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Old 10 May 2013, 06:01 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Default Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why.

The human palate is arguably the weakest of the five traditional senses. This begs an important question regarding wine tasting: is it bull****, or is it complete and utter bull****?

There are no two ways about it: the bull**** is strong with wine. Wine tasting. Wine rating. Wine reviews. Wine descriptions. They're all related. And they're all egregious offenders, from a bull**** standpoint

http://io9.com/wine-tasting-is-bulls...-why-496098276
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Old 10 May 2013, 06:06 PM
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The human palate is arguably the weakest of the five traditional senses. This begs an important question regarding wine tasting
Well, actually, it raises a question regarding wine tasting. No questions are begged here.
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Old 10 May 2013, 06:36 PM
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I may have mentioned this here already, but a few months ago a group of wine "experts" tried a "new red" and all gave it various and rather favourable comments.

But the wine was actually a common white, coloured red with food dye.
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Old 10 May 2013, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Simply Madeline View Post
Well, actually, it raises a question regarding wine tasting. No questions are begged here.
In the comments, there was even a post praising the author for the proper use of 'begs the question.' I tried to post a reply disagreeing, but you had to be a member of one of various sites I did not want to join.

Although, at this point, I am afraid that both meaning of 'begs the question' have become mainstream enough that both are 'regular English' now, just like "I could care less" and "I couldn't care less" are both now acceptable idioms. Well, not 'just like' - BTQ is one phrase used for 2 concepts, and ICCL is two phrases for one concept. But the similarity is that the errant usages have become so mainstream they cannot really be called errant anymore.
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Old 10 May 2013, 07:04 PM
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But doesn't the question assume that wine tasting is some variety of bull? Which is an assumed assertion.
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Old 10 May 2013, 07:10 PM
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I've always thought wine tastings were an excuse to drink wine.
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Old 10 May 2013, 07:14 PM
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But doesn't the question assume that wine tasting is some variety of bull? Which is an assumed assertion.
Sure it does, but the BTQ assertion refers to the poorness of human tasing as what 'begs the question', whereas the true 'begging the question' is in assuming it is all bull (he does go on to provide evidence however)

Of course, the limits of our ability to taste is a poor platform to rest this diatribe upon, as the vast majority of human 'tasting' is really smell, or supplemented largely with smell.
Quote:
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I've always thought wine tastings were an excuse to drink wine.
Properly you are supposed to spit it all out. There is a good Monk episode about this where he gets freaked out over so much spitting.
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Old 10 May 2013, 08:05 PM
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And cleanse your palate between tastings. Once you've tasted everything you go out for coffee?
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Old 10 May 2013, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
I may have mentioned this here already, but a few months ago a group of wine "experts" tried a "new red" and all gave it various and rather favourable comments.

But the wine was actually a common white, coloured red with food dye.
The article mentions the same thing having been done in 2001.
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Old 25 June 2013, 12:40 AM
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Default What Happens When Wine "Connoisseurs" Are Given the Same Glass Of Wine Over and Over?

http://www.policymic.com/articles/50...-over-and-over

Quote:
Unpretentious philistines everywhere rejoice: A recent study suggests that it is too hard for even experts to differentiate the taste between wines. Statistically-apt wine collector Robert Hodgson ran a scientific test on the illustrious judges at the California state fair wine competition, and found that only 10% of judges could tell that they were being given the same exact wine multiple times. There is other mounting scientific evidence that suggests that people inherently differentiate a bottle of wines quality by its cost and its bottle. Effectively speaking, this uppity domain of human knowledge is unraveling in credence, and the people who thought "all wines taste the same" are largely vindicated.
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Old 25 June 2013, 12:45 AM
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Chicken

I give eggs from our chickens to various friends and neighbors, many of whom wax rhapsodic about how much better-tasting "fresh, organic" eggs are than the store-bought kind. I've been tempted to go the grocery store and buy some brown eggs so I can surreptitiously distribute them to the same people to see if they notice any difference.
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Old 25 June 2013, 01:03 AM
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I think my favorite example of this is the episode of Penn & Teller's B.S. where they have the guy go around with upscale restaurant with a try of fancy bottles of water, priced up to 7 dollars a bottle, with flowery descriptions. Person ever person gushed over how this water tasted so fresh and this water tasted so crisp and so forth.

Cut out back of the restaurant where all the water bottles are being filled from the same garden hose.
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  #13  
Old 25 June 2013, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I give eggs from our chickens to various friends and neighbors, many of whom wax rhapsodic about how much better-tasting "fresh, organic" eggs are than the store-bought kind. I've been tempted to go the grocery store and buy some brown eggs so I can surreptitiously distribute them to the same people to see if they notice any difference.
I can't speak to the quality of your eggs, but I've noticed an enormous difference between some--not all--of the eggs I get at the farmer's market, and all of the eggs I've ever bought in any supermarket, including Whole Foods. Aside from the taste, the really good eggs from farmer's markets have noticeably thicker shells, the yolks are bright orange instead of pale yellow, and both the yolk and the albumin are much thicker and stickier; the yolks don't break when they hit the frying pan, and the whites cling to the shell in fat strands like melted mozzarella cheese. I don't know for sure whether it's strictly the taste or also partly the texture, but I can definitely tell those eggs from supermarket eggs in a blind test.
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Old 25 June 2013, 01:41 AM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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The thickness or stiffness of the albumin is related to freshness. The color of the yolk has a lot to do with what the hens eat.

Nick
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Old 25 June 2013, 01:51 AM
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Point being?
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  #16  
Old 25 June 2013, 01:52 AM
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The darker colored yolks and the thicker eggshells are probably differences in what the chickens are eating. The thicker albumin and the yolks that don't break may be related to feed, but might also have to do with the freshness of the eggs.

I have had someone used only to standard grocery eggs refuse to eat eggs from my neighbor's chickens, which run loose, because the yolks were so much darker that she thought there was something wrong with them, even when I explained.

I haven't done a blind taste test; but I do think they taste different, also. Certainly the chickens themselves taste different.

And, while I expect it's true that many people can't tell similar wines apart, that's a long way from "all wines taste the same". Differences in sweetness and acidity can be pronounced. Some wines also have a distinct flavor of the grapes they're made from. Saying all wines taste the same is rather like saying all cheeses taste the same. I'm sure lots of people can't tell an expensive Brie from a cheap one; but I'm also sure they can tell a brie from a cheddar. And I can certainly tell some cheddars apart, though I don't expect I could distinguish every possible pairing.


-- uh oh, I just mentioned cheese in a snopes thread --


ETA: partly spanked by Nick. And while I can't speak for Nick, my point, at least, was that there is a genuine difference in the composition of some eggs, and this may account for genuine flavor differences; but whether there's a difference in the flavor of snopes' eggs from the flavor of those at the supermarket is likely to depend on what they're fed.
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  #17  
Old 25 June 2013, 01:57 AM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Point being?
We were talking about eggs.

Nick
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Old 25 June 2013, 02:03 AM
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Yes, and I described the ways in which they were different, to counter snopes's hypothesis that they might be indistinguishable. What does it matter why they are different?
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  #19  
Old 25 June 2013, 02:10 AM
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I eat a whole lot of eggs, in a lot of different ways. Usually I get the cheap ones, but everyone once in a while I try organic, brown, brown organic or whatever other fancy eggs they have at the store. The shells do seem thicker and the whites more viscous, but I have never been able to detect any difference in taste.
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  #20  
Old 25 June 2013, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
And, while I expect it's true that many people can't tell similar wines apart, that's a long way from "all wines taste the same".
I'm the same way with water. I don't care if it's expensive designer water, a 99 cent bottle from the gas station, or the stuff from my bath tub, I can taste a difference and I know what I like and what I don't like. Aside from Dasani and Aquafina (neither of which I like), or the filtered stuff at work (which is the best water in the universe) I couldn't identify specific brands in a taste test - but I can definitely tell you if I'm enjoying the taste or not. Yes, there is such a thing as a really good glass of water, and it's not just based on how chilled it is or how thirsty you are at the time. Some water just tastes better than other water, and when it's only drink you like, you pick up on it.
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