Posts Tagged ‘power of suggestion’

power of suggestion – real or not & wine?

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I poured wine at a retailer tonight.  I generally try to stop from voicing my opinion about any wines I am pouring, but I often do find myself say things such as “its a real nice wine”.  Having done as many of these tasting as I have I find the two opposite effects this leads to as quite interesting.

Often, the power of suggestion is apparently quite powerful and people agree that the wine is one way or another, depending upon what I imply.

BUT, almost as often I get people telling me that they do not agree with my take and tell me how they feel differently about the same wine.

damn red

I must admit that it is validating to have people agree with one’s opinion.  Yet I am a big believer that we all have a unique palate, and I TRULY do welcome people disagreeing with my assessment.

What I have trouble understanding are either those who refuse to taste, feeling they are being “sold” or “coerced”.  Or those who seem to disagree & demean a wine simply as a means of expressing their contrarian view or individuality.

If I have learned anything in the wine industry it is that we must possess a thick skin.  Not everyone is going to agree & some might not even disagree politely.  But it ain’t personal!

On a completely separate note, it appears more and more likely that is entering the online wine sales world.  I keep seeing comments about the impending entree of Amazon into the wine business, but I’m not sure I know what the impact will be.  Will they have low prices?  Will they do things legally (and more expensively) like  Is it their infrastructure (shipping centers) that is going to allow them to ship wine to most of the 50 states and keep costs down?  Will this perpetuate the debate over wine shipping and its surrounding issues?  Will the supreme court be involved??  More to come on this topic I’m sure…

Happy wine tasting!


Wine Glasses – does it REALLY matter which shape one uses???

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I recently read a very interesting article on the topic. I believe the article was written by Mark Phillips and can be found

In a nutshell, Mr. Phillips cites his own experiments as well as those of the Monell Chemical Senses Center (“one of the world’s most prestigious laboratories studying taste and smell”) as written by Daniel Zwerdling, an NPR reporter in an article about Riedel, published in Gourmet Magazine in August 2004.

All experiments basically proved that “subjects couldn’t tell any difference from one glass to another”.

So what of these Reidel studies or tastings where people claim to appreciate certain wines much more from certain glasses?

That question is addressed by Mark as having 2 possible answers, both I believe are quite compelling and extend beyond wine glasses, to a lot of wine in general. His answers were:

1: great salesmanship
2: power of suggestion

A wine’s label, price tag, “expert” score – just some of the many factors that influence how people react to & appreciate wine.

As someone with a wide and eclectic taste in music, I have often compared wine appreciation to music appreciation. Most people can recognize whether music (or wine) is just plain BAD. But when it comes to all other MUSIC (wine) the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One may like it while the other does not. One might insist it is the best they have even heard (tasted) while the other thinks it is absolute crap.  And BOTH are right.

Same thing with wine glasses. Yes – small, thick & poorly shaped glasses stink for wine tasting/drinking/appreciation. But once one gets to the larger, thin, quality crystal wine glasses, is there really that much of a difference? And who is to say which is “BETTER”??

As always, drink YOUR wine YOUR way from a glass YOU like & ENJOY!!!!