Diary Entry #33 - Wine Tasting is Bullshit...my two cents

Dear Diary,

Today is May 15th, 2013. It’s Wine Wednesday but this weeks Wine Wednesday is a bit different for me in the fact that I’m going to be missing the main ingredient…wine. Yes, that’s right, I’m doing a wine video 'sans' the wine. The reason being is I’m on a detox right now and unfortunately, wine is not on the list of things I’m able to consume right now. I was originally going to not do a video this week and post one next week, but it’s been 2 weeks since my last and I feel it’s important to stay consistent in my bi-weekly postings.

I also thought that perhaps this would be a good time to chime in with my 2 cents on a wine article that’s been floating around lately. That article is titled “Wine Tasting is bullshit. Here’s why." (link below). Now, this isn’t the first article touching on this same topic, but since it popped up a few times last week, I figured it might be a good time to talk about it in a vlog. I am going to do a little 'tasting' at the end this video...just to be silly and prove my point, so please watch the video and keep reading below! 

Hopefully don’t offend anyone (mainly the wine ‘experts’ and critics as well as wine makers, etc) as it’s really not my intent. But to a large extent, I do agree with much of what this article says – which is actually why I’ve always called myself an expert in LOVING wine…but not an expert in wine itself. Basically, the article highlights all the reasons (and there are a lot) as to why wine tasting is bullshit. Now I don’t think it’s necessarily bullshit but I really believe that tasting wine is such an individual experience. I do believe that one persons tasting notes for a bottle of wine can greatly differ from the next person. And I think that it can change from day to day. So maybe you’ve found you like a bottle of wine and then you decide to buy that same bottle again, and it tastes different than you remembered it. Well, that’s likely due to whatever food you may have eaten that day, time of day and perhaps what smells and sights are in the air and around you. Really there are several reasons as to how you experience the wine in your glass.

Now, this article goes to prove the fact that wine tasting experts often contradict themselves (ie. Scoring the same wine significantly different at different times). As well as pointing out that so called ‘experts’ were not even able to distinguish the difference between red and white wines. In 2001 there was a researcher that invited 54 wine experts to give their opinions on 2 glasses of different wine. What they actually gave the wine experts were 2 glasses of the same wine, just the ‘red’ was dyed with food coloring. The experts had no idea and described the wines completely differently. Not one out of the 54, so called 'wine experts', even knew that they were both white wines and the same white wine as a matter of fact!

There are really a whole variety of reasons this article gives as to why wine reviews are bullshit, so if you’re interested, I suggest you click on the link and read it for yourself.

Yes, I do believe that you can taste certain flavor profiles from specific grape varietals, (ie. jammy, red cherries, smoky tobacco, ripe plums, minerality, etc) as well as the many different flavours that you may hear the ‘experts’ describe. BUT, just because that’s the flavour profile someone else get, be they an expert or not, it doesn’t mean you’re going to taste the same thing or enjoy the same wine for that fact. Sometimes you will, sometimes you won't.

I myself have experienced, on numerous times, a so called ‘expensive’ highly rated wine was just ‘ok’ in my opinion and I have often navigated to a more inexpensive bottle of wine to enjoy instead. On other occasions, yes, I have loved the taste of a expensive bottle of wine. But to be honest, I couldn’t tell the difference in a blind tasting if I was to chose the most expensive one out of the bunch. So really, I suggest we go for what is affordable and enjoyable to your individual palate.

So with that said, just to prove a point (and because I'm on a detox), today pouring a glass of the finest of Italian Sparkling water that is bottled at source right in Italy. San Pellegrino have been bottling their fine mineral water since 1899 and are really quite legendary and iconic. The water that is bottled by San Pellegrino actually has the same mineral composition that it did when it was first tested back in 1748. So it's really like you're drinking ancient water. Even their bottle, is a special 'Vichy' shaped bottle - is really truly one of a kind.

On the nose, there is not a lot, but since I'm on a detox, I have decided to add a fresh slice of lemon. This creates a beautiful citrus lemon zest smell which is quite divine. On the palate, it's refreshing and the soft effervescence of the bubbles is quite nice. This truly is the perfect drink while on a detox. I suggest pouring it in your favorite wine glass or even perhaps a champagne flute for an even more elegant experience. San Pellegrino pairs nicely with every kind off food under the sun, so it's really quite a versatile drink. It's also great when enjoyed on it's own.

See, now you are craving a glass of San Pellegrino aren't you? lol :-) Well, maybe you're not, but I'm trying to make a point here. Wine tasting is often about 'romancing' the wine, making it sound amazing so you will buy it and enjoy it, tell your friends and sales will increase. So again, I say, enjoy what appeases to your palate and your pocket book. Take what the wine experts (and myself for that fact) with a grain of salt. Only you know what you enjoy - so stick to that!

If you want to read the article I'm referring to, click this link:  

http://bit.ly/14ojAa3

May the beauty you love, be what you do. 

x.h