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Way Too Good to Blend Away




































Down on the Farm a Pig Grunts Away












On Tasting
Confessions of Wine Deceit, Other Deceptions and Fooling Yourself
Monday, 29th January, 2007  - David Farmer
Legendary pianist, Vladimir Horowitz - Could you tell the difference?

A friend of mine has a simple way of drinking well at wine and food events where it is expected you should bring wine that is shared by all. Most wines brought along are of fairly ordinary quality and anything half decent is consumed before you get a second glass.

My friend's solution is to decant two bottles into a two litre wine cask. He has been telling me stories about this method for ten years. For a recent end of year function he took along his cask containing two bottles of a recent Penfolds Bin 389. He offered a glass to another imbiber who spat it out muttering that he would not be caught dead drinking such rubbish.

Making judgements about wine is a cruel business and I tell this story to introduce another which involves wine professionals.

At the Royal Adelaide Wine Show there had been for many years a class set aside for commercial wines priced for example under $15.00. This was to make the show relevant to consumers who could find the winner in the local shop.

Unfortunately it became harder and harder to award the Trophy as the judges got meaner and meaner with their scoring. It seems that knowing the wines were cheap altered the judge's view of how the wine should be scored. The class was abolished and now the Trophy winner is selected by scanning the points awarded across all the classes till they find a gold medal wine that sells for under $20.00 and is widely available. The judges not knowing the prices of the wines means that several cheaper wines always turn out to be awarded golds meaning there are several wines in contention for the Trophy.

Another example comes from the sauvignon blanc classes which most shows now have. I am not certain but I think three shows permit entries from New Zealand. Because of the high profile and high quality of this variety from New Zealand these three shows give a higher proportion of medals than the other shows but here is the rub - they also give a higher percentage of medals to Australian wines as well.

Presumably by trying to double guess the New Zealand entries they also score highly some local wines.

And one more story, not wine related but again it shows our general ability to be deceived. A Canberra multi-millionaire owns a Yamaha grand piano which has an inbuilt feature like the old piano roll that allows you to play a CD and watch the piano keys move as they would if being played. For dinner parties he hires an actor who pretends he is playing the piano.

I wonder if guests ever think how well the local pianist plays as he acts out Horowitz? More likely they say, not bad for a student but we've heard far better.

The similarities of this situation with wine tasting are obvious so remember - to really enjoy wine you must accept that it is fun to evaluate, though many times you will exaggerate the quality or entirely miss the beauty of the wine.

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ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2014
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Thursday, 27th March, 2014

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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

The Five Secrets of Stylish Women Applied to Drinking Wine

Tuesday, 12th February, 2013

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2011
Steps in Becoming a Wine Snob

Saturday, 10th December, 2011

A Morning at the Mount Barker WA Wine Show

Sunday, 20th November, 2011

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Friday, 26th August, 2011

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ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2009
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Wednesday, 25th November, 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

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Thursday, 3rd September, 2009

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Saturday, 1st August, 2009

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Monday, 20th April, 2009

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Thursday, 26th March, 2009

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Thursday, 12th March, 2009

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Monday, 26th January, 2009

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2008
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Friday, 26th December, 2008

The Future of Capital City Wine Shows

Friday, 5th December, 2008

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Friday, 2nd May, 2008

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Friday, 11th April, 2008

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Friday, 11th April, 2008

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Monday, 4th February, 2007

ON TASTING ARCHIVE 2007
Study of the Label Alters Our Tastes

Sunday, 9th December, 2007

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Monday, 24th September, 2007

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Friday, 24th August, 2007

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Thursday, 28th June, 2007

The Ultimate Masked Bottle

Firday, 24th May, 2007

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Monday, 19th March, 2007

Confessions of Wine Deceit, Other Deceptions and Fooling Yourself

Monday, 29th January, 2007

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

The Magnetic Appeal of Wine

Sunday, 24th September, 2006

Geology Cannot be Found In Wine

Thursday, 18th September, 2006

More on the Impact of Scoring Wines Out of 100

Thursday, 14th September, 2006

How a Three Star Wine Became a 90 Point Wine

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

Winemaking and the French Touch

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

Show Me the Chardonnay Tasting

Sunday, 30th April, 2006

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Thursday, 6th April, 2006

The World Versus Robert M. Parker, Part Three

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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?

Friday, 14th October, 2005

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

Consumers Disagree with Wine Experts

Saturday, 27th August, 2005

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Thursday, 4th August, 2005

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Monday, 18th April, 2005

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Wednesday, 6th April 2005

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Saturday, 11th December, 2004

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Friday, 3rd September, 2004



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