the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur
plonq

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Days of Wine and, uh, more wine.

I have a confession to make: I don't like cheap wine. I don't hate all cheap wines, but on average, I am not a fan of most that I have tried.

I don't really like expensive wine either. If I buy an $80 bottle of wine at a fancy restaurant, I typically enjoy it a lot, but the honest part of my brain knows that I am playing it up much more than it deserves because I know how much it cost.

After early attempts to turn myself into a wine snob with a taste for the finer things, I have since come to learn that my favourite wines are almost invariable the ones that fall in the $13-$30 range, though I seldom stray above $15 unless I am in a fancy store where $8 of the price is just a premium for shopping there.

Lest I begin to think that I had stumbled onto a secret formula, or that I simply have a taste for middling things, I saw a video this evening which showed that I am not unique in this.

I don't remember the title of the video exactly, but it was something along the lines of "Expensive Wine is For Suckers". One of the things they discovered in blind tests was that when they presented people with three blind samples of the same type of wine, one from a cheap bottle, one from a modestly priced bottle, and one from an expensive vintage, the majority of the tasters rated the middle wine the highest, and typically rated the expensive one at the same level as the cheap plonk.

What this suggests to me is that expensive wines are not necessarily better, but that they contain various flavours and overtones that the professional tasters are looking for. These might even be things that a regular wine-drinking schmuck like me won't even like. I liken it to tonal versus atonal music, or traditional painting versus the work of Jackson Pollock. There are those who prefer patterns and crescendos to a melody, or paint splatters to a portrait, but my tastes are not so refined.

Not always, but usually it is the people who I would consider music and art "snobs" who are attracted to those things. I think it is the same with wines; the snobs are attracted to the flavour signatures and tones that are slightly unpleasant to my taste. What they might consider pleasantly tannic overtones, I would consider unpleasantly acidic.

I do agree with something else they have mentioned in the video - I enjoy expensive wines more when I know that they are expensive.

Overall though, I enjoy the mid-priced wines the most, whether I know their price or not.

I'm glad that I don't have expensive tastes.
Tags: wine
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