The Most Valid Opinion of a Wine? Yours!

18 May 2020

As we have already mentioned, the tasting of a wine is a gradual operation, articulated in several, precise steps that allow us to neatly analyse all the characteristics.

Then, we will first focus on each one singly, then gradually correlate them, systematically, to outline the overall profile of the wine and allow us to formulate our judgment in a reasoned way and as objectively as possible.

When we prepare to taste a wine we are duty bound to approach it from a detached, non-partisan standpoint, as objectively as possible … although this principle of objectivity can never really be guaranteed in such a deeply sunjective process!

It must be said that there are many factors that can influence our judgment, and not only at a strictly sensory level. Our tasting can also be strongly influenced by factors that we could, in a very general way, define psychological.

Our mood, for example, can incline us to look on a wine favourably or unfavourably.  This could be due to the memories it may evoke, (we might associate it with a particularly joyful or unpleasant event) or it could be that, at the moment of tasting, we have received good (or bad) news.  Or we could be going through a particularly stressful (or rewarding) period at work or in our studies.Even sharing the wine in pleasant (or less pleasant!) company can certainly affect the judgement that we will formulate at the end of the tasting.

But not only that.

We have already mentioned the influence that the economic factor could have in the process of familiarisation with the world of wine. We concluded that this factor doesn’t in any way compromise the educational potential of each product.While fully confirming this point, it is undeniable that we will certainly be more inclined to make a positive assessment of a wine that represents a greater economical investment, whereas we will feel more comfortable in finding defects in a glass with less expensive content.

Another factor that may incline our judgement in a particular direction could also be our knowing  the producer of the wine that we are tasting.  That can put us in the (almost obvious) position of matching the degree of our interpersonal relationship with that of our judgement, or the real comparison between our judgement and that of others.

Beyond being able to declare ourselves in agreement or disagreement with the arguments put forward by the opinion leaders on the public stage, the way we are far more likely to be faced with this issue is certainly when confronting all those who play the same role in our private spheres.

They could be relatives or friends in whom we recognise a certain competence in the matter, and in whose judgements we have confidence.  Or it could be that they have somehow self-assigned themselves to the role of wine experts and, as such, excel in discussions on the subject. Being able to detach ourselves from an “authoritative” opinion is not always easy: we could end up completely questioning our own dissonant perceptions and relying completely on the judgement of someone else.  Or we could even give up the debate altogether, losing, one way or the other, a good opportunity for a comparison of ideas.

Reading this article we’re pretty sure that everyone will be able to identify with one or other of the scenarios presented and, perhaps, will now have their curiosity aroused to repeat the tasting of some wines to check their impressions again.

So here is our advice: every time you prepare to taste a wine, be true to your senses, to your perceptions. This honesty, which we must demonstrate first and foremost towards ourselves, is the best quality of a taster, the ingredient that makes every opinion truly legitimate and valuable.

Wine reveals all its social power precisely because of its ability to create dialogue, and those who limit the potential of this magnificent sharing of ideas are not showing respect respect to the wine itself.

So, if our approach to tasting needs to be profoundly honest, there are even more measures that we can take to ensure an even greater degree of neutrality. For example, we can perform a blind tasting, that is to taste one or more wines without reading the label, formulating our judgments, making comparisons, delighting in a real game of recognition ... and finally enjoying the surprise of seeing the true identity revealed!

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