WINE TASTING

Kevin Drum asks a question about which I’ve long wondered:

If you had two or three experts taste the same wine, would they all agree on what the various flavor components were? Or would one of them claim it tasted of peanut butter and elderberries while the other detected hints of shoe polish and rainbow trout?

Stephen Bainbridge gives a rather lengthy response, my favorite part of which is,

I aspire to true wine snobbery, which according to Leonard Bernstein’s classic text The Official Guide to Wine Snobbery requires the use of jargon: “Just as tennis fanatics talk of topspin lobs and compare Addidas to Nike, so must the wine snob cultivate his own exclusivity.”

Personally, my wine description scale tends to be rather bimodal: Good/not good, sweet/not sweet, and the like.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Paul says:

    If you had two or three experts taste the same wine, would they all agree on what the various flavor components were?

    By and large yes. If you want to earn the rank of sommelier (which is a title not a job) you need to do a blind tasting and be able to identify all sorts of things such as what variety, flavors etc.

    Grand Sommeliers (which are quite rare) must be able to basically taste any bottle of wine ever produced and tell you what wine it is, who made it and in what year it was from.

  2. John Lemon says:

    My categories of reference for wine are boxed/not boxed.

  3. LisaS says:

    My wine snobbery goes as far as:

    1. Great Stuff
    2. Will do in a pinch
    3. Not touchin’ the stuff
    4. ICK!

  4. Kathy K says:

    I’m with the John’s boxed/not boxed. I also do add a distinction between wine and vinegar…

  5. Brian J. says:

    My personal rating system takes into account three factors:

    • Taste
    • Buzz
    • Price