Originally Posted by Paul Motter
The point of the article is that some of the most acknowledged and recognized "experts" in the field were inconsistent in the way they rated the exact same wines.
Also that they could easily be fooled by labels, and even by coloring - food coloring made a wine taste "drastically" different to them (when in fact it was just food coloring).
Now - they weren't complete foils - they just showed that it wasn't nearly the exact science most of them would want you to believe.
As far as the "tasting ritual" goes, I know how to do it and I do it, because it is expected when you have a sommelier - but I have never personally turned down a wine even when to my palate it was awful. I admit I do the "cork sniffing" fully for show.
But by the same token, I honestly do not believe myself to be enough of an expert to turn down a wine even if I hated it (and was paying for it) because it could be a $100 bottle that they then have to give to the staff.
I mean after all - can you really judge a red wine that has not had time to breath anyway?
I am also not a complete rube - I can tell when I really like a wine, and it usually ends up not being cheap. But I still stand by what I said (and the article also points out) that labels often mean very little - all that really counts is the vintage - and even that can vary. It really boils down to the actual wine in the bottle. That is where these experts get tripped up, they tend to get tricked by other things (brand, label, color, etc).
So, Paul, the question boils down to: "What's it to you?" You start by titling a thread "Wine tasting is EXPLETIVE," then go on to slam the "experts" who you say are inconsistent. Of course they're inconsistent, because the whole business of wine is completely subjective.
These wine experts are like movie, drama and book critics. Any two of them with "credentials" can and do come to completely different conclusions on a regular basis. So what?
Turns out that you didn't mean that wine tasting is expletive, even though that's what you titled the thread. After all, that would be like saying that moviegoing is expletive because two film critics disagree. What you really meant is that the critics are expletive because they don't agree. But even that's open to argument.
Staying with the movie analogy, what do sensible film fans do in the face of differing critical viewpoints? One choice is to ignore the critics completely, go to films that intrigue you and make up your own mind. When you like a film maybe you'll go see it again or buy the DVD. Pretty reasonable. Another approach might be to ascertain which critic or critics you tend to agree with most often, and let them--and only them--influence what you go to see. Again, reasonable. And both approaches, when applied to wine evaluation by "experts," are just as reasonable.
But to turn the whole thing into some sort of class warfare, lowbrow vs. highbrow, snob-bashing exercise as some have done here is just ridiculous. Lots of people enjoy wine in their own way and for their own reasons and according to their own tastes.
Leave them alone.