Posts Tagged ‘Taste’

 

Chances are that at least once in your life you’ve found yourself at a restaurant, sitting next to someone who claims to know everything about wine.

They usually hold their glass up toward the light to see the color of the wine, talk about tannins, grape variety, soil quality… Of course, the most expensive wine always seems to be the best one.

But recently, several studies have shown that the price itself of a wine can actually influence its taste.

In 2001, Frederic Brochet carried out two experiments at the University of Bordeaux. In one of them, he got 54 oenology students together and had them taste a glass of red wine, and a glass of white wine. They described each wine with as many details as they could. What Brochet did not tell them was that both glasses were actually the same wine. He had simply dyed the white wine red – which did not affect its taste. In the second experiment, he asked experts to assess the quality of two bottles of red wine. One was very expensive, the other one was cheap. Once again, he had tricked them, filling both bottles with the cheap wine. So, what were the results?
Read on …

 

Selling commodities is difficult because people buy on emotion, or instinct if you will. Want and desire are powerful emotions that can stimulate the release of endorphins. It’s why some people are shop-a-holics. It feels good to buy. But it’s not that easy to get emotionally worked up about borax, chlorine, and salt. As an economic good, a commodity has no real differentiation, so small price differences in competing products can make huge differences in total sales.

Think about how you won’t buy gasoline at one gas station because it’s four cents cheaper around the corner. That’s a commodity. Ever buy a piece of art that way? Of course not because art’s value is in the eye of the beholder, is easily differentiated, and consequently will have wide price ranges. When art is sold, it’s sold on the artist’s reputation or the emotion the piece evokes for someone. Marketers work overtime to take commodity-like goods and then pretend they aren’t commodities by creating and building an emotional appeal around the brand.

 Take the above deodorant commercial. Did you hear mention of the product characteristics as a differentiator? Nowhere does this commercial say Old Spice is made with orange, lemon, clary sage, heliotrope, pimento berry and musk, even though those were the original Old Spice ingredients. The creative team instead focused on delivering an emotional image; something with a human connection that ties back to the product.
 
In this case in a humorous way, they are talking about sex-appeal and are really targeting women who are by far the larger purchasers of family groceries still. The subliminal note is if you get Old Spice for your husband, he will look like this …….. or maybe the message is he will ride a horse? I don’t know but I am wearing Old Spice and on a horse right now. Look at me….

 

Read on …

America's new tastemakers...

America’s new tastemakers…

 

Meet the rising young stars who are changing the way the world drinks.
Ian Brand, 32
Winemaker, Coastview Vineyards, Le P’tit Paysan, Monterey, CA
After moving from Utah to California to pursue surfing, Brand found his real calling at Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz, where he was assistant winemaker from 2004– 2007. He has also been winemaker for Nicholson and Pierce Vine- yards and consults for various clients in the region. Innovative, experimental and eager to push the envelope in the Salinas Valley and beyond, Brand is known for his progressive approaches to plantings, commitment to organic farming and tireless promotion of Monterey as the next region to watch in California.
Bibiana González Rave, 35
Winemaker, Rave Vines & Wines, Santa Rosa, CA
Originally from Colombia and trained in France, where she earned dual degrees in viticulture and enology, González Rave spent years doing two harvests a year, from South Africa to France and California, and was until recently the winemaker at Lynmar Estate, where she earned stupendous reviews for her silky Pinot Noirs and complex Chardonnays. Last year she decided to go out on her own, launching Rave Vines & Wines, where she is laser focused on one place only: Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The first of her cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be from 2012. In addition to making a small amount of her own wines, she’s partnering with husband Jeff Pisoni on a Sauvignon Blanc brand.
Read on …

How to really taste wine.

How to really taste wine.

 

The six most important words in wine tasting

The past few weeks have put me in situations where I’ve been called upon to talk about wine. I’m not a shy sort, so such occasions are fine with me. For example, I was recently in Seoul hosting a wine dinner.

Now, there’s all sorts of nonsense making the rounds about Asians and wine. Some of this talk is even put about, I gather, by Asians themselves in the mistaken belief that because they’re not Western they can’t readily grasp the fine points of wine.

So when I stood in front of 65 people at the wine dinner in Seoul, all but a few of whom were Korean, I was politely blunt. I said that being a newcomer to wine was just that. It transcends culture. Being Asian was meaningless. Everybody is a newcomer to fine wine at some point in their lives, and that includes Europeans.

I went on to say that 40 years ago we Americans were collectively as ignorant about wine as any group of Asian wine newbies. And that we generated our own horror stories of rich guys who swaggered around insisting that they only wanted the “best” and that they didn’t care what it cost.

Then I asserted that talking about wine doesn’t involve flavor descriptors. This, it turned out, was the real jolt. I could sense the surprise when I said it. I, in turn, was myself surprised.

Since when did flavor descriptors become the basis of intelligent wine discussion? I later learned from guests at the dinner that the wine instruction that they had received was invariably just a string of flavor descriptors for each wine under “discussion.”

We all know, of course, how this I-Spy game of ever more precise-seeming associations of scents and tastes—coffee, chalk, bergamot, road dust and so forth—came about. It was we wine writers who did it. And we then did yet more of it as wines from everywhere increased exponentially.

You, the reader, want to know what a wine tastes like. And someone saying, “This here wine tastes really good,” is hardly going to satisfy. With thousands of wines a year to review, writers had no choice. How many times can you describe a Pinot Noir as being “cherry-scented”? So you get more specific, summoning up black cherry, wild cherry, pie cherry, maraschino cherry, cherry jam and cherry liqueur.

There’s nothing wrong with this and I, for one, will happily defend my colleagues in the tasting-note trenches.

That said, anatomizing the scents and flavors of a wine hardly tells the whole story. Nowhere is this more true than during a wine tasting such as the one I was doing at the dinner or, earlier, at two training sessions for the hotel’s eager-to-learn restaurant staff.

So how should you talk about wine? Every taster is different, and I’m not about to say that the following features represent the entirety of what could or should be examined and discussed.

But I will say this much: If you’re missing these points, you’re not going to fully grasp the qualities of the wine at hand. For me, these are the six most important words in wine tasting:
Read on …

121226223059-large

A Cosmos of Life!

 

 

The yeasts and fungi that are common in every vineyard may have a role in the taste of wine.

Wine producers often report that parcels of fruit from the same vineyard are as different as chalk and cheese. But if the soil is the same, the climate is the same, and the winemaking is the same, what could be causing this?

There are a number of solutions to the mystery, but a new study suggests that invisible-to-the-naked-eye microbes in the vineyard could play a large part in determining the aromas of the wine in your glass.

Stellenbosch-based researchers have been examining the microbial diversity of cabernet sauvignon grapes obtained from conventional, biodynamic and integrated pest management-run (IPM) vineyards. Not only were there significant differences between these vineyards in terms of microbial life, but diversity within each vineyard was equally important.

“Yeast species distribution is subject to… read on

Also Read the full scientific report:

Why organic food tastes worse to some
“The halo effect hinges on the values of the perceiver”

 

organic-white

Labeling food as “organic” may not always lead to a positive impression in the minds of consumers, according to a recent Cornell University study.
The research flips the notion of a “halo” effect for ethical food labels. A halo effect refers to a phenomenon where a label leads consumers to have a positive opinion – and in the case of an organic label, a healthful impression – of those foods.
The Cornell research finds that such positive impressions are partly based on the personal values of a consumer. The two-part study found that some conditions can produce a negative impression of organic labels among consumers, due to the consumer’s values.
In the first part, Jonathon Schuldt, Cornell assistant professor of communication, and Mary Hannahan, a student at the University of Michigan, asked 215 students whether they thought organic food was healthier and tastier than conventional food. While most agreed that organics were a healthy choice compared with conventional food, fewer expected organic food to taste good by comparison. This latter finding was especially true for… read on

Do you know when to swirl and when to sniff a glass of wine? Did you know that wine has ‘legs’?

Learn all about wine tasting from professional wine expert Olivier Magny, who owns a wine tasting club in Paris.