I just enjoyed another article written by Laurie Daniel for the San Jose Mercury News. This one titled “Blind tasting Can Be A Real Eye-Opener”. OK, the title is a little old-man-pun style, and the article was written citing some recent research done by Standford Business School and California Institute of technology (regarding how price influences people’s appreciation of wine)…but she sheds some light into wine appreciation. And as an advocate of blind tasting, I like to see other people touting its unique ability to force people to appreciate what it is the glass as opposed to its label, reputation or price tag.
I like blind tasting for a multitude of reasons. As someone who DOES NOT profess to having a master palate it is OK when in a blind tasting I pick a (supposedly) inferior wine over one priced much higher or said to be much more highly regarded.
I also like blind tasting as a result of an experience from my time working in the lab at a Napa custom crush. There was a producer who made their wines there that consistently had trouble maintaining the natural balance of their wines. They would doctor the heck out of their wines just to get them into better balance. Yet these same wines carried a triple digit price tag and a reputation to match. Proof that marketing, a high price tag, or for you conspiracy theorists – paying off critics, is enough to “fool” consumers. (One of the many reasons why I STRONGLY advocate tasting wine YOURSELF and buying wines YOU like – not those you are told you should like).
The last reason I’ll mention here as to why I am such a fan of blind tasting has to do with my affinity for Israeli wines and my STRONG belief that they are STILL under appreciated. We Israeli wine people joke that simply being “Israeli” means that critics will (subconsciously??) deduct 3-5 points from their scoring of the wine. Oh how I would love to set up a blind tasting for well known critics and sneak a few Israeli wines in with some other New world wines.
Bottom line, read the Laurie Daniel article, and know that when you are contemplating that $100 bottle vs. the $30 bottle, yes you may enjoy the $100 bottle more – but it will only be BECAUSE it cost you $100 and NOT because you were drinking a better wine…
Now how do you go enjoy that $500 bottle of Bordeaux after reading that…????….SORRY!