We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I've never done blind tastings, but I'd like to try doing it sometime. All wines do not taste the same. I have had my share of borderline undrinkable, or undrinkable, wines, and my share of mind-blowingly delicious wines too.
It's hard to believe, but we've all read, and Lehrer confirms, that in blind tastings few can even distinguish a red from a white. I'd be a skeptic on that.
I think the meaningful question is whether the average wine drinker can tell the difference between a pretty good cabernet, for example, and a very fancy one, and whether the difference matters much.
Barrister ... I used to wish and hope that my taste buds were as discriminating as Hugh Johnson's [remember him? He wrote a great book on wines back in the 1970s] But I couldn't really give myself airs. I was good enough to detect really lousy wines, but fine distinctions were beyond me. Nowadays, I'm lucky I have any taste buds at all. Got to say, though, that I can tell whiskeys a little better. I've tasted some very good single malts that I liked, but I fell in love with Jameson's, the first time I tasted it, because it is so smooth. I figure it's because of the third filtering that the Irish give it. It's even better than MacAllan 18 year whiskey. Cheaper too. We Irish always underestimate how good we are.
Gotta agree on Jameson's. Actually I can't tell the difference between Jameson's and Bushmill's but an Irish friend of mine told me I had to drink Jameson's. Had something to do with politics.
A friend of mine was the proprietor of a rather tony restaurant in New York. One night he sent the sommellier to my table with two snifters of Armagnac. One was priced at $6, the other at $105. I couldn't tell the difference.
Oh, come on. Who couldn't tell a red from a white? I'd never claim to be able to make very fine distinctions, but red from white, or great from terrible? If it didn't matter, I could save a lot of money.
Now vodka, I admit I absolutely cannot tell one from another in a blind taste test.
I rarely buy anything above $4. $10 is my absolute limit.
Not able to tell the difference between a white and a red? Don't think so.
At one time I thought that Shiner Bock was the only beer worth quaffing. After several months of Lone Star or Bud, I went back to Shiner Bock. The taste difference wasn't that great to me, and definitely not worth the price difference.
To the extent that the great unwashed masses (and I include myself in this category) can tell the difference between a decent Cab and a really 'great' one, they generally prefer the average ones.
I have had some supposedly 'great' wines. I didn't enjoy them. I do not have a super refined palette, but I can generally taste the difference between a $6 bottle and a $15 bottle of wine, and prefer the $15. But I generally prefer $10-30/bottle wines over $100 bottles of wine. If it has a 'wine score' of 92 or higher...I will likely not enjoy it.
The exception to that (for me) is ports. I luuuuve me a good port, a tawny one that has been aged to the point where the red has fallen out. I find the 'tawny' ports that are a blend of reds and whites somewhat offensive in principle. But in the absence of something better will drink them.