MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel

Greetings friends!

Whew. The main thread got explodicated by some interesting conversation this week regarding Robert Parker, WineDavid39, greater than symbols, and even more - but I thought THIS POST from RPM was most telling about what we may feel is a vital issue regarding ALL of our maturation into wine expertise.

How does one appreciate wine on more than a casual, "It's red!" level? How do I, an average wine drinker, start to learn to look for the kinds of things that RP, WD, RPM, SB, or anyone else we may look to for tasting information that determines the quality and difference between an every day drinker and a true bottle for the ages?

SB once PMed me that learning about wine is best done with others. I expect learning from others around me and talking about the wines we're drinking IS the best, but what if the people around me are wine illiterate?

Do I invest in a wine "scent kit?" Do I take a class? Seek out local tastings at my big market wine store?

RPM said wine tasting is more than a subjective palate, and that may be true, but I'm unconvinced.

8-Damien

HitAnyKey42


quality posts: 29 Private Messages HitAnyKey42

I love your subject line! M'tinks sumbuddy wuz watchin some WLTV.

This is also a topic I'm very interested in as well, because I've been having an extremely hard time discerning aromas and tastes. Though I have a feeling that's also because a lot of the things people have used to describe wine, I haven't even really eaten/smelled the real thing much (if at all). After all I've never tasted or seen cassis, I don't even know what anise and a lot of those other herbs people talk about are, and most of the types of berries I can't discern between probably because I haven't eaten a diverse enough amount of them.
So I'm sure that's probably a big part of my problem with uncovering the intricacies of wine. I suppose what I'll most likely end up having to do is once a week or so find some jelly/jam jar or type of berry or other such thing that I've never had before (or not had much of) and just try a little bit.

My Cellar
In a Glorious Marriage.Woot with cheron98
NYC Tastings

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 240 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
MaskedMarvel wrote:Greetings friends!

Whew. The main thread got explodicated by some interesting conversation this week regarding Robert Parker, WineDavid39, greater than symbols, and even more - but I thought THIS POST from RPM was most telling about what we may feel is a vital issue regarding ALL of our maturation into wine expertise.

How does one appreciate wine on more than a casual, "It's red!" level? How do I, an average wine drinker, start to learn to look for the kinds of things that RP, WD, RPM, SB, or anyone else we may look to for tasting information that determines the quality and difference between an every day drinker and a true bottle for the ages?

SB once PMed me that learning about wine is best done with others. I expect learning from others around me and talking about the wines we're drinking IS the best, but what if the people around me are wine illiterate?

Do I invest in a wine "scent kit?" Do I take a class? Seek out local tastings at my big market wine store?

RPM said wine tasting is more than a subjective palate, and that may be true, but I'm unconvinced.

8-Damien



It takes time and experience, and your tastes and preferences will change. As I've said many times before, describing wine is highly relevant for people in the wine business, but not important for wine enjoyment. Definitely seek out tastings, whether they be at a wine store, private group, county or state fair wine event. You learn about wine and about your preferences by tasting and paying attention, making mental (or written) notes.

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
MaskedMarvel wrote:Greetings friends!

Whew. The main thread got explodicated by some interesting conversation this week regarding Robert Parker, WineDavid39, greater than symbols, and even more - but I thought THIS POST from RPM was most telling about what we may feel is a vital issue regarding ALL of our maturation into wine expertise.

How does one appreciate wine on more than a casual, "It's red!" level? How do I, an average wine drinker, start to learn to look for the kinds of things that RP, WD, RPM, SB, or anyone else we may look to for tasting information that determines the quality and difference between an every day drinker and a true bottle for the ages?

SB once PMed me that learning about wine is best done with others. I expect learning from others around me and talking about the wines we're drinking IS the best, but what if the people around me are wine illiterate?

Do I invest in a wine "scent kit?" Do I take a class? Seek out local tastings at my big market wine store?

RPM said wine tasting is more than a subjective palate, and that may be true, but I'm unconvinced.

8-Damien



I am in complete agreement with SB that learning about wine is best done with others -- and tasting with a mix of levels of expertise, at least for those fairly new to wine, can be the most effective way to learn as you compare your impressions to those of others. Someone may point out something you've missed, and explain how to look for it, or give you the traditional 'name' or label for a particular aroma, taste or other sensation you already noticed (like discovering you're speaking "prose").

While I think classes can help one focus, and I know people who swear by scent kits, I'm not sure the degree to which the process can be accelerated. The reason for that is that you need to learn to remember what you taste (for some people that's easier than others), assisted by notes at times, and build a 'taste memory' over time. As you taste wines over their life cycle, you'll eventually learn to recognize things in a young wine that you can correlate with mature wine from the same grape/region/winery/winemaker. But, that takes a long time, because wines age pretty much in real time over many years. Even so, you can become pretty knowledgeable in a year or two with assiduous cork-pulling, a good memory, and a little reading.

Now, is wine more than a subjective palate? Good question, no simple answer. If your goal is to become knowledgeable about wine beyond what simply pleases you, that is to enter the running conversation among lovers of wine (not necessarily experts or professionals, which is a whole other level), then it's a great deal more than a subjective palate. Your own palate will shape what you like, but you need to learn to recognize styles, grapes, etc. and understand what's going on, what the consensus among the knowledgeable is, etc. If only so that when you talk with someone else, you're speaking the same language.

On the other hand, if your goal is simply to find wines you like, then your subjective palate may be your best guide. Here, the difficulty in not knowing more is that you can only rely on your taste buds and you may or may not understand what others mean when they describe wines (and they may not understand you). It can be done, of course, and many do it.

My own view is that I would encourage experiment and learning, because I think palates tend to develop overtime - thought that's not universally true. Experimenting, I've tasted thousands of wines I didn't like and learned something from most of them. But, I've also had my eyes opened to new things and to appreciate things I didn't know before.

I'll add in something here I wrote a long time ago, and which I've posted parts of on the forum before. PLEASE keep in mind that this was written for an audience with little or no wine knowledge and perhaps little or no prior interest. It's seriously oversimplified, but over the years, I've consistently gotten feedback that it's helpful at many levels. The idea is to introduce a common frame of reference within which the subjective experience can be discussed.

NOTES ON WINE

for

1982 Summer Associates Tasting


To inject a modicum of educational value and redeeming social importance to what some might otherwise characterize as an "Upper East Side-style Beer Bust", we offer the following abbreviated guide to wine tasting together with sundry facts which may be of interest:

WINETASTING

Unless you aspire to be a professional wine taster or plan to lay away large quantities of wine for prolonged bottle ageing, the only reason for winetasting is to find wines that you like. Whenever you drink a wine, you consciously or unconsciously evaluate it and compare it to others you have drunk. Our purpose in these notes is to point out some aspects you may find helpful in organizing your impressions of a wine. Although the standard wine evaluation system uses many more categories, we think that four basic categories are sufficient for almost all purposes. These categories are color, smell, taste and overall impression. Short discussions of each may be useful:

Color: Whether a wine is red or white, it should be brilliantly clear and free from cloudiness when held to the light. Color of a wine will vary greatly depending on the variety and style of vinification, but even without knowing such specifics the range of color can tell you much about the age and condition of a wine.

In red wine, a deep purple indicates the wine is very young. Deep red Is characteristic of a wine that is maturing soundly, while a fully aged wine is usually closer to brick red. Brownishness indicates oxidation and tells you the wine is over the hill at best, or bad at worst. For whites, healthy colors range from pale straw yellow or very light green to a rich gold for a fully aged Chardonnay. Amber indicates oxidation in white wine and should definitely be avoided. Although oxidation is rarely a problem with premium wines in a store, it can be a problem with jug wines (whites especially) and in restaurants. Never pay for an oxidized wine!

Smell: This category is usually broken out into aroma and bouquet. Rather simplistically, aroma is the smell of the grapes and bouquet refers to the complex smells which develop after several years of bottle aging. While each wine grape has a characteristic aroma, even if you are unfamiliar with it, you can easily tell if the wine smells of fresh grapes ("fruity"), the wood in which it was aged ("oaky" or sometimes "redwoody"), or if any unpleasant or "off" smells are present. A wine that doesn't smell good is bad, period. Off smells assault your nose when present: a vinegar smell means the wine has turned sour, a rotten cabbage smell indicates either a wine which has deteriorated or was made from underripe grapes. A slight rotten egg smell means too much sulfur dioxide (SO2) was used to stabilize the wine. The SO2 smell should dissipate within 15 minutes after opening, otherwise the wine is bad.

Bouquet is almost as difficult to describe as obscenity is to define. If you taste a classic wine with a rich, fully developed bouquet, you will, like Potter Stewart, know it when you see it.

Taste: Taste is usually separated into several subcategories, but they add up to explanations of why a wine does or does not taste good. For wines to be served with food, a drier taste is usually preferred to a sweet taste, and red wines are usually preferred drier-tasting than whites. You should notice if a wine is perceptibly sweet and decide whether you like the sweetness.

Perhaps the most important aspect of taste is the characteristic flavor of the grape used to make the wine, which you will generally find pleasing or displeasing. Here few generalizations apply and even experienced palates disagree sharply. Many people settle on two or three varieties they like and stick with them. Most of the world's great wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or White Riesling grapes [NB - I should have added Syrah and Nebbiolo, but there was less availability in those days].

A puckering, astringent taste in a red wine is caused by the tannic acid from the skins of the grapes. The acidity level affects how well the various flavors come together in a wine ("balance") and the alcohol content, if too high, can cause a wine to taste "hot", like an overstrong mixed drink. The lingering taste in your mouth after swallowing a sip of wine is called the "finish" and is very important. A good finish will be pleasant and smooth, except in immature reds where the tannins tend to predominate.

An afterthought about tannin: a red wine needs lots of it to age properly. When a big red wine is ready after ten or twenty years, the tannins will be smoothed out and the wine will feel almost like velvet. The amount of tannin indicates how long the wine will take to mature. If you really dislike the presence of high tannin, your choices are limited to drinking fully mature reds (very expensive), jug reds made to drink young (not very interesting) or whites only.

Overall Impression: This is the stage where you decide whether you like a wine or not, integrating all of the partial evaluations which concentrate on the individual senses. A wine may do well in one category and poorly in others. You may like a wine with one defect better than a wine with no defects, but nothing outstanding about it. The possibilities are endless and you have to decide what is important to you in selecting a wine. Ideally we would choose only wines which are outstanding in all aspects, but such wines are rare. Trust your own taste.

We advise caution with ratings of wines in charts or in articles. Charts overgeneralize and professional wine writers and tasters often base ratings on the future possibilities inherent in a wine which tells you little about how it tastes now. Also, they tend to be impressed with "showy", big wines which may not go well with food. And lastly, some of them have commercial interests in wines which may influence their evaluations and make them less than entirely candid in public.


MISCELLANEOUS ASPECTS OF
ORDERING AND BUYING WINE


The only way to learn about wine is to pull a lot of corks and remember what you like and don't like about the wines that you taste.

Wine "rules" exist and so do wine snobs. The "rules" at their best represent accumulated experience which can be helpful in selecting wines to accompany food. There are no easy outs for total ignorance because in most restaurants, the people who work there know less about wine than you do after reading these Notes, and wine lists vary enormously in price, quality and choice. If a restaurant has a great wine list, the sommelier is usually knowledgeable and helpful and the house wine may be rather good. Ask.

Most places, however, the staff is too ignorant to be helpful and the house wine is probably undrinkable. it is almost certainly the wine on which a place makes the biggest profit. A magnum which costs $5 at retail can give ten servings at $2 per glass. [NB - these were 1982 prices, the idea is the same today, wine is a huge winner for the establishment] With bottled wines, the usual mark up is twice retail, but it varies. The best values usually come from the middle third of the price range on the list.

Buying wine in a liquor store can be confusing and infuriating. Most employees, though there are exceptions, know nothing about wine. Their advice may steer you to the wine with the highest markup or that they want to get rid of. Very cheap wines usually have the highest percentage markups in a store, up to 150% over wholesale. If you know what you want, go to the "price bombers" who sell close to wholesale. (Look at the ads in any Wednesday New York Times.) Never buy old wines from them, however, because you don't know how the wine was stored. Their advice is almost always worthless. If you want advice on a wine, try a few stores where the staff seems knowledgeable until you find one whose recommendations agree with your taste and whose prices don't seem too high. Professional knowledge is a service, so expect to pay something for it.

The conventional wisdom in pairing food and wine is to serve red wine with red meats and game and white wine with everything else. No one should take this literally, but with most fish (except broiled salmon) reds often taste funny and few white wines are strongly flavored enough to stand up to red meat or game. Dry wines should precede sweet wines, or the dry wines will seem coarse and whites generally precede reds because the tannin in the reds seems to linger and overpower the more delicate flavors in the whites.

Wine snobs are a pain in the ass.


Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

MarkDaSpark


quality posts: 187 Private Messages MarkDaSpark
HitAnyKey42 wrote:I love your subject line! M'tinks sumbuddy wuz watchin some WLTV.

This is also a topic I'm very interested in as well, because I've been having an extremely hard time discerning aromas and tastes. Though I have a feeling that's also because a lot of the things people have used to describe wine, I haven't even really eaten/smelled the real thing much (if at all). After all I've never tasted or seen cassis, I don't even know what anise and a lot of those other herbs people talk about are, and most of the types of berries I can't discern between probably because I haven't eaten a diverse enough amount of them.
So I'm sure that's probably a big part of my problem with uncovering the intricacies of wine. I suppose what I'll most likely end up having to do is once a week or so find some jelly/jam jar or type of berry or other such thing that I've never had before (or not had much of) and just try a little bit.



Anise is like black licorice.

Like SB & RPM said, take some classes, but attend wine tastings, expecially those that give you a good variety, and whose leader can help people speak up.

Someone who doesn't put down what you or someone else smells or tastes is a treasure as a leader.

There is a wine shop here in Long Beach that puts on Sunday classes with one of the few female sommaliers, and it is very interesting how she gets everyone to put forth what they smell and taste. One of the classes was about smells and taste, but not snobby or anything. She got us to learn to not be afraid to say what we smelled or didn't know what it was. She had samples (herbs, etc.) for us to use (aroma only) during the tasting portion.


Someone has to put WD's kids thru college, but why does it have to be me!
*This post is for purposes of enabling only, and does not constitute any promise of helping pay for said enabling. It does indicate willingness to assist in drinking said wine.

SonomaBouliste


quality posts: 240 Private Messages SonomaBouliste
HitAnyKey42 wrote:I love your subject line! M'tinks sumbuddy wuz watchin some WLTV.

This is also a topic I'm very interested in as well, because I've been having an extremely hard time discerning aromas and tastes. Though I have a feeling that's also because a lot of the things people have used to describe wine, I haven't even really eaten/smelled the real thing much (if at all). After all I've never tasted or seen cassis, I don't even know what anise and a lot of those other herbs people talk about are, and most of the types of berries I can't discern between probably because I haven't eaten a diverse enough amount of them.
So I'm sure that's probably a big part of my problem with uncovering the intricacies of wine. I suppose what I'll most likely end up having to do is once a week or so find some jelly/jam jar or type of berry or other such thing that I've never had before (or not had much of) and just try a little bit.



If you really want to learn descriptive analysis, which IMO is valuable only to people in the wine industry, you can buy a "scent kit" like Nez du Vin and sit around and train yourself. Or you could doctor a bland wine with different substances that people evoke when describing wine. At UCD they might, for example, doctor different glasses of red wine with vanilla, blackberry jam, juice from canned green beans, black pepper, tobacco, etc. then smell those alongside a series of Cabernets and discuss which terms are useful in describing / differentiating those wines. Of course it takes some trial and error to get the amounts right so that they are detectable but not overpowering.

Cassis is blackcurrant, and has a very distinct aroma that is a blend of berry and leafy "green" smells. It's a classic descriptor for Cabernet (although not so much for the uber-ripe "modern" style). Try a glass of Creme de Cassis liqueur; the first time I did my response was "smells like Cabernet". It also reminds me of some hard candies my grandmother always kept in a bowl on her coffee table - they must have been blackcurrant.

timbyrd


quality posts: 2 Private Messages timbyrd
MaskedMarvel wrote:I thought THIS POST from RPM was most telling about what we may feel is a vital issue regarding ALL of our maturation into wine expertise.



Nit pick, but THIS LINK might be a tidier way to see that post.

-- T


Official holder of unofficial, unauthorized, non-woot gatherings.
My cellar

MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel
timbyrd wrote:Nit pick, but THIS LINK might be a tidier way to see that post.

-- T



Oopsies.

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
SonomaBouliste wrote:It takes time and experience, and your tastes and preferences will change. As I've said many times before, describing wine is highly relevant for people in the wine business, but not important for wine enjoyment. Definitely seek out tastings, whether they be at a wine store, private group, county or state fair wine event. You learn about wine and about your preferences by tasting and paying attention, making mental (or written) notes.



meet people around you that drink wine. I really think that's the biggest thing. Just going to a wine store might not be enough cause its interesting to learn from others and a common store tasting might not be enough.

I usually meet with 1-2 groups a month and we go through about 15 wines a session and just discuss it over dinner. Its alot of fun, you get to see a variety of wine.. which leads to a variety of taste/texture/flavors. The more people you hang around with the more you correlate certain "words" with certain tastes. Cause very few people can just suddenly start expressing themselves in the most descriptive of words. I know i certainly could not, listen to what other people are saying and try to *sniff*/*taste* your way into recognizing it =)

I used to never pinpoint the scent of green pepper, i just found it to be a weird smell and someone told me.. "do you smell green pepper?" and suddenly it hit me. Its subtle reaslizations like this that add to your knowledge and growth in wine education. (not enjoyment, you can definitely enjoy wine without knowing anything about it).

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm

smlauren posted this on the other thread. It's worth a read:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/24/WI35109VT3.DTL

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

HitAnyKey42


quality posts: 29 Private Messages HitAnyKey42
rpm wrote:smlauren posted this on the other thread. It's worth a read:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/24/WI35109VT3.DTL


And to help out people too lazy to cut-n-paste, here's a clickable link.

My Cellar
In a Glorious Marriage.Woot with cheron98
NYC Tastings

timbyrd


quality posts: 2 Private Messages timbyrd

(I didn't mean to just nitpick, but people made other posts before I could edit and add more quotes and replies.)

Thanks for starting this thread MM.

MDS - please PM me about the tastings in Long Beach.

-- T
(I thought anise tasted like absinthe...)

Official holder of unofficial, unauthorized, non-woot gatherings.
My cellar

synchrodan


quality posts: 7 Private Messages synchrodan
rpm wrote:I suppose I'm laying down a marker with synchrodan when I start off by saying I'm not a philosophical relativist and that I believe in the existence of (though not necessarily our ability to accurately discern) absolute truth and so I reject his position that all preferences are equally valid (and not just for the holder of them). As more of an historian than a philosopher, I understand that all of us bring our biases to bear on our work, but I also would argue strongly for the need for making as strenuous an effort as possible towards objectivity. Perhaps we can approach objectivity only asymptotically, but the impossibility of ever knowing we can achieve it does not mean we should not even make the attempt.

While we may not be able to ever achieve an absolute understanding or objective evaluation of wine, I think that there is something that approaches being an objective standard, which is the collective judgment of serious wine professionals (and their dedicated amateur colleagues who collect and taste serious wine, but do not make a living from it) over the past 150-200 years that we have reasonable records and writing about wine that is recognizable and intelligible. By that I mean, wines made in essentially similar ways from vineyards that are still producing in climates that are essentially the same subject to seasonal and reasonable annual variations -- it's my firm view that an astute, well-trained wine maker from, say, 1800, would be able to come into a modern winery working with similar varietals and (other than purely technological innovations that essentially give the wine maker more control over what's going on) understand what a modern wine maker was doing, and could meaningfully discuss and contribute to the decision-making in the production of a modern wine. And vice versa.

Of course, that level of knowledge is the result of a combination of some talent, a lot of training over many years. And, it's a kind of judgment that may differ from the everyday appreciation of wine. It's rather like understanding fine art -- most of us are not connoisseurs of art and do not have a deep understanding of art, but we know and appreciate that there is art that is generally considered great for articulable reasons, and that there are people who are devoted to understanding great art, either as a business or an avocation. With art, most of us know what we like and don't like when we see it. Sometimes, we like great art and sometimes we don't. Similarly, many of us are fond of works or styles of art that would be considered inferior or commercial. Which is fine, as long as we understand there's a difference, and don't try to change the standards by which great art is judged.

I think wine is similar. Those of us who have been fortunate to learn about, taste, and appreciate wines generally considered great probably do consider those wines to set the standards by which we judge wine, and to in some (perhaps fleeting) sense embody a reasonably objective standard of greatness. That does not mean that we like only great wines -- I've known people who profess to drink only the highest quality of wine and they often have more money than taste or knowledge -- or that we don't value wines that doe not meet those exalted standards.

In fact most of what even professionals drink would not count as "great" wine and would include a surprising amount of pretty ordinary or 'standard' wine. Those wines need to be appreciated for what they are and should not be directly compared to great wine. When a professional or serious amateur tastes a lovely wine that's enjoyable now, he or she does not say that should be the standard for all wine, but accepts it on its own terms.

Therein lies the heart of my beef with Parker: with little understanding and no training, but a newly discovered love of wine, lawyer Parker set himself up as a wine c.ritic and began to rate wines based on is own palate. Which, as I have written often over the years, in large measure because it was untrained, was biased in favor of easily approachable and fruit forward wines that immediately delighted his senses. Of course, that is an approach that appeals to a lot of people, especially those who are not experienced, and as a result, he was tremendously commercially successful.

The problem, from my perspective, is that lots of wine drinkers, instead of taking the trouble to learn about wine (and so have their palates progress from approachable wines to those which require more understanding, but which, over time, greatly repay the effort and are the 'change your life' wines of yesteryear) continue in more or less a rut of increasingly expensive approachable, fruit forward, bold (and often heavily oaked) wines which are often not especially well balanced. Wine makers and marketers, who want to sell wine after all, have in large measure responded to the increase in demand for this sort of wine by making more of it. Initially, that occurred in the middle market, but there has been increasing pressure over the past 25 years on the high end to change the methods of vinification to produce (especially in Bordeaux, Burgundy and in California) to produce wines that will obtain high Parker ratings and hence sales. What we don't know is whether those new style wines will age well and develop in ways similar to the great wines of the past. What I suspect based on limited evidence (and I'm not the only one of this view) is that these wines will not hold up and will fade away about the time the great red (and white) wines of the past 200 years would have just been coming into their primes. And, that upsets me, I confess. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to join the great conversation of wine and experience some of the same heights I have been lucky enough to.

Now, all of that said, I do believe that most of us, most of the time, taste wines simply to find what we like and, perhaps learn a bit more in the process. And, I would agree that if you're buying wine you should buy wines that you and those you drink with will actually enjoy. I'd never counsel someone who likes sweetish, fresh tasting wine (say a NZ Sauvignon Blanc or a Mosel Riesling) to buy a bone dry Chablis or Muscadet. I think people should experiment, because I think they may discover interesting new things, but there's no obligation to experiment -- if you know just what you like, and don't want to change, that's fine. NO ONE should ever drink wine he or she doesn't like.

But, let's not pretend that whatever you or I may like is objectively as good as wines that are acknowledged by expert consensus over the past 100 years as great, or that there are no standards in wine other than our personal, totally subjective standards.

whew. end rant.




I am glad we started a new thread in this section, as I am pleased not to have to disturb the sanctity of the Cab Franc's thread in order to continue this discussion, so onto my response to RPM:


Hah.. I didn’t expect (but quite enjoyed) such a response! First, I want to make clear that I am also not a relativist, and I generally agree with RPM’s comments. As I mentioned, I think, just as in art, there is wine that people can qualify as generally “Good” or “Bad”. It is the degrees of good or bad that become difficult.

I think what might be most preferable is if wine reviewers were to review wine in a context of the region, its characteristics, and its balance, without assigning a score. For example, it’s perfectly acceptable, and probably desirable, for a wine reviewer to explain the color, nose, flavors, etc. of the wine. S/he could also explain how these qualities complement (or overpower) one another. S/he could then further give his/her assessment of how these characteristics compare to that of other wines in the region and same grape. These observations should not be particularly controversial. I know that some people might taste different flavors in a wine than others, but that does not mean that if you observe certain flavors in a wine that others do not, you are necessarily incorrect. That’s one of the cool things about wine – different people get different experiences out of the same bottle.

The problem only arises when you decide to make an assessment of quality on those characteristics such as, “This wine is not oaky enough.” Whether the particular reviewer likes the attributes s/he observes is what I find particularly irrelevant and undesirable. Don’t tell me a wine is bad because it’s not fruity enough. I may happen not to enjoy fruity wines. But you can tell me that you find wine out of balance because there is a strong astringent taste with weak fruit.

There is a theory in philosophy of science called “Scientific Realism”. The idea is that if you get a bunch of rational observers together to witness some event, and all or the vast majority come the same conclusion about that event, then that conclusion should be considered fact and objectively so. There is also a school of moral philosophers who have developed a similar theory called “Moral Realism”, which works in a very similar way, only with ethics instead of science. Does this apply to wine? I believe it can, at least to some extent.

The degree of objectivity, in this case, comes into play with the observation and context, not quality. For example, if you get 50 people with fairly discernable palates in a room, each with a glass of the same wine, and all 50 taste cherry in the wine, then I think it’s safe to say that “cherry flavor” is a quality of that wine. Whether or not those 50 prefer that cherry flavor is not relevant. And if someone understands the winemaking process and regional variances, then s/he can comment intelligently on how the wine compares in its characteristics to other similar varietals.

So I think that ideally, whether or not a reviewer “liked” a wine should not be paid attention to by a wine consumer. What should be noted is what characteristics that the reviewer noted, what the balance and structure is like, and the wine’s context to comparable wines in the varietal and region. Based on those factors, the consumer can then decide for him/herself if that wine sounds like something s/he would enjoy. The idea that a wine should be scored on a numerical basis, and that basis is what we should use to choose wines, is rather absurd. Would you give a Monet a “score” of 96 and a Degas only a 92?

jwhite6114


quality posts: 119 Private Messages jwhite6114
MaskedMarvel wrote:Do I invest in a wine "scent kit?" Do I take a class? Seek out local tastings at my big market wine store?


I have a 12-bottle scent kit and it is pretty cool. I don't use as regularly as I could, but on the times I have it has been helpful. Education in a bottle.

SonomaBouliste wrote:It takes time and experience, and your tastes and preferences will change. As I've said many times before, describing wine is highly relevant for people in the wine business, but not important for wine enjoyment. Definitely seek out tastings, whether they be at a wine store, private group, county or state fair wine event. You learn about wine and about your preferences by tasting and paying attention, making mental (or written) notes.


The contra-view I have to this is, because reviews are done by pro's in the wine industry, I need to understand them to be able to equate the review to my palate. When you say, "Cherries and leather and a bit of anise," I say, "I like cherries, would never eat leather, and what the hell is anise?" Until I know what that means your review (objective or otherwise) does not really help me determine if I might like that wine.

rpm wrote:
On the other hand, if your goal is simply to find wines you like, then your subjective palate may be your best guide. Here, the difficulty in not knowing more is that you can only rely on your taste buds and you may or may not understand what others mean when they describe wines (and they may not understand you). It can be done, of course, and many do it.


Yeah, that's what I am trying to say

MarkDaSpark wrote:Anise is like black licorice.


Thank you Mr. Smarty Pants.

synchrodan wrote:There is a theory in philosophy of science called “Scientific Realism”. The idea is that if you get a bunch of rational observers together to witness some event, and all or the vast majority come the same conclusion about that event, then that conclusion should be considered fact and objectively so. There is also a school of moral philosophers who have developed a similar theory called “Moral Realism”, which works in a very similar way, only with ethics instead of science. Does this apply to wine? I believe it can, at least to some extent.


Now this, to me, seems to be very subject to "current thinking". Scientific realism at one point would have made fact that Earth is the center of the universe. Moral Realism in a extremist environment (whether micro or macro) could be quite skewed. I like the idea of universal truths, and these are born out on a very large scale (both across cultures and throughout history). I also believe there is a difference between fact and truth ... but now I am seriously beginning to digress.

synchrodan wrote:The degree of objectivity, in this case, comes into play with the observation and context, not quality. For example, if you get 50 people with fairly discernable palates in a room, each with a glass of the same wine, and all 50 taste cherry in the wine, then I think it’s safe to say that “cherry flavor” is a quality of that wine. Whether or not those 50 prefer that cherry flavor is not relevant. And if someone understands the winemaking process and regional variances, then s/he can comment intelligently on how the wine compares in its characteristics to other similar varietals.

So I think that ideally, whether or not a reviewer “liked” a wine should not be paid attention to by a wine consumer. What should be noted is what characteristics that the reviewer noted, what the balance and structure is like, and the wine’s context to comparable wines in the varietal and region. Based on those factors, the consumer can then decide for him/herself if that wine sounds like something s/he would enjoy. The idea that a wine should be scored on a numerical basis, and that basis is what we should use to choose wines, is rather absurd. Would you give a Monet a “score” of 96 and a Degas only a 92?



And we're back to Consumer's Union of wine ... the rating indicates the objective review, not the personal preference.

CT | | | | | |

synchrodan


quality posts: 7 Private Messages synchrodan
jwhite6114 wrote:Now this, to me, seems to be very subject to "current thinking". Scientific realism at one point would have made fact that Earth is the center of the universe. Moral Realism in a extremist environment (whether micro or macro) could be quite skewed. I like the idea of universal truths, and these are born out on a very large scale (both across cultures and throughout history). I also believe there is a difference between fact and truth ... but now I am seriously beginning to digress.



Ok, I am also seriously digressing here, but what you're talking about is a lot closer to what is actually Realism's antithesis: Constructivism. This is a wacky theory that purports that the world actually CHANGES due to whatever the prevailing paradigm is. For example, Constructivism would have claimed that, when the majority of people believed that the earth was the center of the universe, it actually WAS the case. As wacky as it sounds, a vast number of philosophers of science actually accept it.

Realism, on the other hand, says that well-informed, rational observers who all agree on something to be a scientific truth can establish objective standards. I suppose the argument for ancient times would be that their information or rationality was flawed. Maybe I'm doing a bad job of explaining, but if you're really interested in this, maybe Wikipedia can do a better job. It's actually a pretty compelling theory, or at least a heck of a lot better that constructivism.

bhodilee


quality posts: 32 Private Messages bhodilee
rpm wrote:big quote



Rob,

Take your full name out that post, just trust me.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
bhodilee wrote:Rob,

Take your full name out that post, just trust me.



I did, but why? I don't hide my name here.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
synchrodan wrote:I am glad we started a new thread in this section, as I am pleased not to have to disturb the sanctity of the Cab Franc's thread in order to continue this discussion, so onto my response to RPM:


Hah.. I didn’t expect (but quite enjoyed) such a response! First, I want to make clear that I am also not a relativist, and I generally agree with RPM’s comments. As I mentioned, I think, just as in art, there is wine that people can qualify as generally “Good” or “Bad”. It is the degrees of good or bad that become difficult.

I think what might be most preferable is if wine reviewers were to review wine in a context of the region, its characteristics, and its balance, without assigning a score. For example, it’s perfectly acceptable, and probably desirable, for a wine reviewer to explain the color, nose, flavors, etc. of the wine. S/he could also explain how these qualities complement (or overpower) one another. S/he could then further give his/her assessment of how these characteristics compare to that of other wines in the region and same grape. These observations should not be particularly controversial. I know that some people might taste different flavors in a wine than others, but that does not mean that if you observe certain flavors in a wine that others do not, you are necessarily incorrect. That’s one of the cool things about wine – different people get different experiences out of the same bottle.

The problem only arises when you decide to make an assessment of quality on those characteristics such as, “This wine is not oaky enough.” Whether the particular reviewer likes the attributes s/he observes is what I find particularly irrelevant and undesirable. Don’t tell me a wine is bad because it’s not fruity enough. I may happen not to enjoy fruity wines. But you can tell me that you find wine out of balance because there is a strong astringent taste with weak fruit.

There is a theory in philosophy of science called “Scientific Realism”. The idea is that if you get a bunch of rational observers together to witness some event, and all or the vast majority come the same conclusion about that event, then that conclusion should be considered fact and objectively so. There is also a school of moral philosophers who have developed a similar theory called “Moral Realism”, which works in a very similar way, only with ethics instead of science. Does this apply to wine? I believe it can, at least to some extent.

The degree of objectivity, in this case, comes into play with the observation and context, not quality. For example, if you get 50 people with fairly discernable palates in a room, each with a glass of the same wine, and all 50 taste cherry in the wine, then I think it’s safe to say that “cherry flavor” is a quality of that wine. Whether or not those 50 prefer that cherry flavor is not relevant. And if someone understands the winemaking process and regional variances, then s/he can comment intelligently on how the wine compares in its characteristics to other similar varietals.

So I think that ideally, whether or not a reviewer “liked” a wine should not be paid attention to by a wine consumer. What should be noted is what characteristics that the reviewer noted, what the balance and structure is like, and the wine’s context to comparable wines in the varietal and region. Based on those factors, the consumer can then decide for him/herself if that wine sounds like something s/he would enjoy. The idea that a wine should be scored on a numerical basis, and that basis is what we should use to choose wines, is rather absurd. Would you give a Monet a “score” of 96 and a Degas only a 92?



I cant' keep this up much longer....

I'm glad we're closer than I thought in my earlier post. You should understand that the sort of objectivity you're talking about, and the rating of wines in the context of region, variety, etc., is very much what the people at UC Davis were promoting for a long time. Their point system was not intended as absolute, but relative to the type of wine being evaluated. They try to develop more or less 'standard' assocations and descriptions of various wines that tasters can agree on. They even have a lot of statistical stuff for evaluating the work of several judges. I don't know if the book has been superceded yet, but you ought to get your hands on a copy of Amerine and Roessler's Wines, Their Sensory Evaluation (rev ed., San Francisco 1983). I think you will find it very helpful.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

bhodilee


quality posts: 32 Private Messages bhodilee
rpm wrote:I did, but why? I don't hide my name here.



Ask TMR about identity theft sometime. All they need is a name and an inkling your name could get them something. You wouldn't believe what I can find out about you just doing a name search from the credit bureau. Never ever ever give your full name on the internet in a public forum.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
bhodilee wrote:Ask TMR about identity theft sometime. All they need is a name and an inkling your name could get them something. You wouldn't believe what I can find out about you just doing a name search from the credit bureau. Never ever ever give your full name on the internet in a public forum.


uh oh!

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
bhodilee wrote:Ask TMR about identity theft sometime. All they need is a name and an inkling your name could get them something. You wouldn't believe what I can find out about you just doing a name search from the credit bureau. Never ever ever give your full name on the internet in a public forum.


what bowtie said.

imagine my surprise 7 years ago when i got a call from a bank informing me that i was delinquent on a loan that i had apparently secured to buy a brand new Nissan Pathfinder. I DON'T EVEN LIKE SUV'S!!! six months, two potential lawsuits (threatened by me) & one court appearance later, i regained control of my credit. what a monumental waste of my time. < shudder >

just my $0.02 - or $35,000 (loan) in this case.

now back to MM's most excellently formulated thread...

do you know... what biodynamics is?

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
jwhite6114 wrote:And we're back to Consumer's Union of wine ... the rating indicates the objective review, not the personal preference.



yep.

MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel

I can't really seem to articulate my thoughts when it comes to TALKING about tasting wine, much less tasting it..

OK. Last night I got a bottle of a nearby winery red, and a friend and I tasted it, and described it as sour cherry with melted plastic. It was right there to both of us (not a very appealing profile, imo).

After reading another review, I found I wasn't alone in my notes.

But is melted plastic the correct scent/taste? I have no idea. Where and how do I figure this out? If I have a group of tasters standing around, and we all say "What IS that taste?" And the wine expert says, "It's dirty diaper!" We ALL say - "Ooooh yeah! You're right!" Akin to the world being the center of the universe? Somewhat. I've had notes where I've revisited wines and wondered what the hell I was thinking that day. I do not underestimate the influence of a verbose taster...

And, I know I don't have to ask - but PLEASE don't shanghai this thread with OT stuff. We all know the risks of putting your name, phone number, and picture on the Internet. Let's talk about the risks of melted plastic ...

MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel
rpm wrote:smlauren posted this on the other thread. It's worth a read:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/24/WI35109VT3.DTL


And to help out people too lazy to cut-n-paste, here's a clickable link.



Lazy man's quote there...

That's kind of what I'm talking about. I liken it to describing music. I am always very careful, and appreciative when others are as well, to NOT use judgemental terms like "awesome, etc etc." People like different things. While there is a clear line between simple white noise and Mozart, there is much less between Beethoven and Bach. Who am I to tell someone they'll like something or something is better? All I can say is I like something, and offer it to their own opinion. Hopefully, we're speaking the same language at the time...

The melted plastic wine is going to a friend tonight. I await his analysis. :P

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
MaskedMarvel wrote:I can't really seem to articulate my thoughts when it comes to TALKING about tasting wine, much less tasting it..

OK. Last night I got a bottle of a nearby winery red, and a friend and I tasted it, and described it as sour cherry with melted plastic. It was right there to both of us (not a very appealing profile, imo).

After reading another review, I found I wasn't alone in my notes.

But is melted plastic the correct scent/taste? I have no idea. Where and how do I figure this out? If I have a group of tasters standing around, and we all say "What IS that taste?" And the wine expert says, "It's dirty diaper!" We ALL say - "Ooooh yeah! You're right!" Akin to the world being the center of the universe? Somewhat. I've had notes where I've revisited wines and wondered what the hell I was thinking that day. I do not underestimate the influence of a verbose taster...

And, I know I don't have to ask - but PLEASE don't shanghai this thread with OT stuff. We all know the risks of putting your name, phone number, and picture on the Internet. Let's talk about the risks of melted plastic ...



In my reply to synchrodan, I recommended the Amerine and Roessler book, Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation and I commend it to you as well. One of the best features of this highly technical book that tries to teach wine evaluation (in parts) is the long chapter in which they give descriptors (with sourcing) for most of the worlds important wine grapes, another chapter which give definitions of terms (i.e. definitions people could agree on) and a list of terms to be avoided. I consult this regularly, especially when I am in doubt about how to describe something I'm smelling or tasting.

They also break down a lot of myths and provide a useful classification of wine drinkers early on. The book (I have the 1983 edition) was one of the best $20 I've ever spent on wine. Of course, I've had frequent enounters with their work before, and Amerine was a longtime acquaintance of my oenologist great uncles, so it's not like reading this cold.

Peynaud (from Bordeaux) also has a great book on wine tasting.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel
rpm wrote:In my reply to synchrodan, I recommended the Amerine and Roessler book, Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation and I commend it to you as well. One of the best features of this highly technical book that tries to teach wine evaluation (in parts) is the long chapter in which they give descriptors (with sourcing) for most of the worlds important wine grapes, another chapter which give definitions of terms (i.e. definitions people could agree on) and a list of terms to be avoided. I consult this regularly, especially when I am in doubt about how to describe something I'm smelling or tasting.

They also break down a lot of myths and provide a useful classification of wine drinkers early on. The book (I have the 1983 edition) was one of the best $20 I've ever spent on wine. Of course, I've had frequent enounters with their work before, and Amerine was a longtime acquaintance of my oenologist great uncles, so it's not like reading this cold.

Peynaud (from Bordeaux) also has a great book on wine tasting.



Looking for the first suggestion new. The Peynaud is on the way to my house now. Thank you for that!

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
MaskedMarvel wrote:And, I know I don't have to ask - but PLEASE don't shanghai this thread with OT stuff. We all know the risks of putting your name, phone number, and picture on the Internet. Let's talk about the risks of melted plastic ...


my most sincere & humble apologies. i leave you to the ramblings of the experts & professionals (to use rpm's oft cited reference points) which most decidedly do not include me. enjoy!

do you know... what biodynamics is?

MaskedMarvel


quality posts: 11 Private Messages MaskedMarvel
themostrighteous wrote:my most sincere & humble apologies. i leave you to the ramblings of the experts & professionals (to use rpm's oft cited reference points) which most decidedly do not include me. enjoy!



Actually - I hold your and others' opinions in equal regard, especially on this subject. Please participate!

themostrighteous


quality posts: 12 Private Messages themostrighteous
MaskedMarvel wrote:Actually - I hold your and others' opinions in equal regard, especially on this subject. Please participate!


thank you for your vote of confidence, but i actually wasn't being snide - at least not in the second part of that statement!

let me explain.

SonomaBouliste wrote:It takes time and experience, and your tastes and preferences will change. As I've said many times before, describing wine is highly relevant for people in the wine business, but not important for wine enjoyment. Definitely seek out tastings, whether they be at a wine store, private group, county or state fair wine event. You learn about wine and about your preferences by tasting and paying attention, making mental (or written) notes.


i believe that SB has implicitly but perfectly articulated who i am. i enjoy wine & seek ways to expand & further that enjoyment through experience. i am happy to invest a certain amount of time & effort into acquiring that experience, but i am an amateur first & foremost, and i am not prepared to make the commitment to try to become an expert (& most certainly not a professional). want advice on buying, financing, restructuring or selling companies? i'm your man. but

MaskedMarvel wrote:I am always very careful, and appreciative when others are as well, to NOT use judgemental terms like "awesome, etc etc." People like different things. While there is a clear line between simple white noise and Mozart, there is much less between Beethoven and Bach. Who am I to tell someone they'll like something or something is better? All I can say is I like something, and offer it to their own opinion. Hopefully, we're speaking the same language at the time...


want advice on developing a palate that allows you to describe wine in ways that are relevant to others other than yourself (which is what i interpret you are looking for from the quote above)? that is something w/ which i cannot help you. truly.

so, like i said, enjoy! i will certainly tag along w/ the sincere expectation of learning something useful along the way. best of luck!

do you know... what biodynamics is?

ERMD


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ERMD

I like to experience wine myself, not analyze. Let me explain. MM, I believe you are in music. So if you listen in concert BB King, Eric Clapton or even a local garage band, can you REALLY enjoy the music or is it just second nature to be able to pick up that 1 missed note or off place chord? Does it become more like work. That is why I dont go for the descriptors in wine. I like the experience. Sitting with a friend in Paso eating local food or maybe Rhone area of France.

I guess what I'm getting at is dont let it become a necessity to analyze, but enjoy

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
ERMD wrote:I like to experience wine myself, not analyze. Let me explain. MM, I believe you are in music. So if you listen in concert BB King, Eric Clapton or even a local garage band, can you REALLY enjoy the music or is it just second nature to be able to pick up that 1 missed note or off place chord? Does it become more like work. That is why I dont go for the descriptors in wine. I like the experience. Sitting with a friend in Paso eating local food or maybe Rhone area of France.

I guess what I'm getting at is dont let it become a necessity to analyze, but enjoy



I understand. People who study wine and its evaluation recognize that most people who drink wine don't necessarily approach it critically or with a view to intentionally evaluating it.

To return to the often recommended Wines: Their Sensory Evaluation, one of the'shibboleths that need to be questioned" in the first chapter is the notion that:

4. Only experts can enjoy the quality of a wine.
This too is nonsense. It is a rare individual who, with even a little experience, may not enjoy drinking wine. Experts may know why they enjoy certain wines, but they would be presumptuous to claim that they enjoy them more than amateurs. The latter may, in fact, enjoy a certain wine more fully than an expert precisely because they do not have the knowledge and experience to make all the possible comparisons among wines. ...
We concede that experts do gain a different type of pleasure from their intellectual appreciation of the complex sensory perceptions yield by a truly fine wine.



Yes! Earlier in the chapter the authors categorize:

consumers into three groups: ordinary consumers, appreciative drinkers, and professional wine judges.

Ordinary consumers are not interested in the wine as an aesthetic object....They consume the wine mainly because it is the culturally acceptable table beverage, and they enjoy it for perhaps the same reason, in addition to its pleasant sensory (and physiological) effects. But they do not attempt to analyze the reasons why they find it pleasant. Even at this level, however, some aesthetic judgments are being made.... We do not know when a consumer changes from the mere drinking of wines to a degree of personal evaluation of the quality of each wine consumed .... In wine-drinking countries, the typical wine consumer may normally be only a wine drinker. But on special occasions (feast days and so on as determined by social custom) or with special friends, the wine drinker may become an appreciative and critical consumer.



I'd say here this is the level that even many wooters are at, and there's nothing wrong with that. You enjoy wine, and you more or less know what you like. My experience, growing up in a family with centuries of wine-making experience, is different, but for most people, their move to the next step comes as a result of having what I call an "AHA!!" experience with (usually) a very fine wine that hooks them and creates in them a fervent desire to understand more about wine.

To continue with Wines:

Our second group of consumers falls into the category of appreciative drinkers. For such consumers, wine is more than just a table beverage, and wine drinking has aspects of an aesthetic experience. ....

Our third group of consumers includes the professional wine judges. Their task is to evaluate the sensory quality of wines according to some agreed-on standards. Generally, their personal preferences in wines do not come into play or are consciously ignored. It is vital for professional judges to have common, fixed standards for each type of wine. To achieve such standards, a great deal of experience with the types of wines they are called upon to judge is absolutley essential. Some professional judges may not like sweet table wines but can still be good dispassionate judges of their quality if they have sufficient experience with them: years of experience!



I think this introductory material from Amerine & Roessler sheds some light on this discussion, and the reason there seems to be so much talking past one another on the boards here, where people in the first category (perhaps a majority) are looking for help simply finding wines they like, and people in the second category (everyone else except SB and the wine makers who chime in) are more interested in a more nuanced or full appreciation of the wines, and want to talk about them in these terms.

The problem is that we lack a mutually agreed common vocabulary and, common standards for evaluation. That's one of the reasons I like to work with the Davis and modified Davis scorecards: what I describe using that vocabulary and system can be pretty reasonably understood by anyone familiar with it. But, there is an investment in becoming familiar with the language and approach which most people are not interested in.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

ERMD


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ERMD
rpm wrote:I think this introductory material from Amerine & Roessler sheds some light on this discussion, and the reason there seems to be so much talking past one another on the boards here, where people in the first category (perhaps a majority) are looking for help simply finding wines they like, and people in the second category (everyone else except SB and the wine makers who chime in) are more interested in a more nuanced or full appreciation of the wines, and want to talk about them in these terms.

The problem is that we lack a mutually agreed common vocabulary and, common standards for evaluation. That's one of the reasons I like to work with the Davis and modified Davis scorecards: what I describe using that vocabulary and system can be pretty reasonably understood by anyone familiar with it. But, there is an investment in becoming familiar with the language and approach which most people are not interested in.


Oh and I for one appreciate your knowledge and input. What a great family to come from. To be part of the pioneers of wine in California(hell the US) would be unbelivable. And I also agree that trying to become more informed on wine is my goal. But rather than sitting around a table and discussing what aroma/flavor you taste I would rather look at my beautiful wife (or friends) and go over what fun we have or will have rather than mentally masterbate(could not come up with a better term) if I Taste leather/blueberry or whatever

CHEERS

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
ERMD wrote:Oh and I for one appreciate your knowledge and input. What a great family to come from. To be part of the pioneers of wine in California(hell the US) would be unbelivable. And I also agree that trying to become more informed on wine is my goal. But rather than sitting around a table and discussing what aroma/flavor you taste I would rather look at my beautiful wife (or friends) and go over what fun we have or will have rather than mentally masterbate(could not come up with a better term) if I Taste leather/blueberry or whatever

CHEERS



there's the saying those cannot do teach.
just because you can read it and absorb the knowledge doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to apply it. Sometimes practice makes perfect and that does require you to sit around and have trial and error .. doing it with others just makes it easier.
Group studying = more issues/questions/facts get presented!

sorry studying for criminal procedure in a group right now =P

ERMD


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ERMD
clayfu wrote:there's the saying those cannot do teach.
just because you can read it and absorb the knowledge doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to apply it. Sometimes practice makes perfect and that does require you to sit around and have trial and error .. doing it with others just makes it easier.
Group studying = more issues/questions/facts get presented!

sorry studying for criminal procedure in a group right now =P


Thats the word, REQUIRE. Hell no, wine is fun, not work. That is the point ENJOY and dont stress you cant taste lemon poppyseed/ dirty diaper.
Sorry, 4th day in a row at work and I do see the sudden lifes tradgedies that come totally unexpected. Enjoy life; experience and live

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
ERMD wrote:Thats the word, REQUIRE. Hell no, wine is fun, not work. That is the point ENJOY and dont stress you cant taste lemon poppyseed/ dirty diaper.
Sorry, 4th day in a row at work and I do see the sudden lifes tradgedies that come totally unexpected. Enjoy life; experience and live



Well, that's the whole point -- if sitting around talking about wine and learning to differentiate aromas and flavors seems like WORK to you, then you absolutely should not do it.

What I was trying to say before, is that most people who move from the level of what I'd call direct simple appreciation -- because I don't want to imply you don't like and appreciate good wine -- to the next level of "appreciative drinkers" who enjoy what seems like work to you, have had an "AHA! experience with wine that made them want to put in the effort to learn more. For them (and for me), it's not work, it's FUN. Oh, there may be effort involved, and concentration and occasional frustration, but basically, we actually like the whole rigamarole of sitting around with like-minded friends talking about wine, or testing ourselves and each other and teaching each other and ourselves something new about wine every time.

For real professionals, of course, tasting is work, but I don't know any wine professional who didn't become a wine professional as a result of wanting to go beyond even the stage of being a seriously appreciative wine drinker.

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
ERMD wrote:Thats the word, REQUIRE. Hell no, wine is fun, not work. That is the point ENJOY and dont stress you cant taste lemon poppyseed/ dirty diaper.
Sorry, 4th day in a row at work and I do see the sudden lifes tradgedies that come totally unexpected. Enjoy life; experience and live



you're asking to be more informed, that's just the best way to be the most informed. You want to learn as much as possible, but dont' want to go tasting with friends and discussing with people. Yet it's so integral to learning in the most efficient way possible. Reading a book just isn't enough sometimes, especially in the case of wine where so much is trial and error.

and i completely agree with what RPM is saying. Sometimes you gotta invest something more if its something you really want to learn about right?

ERMD


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ERMD
clayfu wrote:you're asking to be more informed, that's just the best way to be the most informed. You want to learn as much as possible, but dont' want to go tasting with friends and discussing with people. Yet it's so integral to learning in the most efficient way possible. Reading a book just isn't enough sometimes, especially in the case of wine where so much is trial and error.

and i completely agree with what RPM is saying. Sometimes you gotta invest something more if its something you really want to learn about right?


Believe me we are closer to being on the same page as not. Its the push, the vogue thing to do, to be able to smell and differ the aromas. People are concentrating on that rather than enjoying the damn wine. Between the"oh we gotta figure out what aromas are in it/ taste are here" and the bastardization of individualism by winemakers not only in the US but France because of RP ratings; how can anyone expect someone to enjoy our great love of wine.

Ok so if someone really is intent on learning about the aromas/taste , ok great. But damn,just seems like its pushed, you must/should know what your drinking.

ERMD


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ERMD
ERMD wrote:Believe me we are closer to being on the same page as not. Its the push, the vogue thing to do, to be able to smell and differ the aromas. People are concentrating on that rather than enjoying the damn wine. Between the"oh we gotta figure out what aromas are in it/ taste are here" and the bastardization of individualism by winemakers not only in the US but France because of RP ratings; how can anyone expect someone to enjoy our great love of wine.

Ok so if someone really is intent on learning about the aromas/taste , ok great. But damn,just seems like its pushed, you must/should know what your drinking.



Oh and Clay I drink far more than 2 a month.Guidelines state 2 glasses a day

clayfu


quality posts: 10 Private Messages clayfu
ERMD wrote:Oh and Clay I drink far more than 2 a month.Guidelines state 2 glasses a day



and...... your point being

ERMD


quality posts: 1 Private Messages ERMD
clayfu wrote:and...... your point being



Well you said we should sit around and share info with others in order to Learn; correct? well lets see if someone only drinks 2 bottles per month, how much can you learn verses 3-5 times a week.