others.
A Chianti classico is good too.
This is If I have to have alchyhol with food.

kimsch said...

Malbec is a rich red that adds a wonderful depth of flavor to foods.

Never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.

bagoh20 said...

I like my wine like I like my women. I'll enjoy as much of you as I can until you give me a headache.

bagoh20 said...

I rarely pay more than 8 bucks for a bottle of wine. You don't have to, so why would you. Usually in the six dollar range, but that's only because I can afford it.

LTMG said...

Fortunately, commenting on wine gives snobs a safe outlet for their errant opinions. If commenting on wine was not tres chic, imagine if instead snobs commented on politicians as in ..."Overall character is that of a sex loaded [starlet]; endowed, jaunty and erotically scented with every part smelling and tasting provocative. [Her] gorgeous, vaunting style is burning, mantling and amorous with an extravagant softness that is grandiose, exotic and pursed lipped. There is an edginess, sophisticated and dominating air that questions whether your [libido] has the true aptitude to handle the complete clutch of this much worldliness." Change a few words and one could be commenting equally on a thick and unwashed cotton bathrobe.

Mike said...

Sounds like DBQ's "earthy" tasting might have been corked or spoiled. Then again, sometimes it just don't taste right! Subjective it is.

ampersand said...

I rate wines on how fast and how long I can stay drunk without getting my head spinning.

Many years ago I bought a bottle of Texas Champagne. It was named after a Texas city,I forgot which,but it was pretty enjoyable.
Real Champagne is just too dry for me.

A word of advice from my Pop. If it has a real cork it's wine. If it has a plastic cork it's bubblewine.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Frankly, the best wine I've had was IIRC something called Tripplejack - found next to Mad Dog and Thunderbird years ago in the bottom cooler shelf at the local Stop-n-Rob. Lightly carbonated.

The rest of it, red wine or white, gives me a headache.

And wine tasting? Yeah. I'll go with the "complete and utter" bullshit.

Now beer! None of your pansy-assed light beer, mind you. Most stuff put out by the major breweries in the US is swill. Heinie is not bad. Old Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout. There is a meal!