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On Tasting
Consumers Disagree with Wine Experts
Saturday, 27th August, 2005  - Richard Farmer

"There was no significant correlation between the expert panel quality scores and the consumer liking data for either of the varieties... This indicates that quality scores provide different information to consumer preference, and for this data set do not reflect consumer liking." This gem is from a paper titled ‘Wine quality and consumer preference’ that can be found buried in the annual report for 2004 of the Australian Wine Research Institute.

What researchers Dr. Leigh Francis, Kate Lattey and Heather Smyth set out to do was explained this way. "Wine quality has traditionally been determined by wine industry personnel, with little use of the consumer testing methods that are commonly applied to other beverages and foods. Consumer preference data provide a direct indication of the degree of acceptability of a wine and allows the sensory attributes that most influence liking to be determined."

Well this makes sense as the basis of any consumer product is to give the consumers what they want though the result has no doubt thrown this research into disarray as underpinning the Australian wine industry is a perception that the experts know best as is enshrined in the wine show judging system which is broadly used as a marketing tool.

The scientists collected a wide range of rieslings and chardonnays and ‘the sensory properties of the wines were characterised by a trained panel, and a group of experienced tasters’. Then 72 consumers gave their thoughts on how they liked the wines. As the starting quotes show they differ widely from the experts over what a good wine should taste like.

This theme was picked up by Debbie Elkind writing in the Sydney Morning Herald (20th August, 2005) and one of those interviewed, Patrick O’Riordan, manager of food quality at Food Science Australia said, "What they’re finding is that the wines that are being judged the best in wine competitions and winning medals aren’t necessarily the ones that are judged the best by consumers".

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Thursday, 27th February, 2014

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2013
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Thursday, 8th August, 2013

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Monday, 5th August, 2013

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Tuesday, 9th July, 2013

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Wednesday, 2nd May, 2013

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Wednesday, 24th April, 2013

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Friday, 22nd March, 2013

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Tuesday, 12th February, 2013

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2011
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Saturday, 10th December, 2011

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Sunday, 20th November, 2011

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ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2009
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Wednesday, 25th November, 2009

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Friday, 30th October, 2009

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Tuesday, 13th October, 2009

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Thursday, 8th October, 2009

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Sunday, 4th October, 2009

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Friday, 2nd October, 2009

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Monday, 21st September, 2009

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Monday, 21st September, 2009

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Thursday, 3rd September, 2009

Wine Advice from Craigslist

Thursday, 3rd September, 2009

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Saturday, 1st August, 2009

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Thursday, 26th March, 2009

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ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2008
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Friday, 26th December, 2008

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Friday, 5th December, 2008

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Monday, 4th February, 2007

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2007
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Sunday, 9th December, 2007

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Friday, 24th August, 2007

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Thursday, 28th June, 2007

The Ultimate Masked Bottle

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Monday, 19th March, 2007

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ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2006
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Sunday, 12th November, 2006

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Friday, 27th October, 2006

A Story About Verdelho

Wednesday, 4th October, 2006

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Thursday, 18th September, 2006

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Thursday, 14th September, 2006

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Saturday, 9th September, 2006

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Tuesday, 5th September, 2006

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Monday, 7th August, 2006

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Tuesday, 18th July, 2006

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Thursday, 15th June, 2006

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Tuesday, 13th June, 2006

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Friday, 9th June, 2006

The Judgement of Paris Part II

Monday, 29th May, 2006

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Friday, 5th May, 2006

The Other French Paradox

Tuesday, 2nd May, 2006

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Sunday, 30th April, 2006

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Thursday, 6th April, 2006

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Saturday, 18th March, 2006

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Thursday, 5th January, 2005

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2005
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Thursday, 8th December, 2005

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Monday, 5th December, 2005

Sharp Differences of Opinion Over Mount Mary

Monday, 14th November, 2005

The Views of the Economists With a Sense of Humour

Friday, 14th October, 2005

Wine Quality: Does Terroir Matter?

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Thoughts on Wine Judging

Thursday, 13th October, 2005

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Tuesday, 13th September, 2005

The New Taste of Wine

Friday, 2nd September, 2005

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Thursday, 4th August, 2005

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Wednesday, 6th April 2005

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Saturday, 11th December, 2004

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