A new way to judge wines
Is there another group of experts that annoy the people they are trying to help more than wine experts?
As expert tasters struggle to describe what they experience with phrases like "ripe, round finish" and "notes of cherry with undertones of leather," consumers roll their eyes and try to find wines in their price range that taste good to them.
This irritation at what is perceived to be wine snobbery isn't new. A Thurber cartoon, I think published in the New Yorker in the '40s, showed two men drinking at a table. One said to the other: "It's a naive domestic burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption." ...
Anyway, finally someone has gotten around to deciding to do something about wine verbiage and how wines are tested, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal that Dan D brought to my attention.
The story is about the first annual Consumer Wine Awards in Lodi, Calif.
The idea behind this and some other recent wine competitions is to judge wines the way consumers drink them -- without slurping, gurgling, spitting, taking notes, or conferring with other judges. (Of course, I'm a little worried that the Web site I linked to describes it as "our already paradigm-shifting tasting methodology," but I shouldn't get too picky here.)
One interesting thing that the WSJ article brings up, but is much too vague about, is "a study" that shows that ordinary wine drinkers tend not to like the wines experts prefer, raising the question of whether their opinions should even be of concern to amateur drinkers just looking for a nice bottle of wine to take home.(Barbara Haddock Taylor/Sun photographer)