Beast of Burden
Not my wheelhouse, but isnt wine appreciation above a certain minimum level been proven to be more or less bullshit?
...More recent work by Robin Goldstein, Hilke Plassmann, Robert Hodgson, and other economists and behavioral scientists has shown high variability and inconsistency both within and between blind tasters; and little correlation has been found between price and preference, even among wine experts, in tasting settings in which labels and prices have been concealed.
Robert Hodgson, a California vintner and retired oceanographer noticed that the results of wine competitions were surprisingly inconsistent. With some expertise in statistics, Hodgson approached the organizers of the California State Fair wine competition in 2005 with a proposal. In the course of their routine duties, he would sometimes present the judges with samples from the same bottle three times without their knowledge. The judges were among the top experts in the American wine industry: winemakers, sommeliers, critics and buyers as well as wine consultants and academics. The results were "disturbing"... "Over the years he has shown again and again that even trained, professional palates are terrible at judging wine." The results were published in the Journal of Wine Economics in 2008 and '09. Hodgson continued to analyze the results of wine competitions across the state and found that the medals awarded for wine excellence "were distributed at random". Although he concedes that "there are individual expert tasters with exceptional abilities", the objective evaluation of large numbers of wines as currently attempted at wine competitions is, he asserts, "beyond human ability"
In 2001, researcher Fr?d?ric Brochet invited 54 wine experts to give their opinions on what were ostensibly two glasses of different wine: one red, and one white. In actuality, the two wines were identical, with one exception: the "red" wine had been dyed with food coloring.
The experts described the "red" wine in language typically reserved for characterizing reds. They called it "jammy," for example, and noted the flavors imparted by its "crushed red fruit." Not one of the 54 experts surveyed noticed that it was, in fact a white wine.