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Old 7th May 2008, 10:39 PM   #1
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Default Is Wine like Audio?

There is new book coming out called “The Wine Trials.”
Lot of blind testing and interesting results. Looks a lot like audio testing.

You can read about it here at the New York Times Dining and Wine section.

In blind tests, a lot of cheap wines were prefered over expensive wines. But with two glasses of the same wine, given different price tags, the "higher priced" wine won.

All pretty familiar to us audio folk. There is a lot of selling and BS going on in the wine biz, too.
But the author of the article points out that educated wine drinkers do tend to prefer the more expensive stuff.

Even if you're not a wine drinker, you might enjoy the article for it's similaities to the audio debate.

Sy? Certainly you've read this....?
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Old 7th May 2008, 10:54 PM   #2
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The usual counter argument is that there's no such thing as an "absolute wine" that you can compare to. Personally, I think the two fields really are very similar, so I don't feel that to be relevant.

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Old 7th May 2008, 11:03 PM   #3
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Here's another fun wine article that reminds me of audio.
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Old 7th May 2008, 11:10 PM   #4
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No, I haven't read it (I don't know the author), but I sure do live it. Notwithstanding GR's plea to the contrary, much wine tasting is analytical/comparative in nature, where one compares the same wine but with some variable altered (e.g., the oak treatment, or dissolved O2 at bottling, or the color of the cork, or...) to see if that variable makes a difference. There IS an absolute in the sense that trained and experienced tasters can either find differences or not.

The real difference with audio is that if a blind test failed to reveal differences, there's not nearly the level of excuse-making and ill-informed hypothesizing about left and right brain or test pressure or whatever. And the winemakers rarely tell panelists that their failure to observe differences is due to lousy glassware or their inability to taste.

The two best all-around books on wine (IMO) are Patrick Matthews's "The Wild Bunch" and Kermit Lynch's "Adventures on the Wine Route." Elin McCoy's "Emperor of Wine" gives a fine account of the rise of the world's top wine critic and examines how much role marketing plays in the fine wine world (I make an appearance somewhere in the middle of the book).
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Old 7th May 2008, 11:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by andy_c
Here's another fun wine article that reminds me of audio.
Brilliant! Thanks Andy. =)
(FWIW, I worked in French wine production in the early 80s)



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Originally posted by SY
The real difference with audio is that if a blind test failed to reveal differences, there's not nearly the level of excuse-making and ill-informed hypothesizing about left and right brain or test pressure or whatever. And the winemakers rarely tell panelists that their failure to observe differences is due to lousy glassware or their inability to taste.

So why is there so much of it in audio? What's different about audio? Because it's not a direct experience of the source?

Thanks for the book references Sy, I'll check them out.
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Old 7th May 2008, 11:27 PM   #6
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Originally posted by panomaniac
Brilliant! Thanks Andy. =)
(FWIW, I worked in French wine production in the early 80s)
Wow, that must have been fun! Just to clarify, I didn't mean that article reference to relate to any kind of "French vs. American" thing, but more to what happens when the results of a controlled experiment contradict preconceived ideas.

It's my impression that wine lovers deal with this kind of situation more rationally than audiophiles, as SY mentioned .

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So why is there so much of it in audio? What's different about audio?
That's the $64,000 question! LOL!
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Old 8th May 2008, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by andy_c
Here's another fun wine article that reminds me of audio.
George Taber is a terrific writer. His last book, "To Cork or Not to Cork," was a fascinating treatment of a boring subject. He interviewed me for two days for my section of the book and, surprisingly, got it right.
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Old 8th May 2008, 01:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY


Notwithstanding GR's plea to the contrary, much wine tasting is analytical/comparative in nature, where one compares the same wine but with some variable altered (e.g., the oak treatment, or dissolved O2 at bottling, or the color of the cork, or...) to see if that variable makes a difference. There IS an absolute in the sense that trained and experienced tasters can either find differences or not.


Tsk, tsk, tsk...reread what I wrote. I merely noted 'the usual counterargument.' I did not say it was my position. Quite the contrary.
If you would read what I actually write instead of assuming things, you'd find that my posts aren't at all what you assume.
Or are you--Fred-like--just trying to pick a fight?
Won't work.

Grey
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Old 8th May 2008, 02:18 AM   #9
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He interviewed me for two days for my section of the book and, surprisingly, got it right.
Geez, I didn't know you were a wine celebrity there SY.

Regarding the $64,000 question - do we simply accept without some kind of formalized theory that winos have better critical thinking skills than audiophiles?
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Old 8th May 2008, 03:24 AM   #10
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Yes.
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