Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

To thine own palate be true

10:27 AM, Sep. 10, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

Can you tell a $15 wine from a $60 wine? A cabernet sauvignon from a zinfandel? If I poured you a glass of wine, and you tasted it, and 10 minutes later I poured you a second glass out of the same bottle, could you tell it was the same wine?

Neither can most other people - including veteran professional tasters. At least that's one side of an argument that's lighting up the wine blogosphere and wine writers' columns recently.

"Wine Tasting: It's junk science," says an article in the British newspaper The Observer. In one test, professional tasters - given the same wine three times 10 minutes apart - gave it scores that varied by as much as 4 points on a 100-point scale.

Other tasters described a wine far more favorably when told it was expensive than when told the same wine was cheap.

Of course, veteran wine tasters are pushing back. VineSleuth, a Texas blog that creates wine-choosing smart phone apps, says its tasting experts are rigorously trained to use objective criteria, not facile quality judgment, in their work.

What do you think? Let's do a simple home test. If nothing else, it's a good party game.

Label two wine glasses No. 1 and No. 2. Have the friend pour the a zin into one glass and a cab into the other, not letting you see which is which.

Taste each. Take notes on which you think is the more tannic cab, which is the softer zin. Ask your friend if you're right.

Ten minutes later have your friend pour you another glass - labeled No. 3 - of the $15 cab or the $18 zin. Write down which wine you think it is. Did you discern whether No. 3 was the same as No. 1 or the same as No. 2?

Now try it with the two white wines.

So now what do you think? Can you identify wines by their characteristics? Pick out the same wine twice?

It shows, in my opinion, that wine tasting is very subjective.

I've come to some conclusions. Lightly sweet wines go well with spicy food. A delicate poached Dover sole needs a delicate white wine, not a powerful red one. Sparkling wine with its scrubbing bubbles cuts through the fat in fried chicken and such. Brie and chablis is a cliché, but it's true.

Still, my philosophy is that, despite others' advice, you should eat what you want and drink what you want with it.

- By Fred Tasker, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
576 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1017 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports