“Consistent” Ratings: It’s Hard!
One day it’s a B-, a week later it’s a solid A.
Rating wine, spirits, and just about anything else is a dicey affair, and assigning consistent scores day in and day out is nearly impossible. That’s not just anecdotally true, the science backs it up:
A four-year study published last week in the Journal of Wine Economics revealed that only 10 per cent of judges were able to consistently give the same rating, or something very close, to the identical wine sampled multiple times in a large blind tasting.
And frankly, those 10 percent were probably just lucky.
Julianna Hayes writes about how difficult it is to remain objective and consistent when tasting wine — sometimes 100 wines in a sitting — how the tastebuds get tired, how you grow weary of the process, and (I’d add) even if you’re spitting, alcohol can take its toll.
I find invariably that the first wines of a tasting never taste that good to me, as my palate needs warming up. I now start out at wine events with something I’m not all that interested in or that I already know fairly well.
Bottom line: Tasting all this stuff is a tough job, really it is… but someone’s got to do it, right?