Topic of the week: Wine

Grape Expectations

We may have known this in our conventional wisdom, but seeing it so clearly demonstrated is humbling: we are not in charge of our brains.


SCIENTISTS AT CALTECH and Stanford recently published the results of a peculiar wine tasting. They provided people with cabernet sauvignons at various price points, with bottles ranging from $5 to $90. Although the tasters were told that all the wines were different, the scientists were in fact presenting the same wines at different prices. The subjects consistently reported that the more expensive wines tasted better, even when they were actually identical to cheaper wines.


The opposite....

Blind taste-testing of wines of various prices. If they are all the same "make and model", very few people actually pick out the expensive wine from el cheapo.

I remember when we were kids, there was a debate in my family as to whether or not Dad could tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Mom did the blind taste test, but she also added in Mountain Dew without telling anyone. No one got Coke and Pepsi correct and I think only one or two of us picked out Mountain Dew.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


wine in a box.

Only serve after you've served the "good stuff". No one will know. (and now you know not to come to my parties.)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I miss Duplin

Scuppernong and Muscadines.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Does anyone know a wine whiz

who would like to live blog one evening. I have some really stupid questions.

What are your questions?

BTW...if you have a Fresh Market near you, this week they are offering a special on 2006 zin from Lodi with the "Windmill" label. Under $10...and as good as some rather more expensive ($30 range) zins.

Stan Bozarth

I want it to be no work

I enjoy wine on the rare occasions I have it, but I don't want to spend a nanosecond thinking about it. I realize I'm like the biggest wine idiot in the world, but I really value my ignorance . . . which makes it difficult to have a plan of attack.

I'll make it simple for you, James...

Buy your wines at a shop/grocery store where they display Robert Parker or Wine Spectator ratings for (many - probably not all) their wines. If a wine is rated 88-89 it will likely be a good solid wine. 90-95 would be excellent and above that, an exceptional example of the wine maker's art. You'll likely pay accordingly. If you buy an unrated wine you'll be betting on an unknown. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. There are some fabulous unrated wines...but you have to know something about various regions to kinda point the way to experimenting. That's out for you...per your statement above. Asking the proprietor about an unrated wine is an iffy thing because people's tastes vary...

Stan Bozarth

Somehow I never get invited to participate in tests like these..

Darn! Sounds like fun!

Can't dispute the results of the study. It's there.

OTOH, there is a clearly discernible difference between a good wine (regardless of it's cost) and a not-so-good wine (regardless of its cost)...and I think it's pretty easy to tell that difference.

Stan Bozarth

Taste/Smell Panel

I used to be on an "expert taste/smell panel" at Duke. Beyond taste-testing Orange soda, I made most of my money smelling hog waste filter system filters. USUALLY not so bad, but the "positive" control was well, full of s(*t.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Bleh, wine.

Give me a nice beer any day.

I usually split the difference and go for hard cider

or meade. They are considered in the beer category - but here I can only get meade at the wine shop. I only like dark beer, and then only on rare occasions. And it has to be really good dark beer.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi


Have you ever tried a vanilla porter from Breckenridge Brewing Company? Deeelightful. Stouts and porters are too heavy for summer, so once it gets hot, I stick to wheat beers or Belgian whites. Sometimes lagers.

We've got an open bottle of Apis Brewery's something or other mead (it's Polish), because my husband liked it. He should drink the rest of it ;)

Vanilla porter

No, I haven't tried that. Out here in the relative boonies, the selection is limited, really. I have to go for what I can find. Guinness is usually too heavy for me, unless I'm in the right mood. I go more for a good dark German beer, and I'm not up on the names - I just know when I smell them that I like them.

As for mead, since I have hung out with a pagan crowd, I have friends who make their own, and its yummy. But when I can't get that, I buy whatever the Wine Cellar (store here) has in stock.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

If you want to drive...

I'm planning a beer tasting party with some friends in April. I can send you an invite :D

That would be cool!

April is a busy month - but I'll try to make it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Local Wine

NC Dept of Commerce lists 76 vineyards in North Carolina.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

The link takes me to a list of restaurants.

There's vineyard in Stanly county that I stop at on the way home from Charlotte every time. The wine is very sweet - good dessert wine. They're right on 24/27. I think it's Dennis, but I'm not sure.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi