When I started to work in the wine industry, I was surprised by the way winemakers and wine professionals were tasting. Every tasting I attended was biased in one way or another.
As a researcher, I started to alert my colleagues about these possible biases and introduce them with good sensory practices. I demonstrated how human senses can be fooled by the tasting environment or the information available to them.
The first success was that most of them signed up to become sensory panelists in the winery panel. I knew I made huge strides when the head winemaker told me: "tasting wine this way makes you feel humble". It's difficult to change habits, but one step at a time, we were successful.
Moving to North America, I was also exposed to the snobbery around wine, and how media communicated about wine. No wonder why so many consumers are intimidated when choosing a bottle of wine in a store or at a fine restaurant. I could not understand; for me, wine was part of my casual lifestyle and one didn't need to spend hours in wine appreciation classes to appreciate it.
As one of my tweeps said: 'it's either yuck or yum' (thanks @winofred!).
I agree and it all comes to the degree of involvement you have with the product.
Let’s have an example: to me a car is a transportation vehicle. Beside the fuel consumption, the safety features and of course the price, I would not spend hours to compare performances and learn about all the gadgets and options that I could add on to have a pretty cool car. I am not interested. But if you are highly involved in your car purchase, all these gadgets and options matters. You will read car reviews, compare the scores, talk to your friends about all these performances, well you will make sure you know everything before making that big splurge.
For wine, it is somewhat similar, if you are interested in wine, you will be willing to learn more about it and talk about it. Hence you need to find the terms to describe what you perceive when tasting a wine.
As an academic, the logical platform to share my experience would have been to write a book to demystify wine tasting.
It felt like an impossible task for a long time.
In this age of digital communication, creating this website compiling what I learned over the years seemed more effective.
And I was lucky to stumble upon Solo Build It! a full solution to design and host your website without the need to speak or behave like a geek. No offense to the IT geek, but that’s not me.
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