TIL that a 2005 study found that the scores of "wine experts" are essentially meaningless, revealing that a typical judge's scoring of a wine varied by plus/minus four points over three blind tastings poured from the same bottle. (theguardian.com)

{todayilearned}

1598 ups - 418 downs = 1180 votes

208 comments submitted at 18:20:47 on Oct 15, 2013 by AGuyWithAHammer

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -59 Points
  • 21:07:29, 15 October

> What's that? Pretentious culture snobs are actually just making shit up as they go? Well, who'd have fucking guessed.

Except that wine tasting is actually a thing. Some wines truly are better than others, full stop. Some people have a better palate. Yes, their palates can be fooled, and fooled very easily.

But it's pretty obvious you've never had truly good wine, or you wouldn't be claiming it's pretentious and made up.

  • [-]
  • jmc_automatic
  • 17 Points
  • 21:17:25, 15 October

Isn't this article basically contradicting everything you're saying? These people are "wine experts" who should be able to tell a "truly good wine" from a shitty one. These are people who are known for their palates and knowledge of wine and yet they're able to be fooled very easily (your words) by not having a bottle/name/price to base their decision off of. That leads me to believe that wine quality is hugely subjective and really just depends on what people like.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -13 Points
  • 21:30:26, 15 October

No. What this article is saying is that X wine is a 95 and Z wine is a 91 are largely meaningless, as those values could be anywhere from 91-99 and 87-95, respectively.

That doesn't mean there's no difference between a 70 and a 90. There is.

  • [-]
  • Timbitkiller
  • 8 Points
  • 22:07:33, 15 October

Freakonomics has an article about how wine experts will rate a percieved expensive bottle of wine higher regardless of the actual price, and will rate wines of the same vintage higher or lower depending on the cost associated with the bottle.

Basically wine experts, as with a lot of experts of subjective things, are full of shit.

  • [-]
  • ahbadgerbadgerbadger
  • 5 Points
  • 22:16:12, 15 October

Right. In one experiment, changing the type of wine influenced their perceptions. Labeling one bottle "Grand Cru" and another a type of tabel wine, despite both wines being identical in actuality, resulted in dramatically different scores.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -7 Points
  • 22:12:46, 15 October

Yes, I am aware of that.

The fact remains, however, that a $5 bottle is going to taste very different than a $100 bottle. There is a gradation of quality in wine as in every single other food product made by humans.

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 22:48:44, 15 October

And you have completely failed to present any evidence that humans can actually tell the difference, while there have been several articles linked here showing that so-called experts apparently cannot.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • 1 Points
  • 22:53:22, 15 October

That's not what the article is saying, however. And, again, you don't know what you're talking about so explain please why I should care about anything you say?

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 23:07:27, 15 October

Science says you lack any defensible position. Therefor, you are wrong.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • 1 Points
  • 23:11:39, 15 October

Actually no. But that would require you to actually comprehend what has been written.

Shall I try again in smaller words for you? It might help.

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 23:13:33, 15 October

Do whatever you want kiddo. Point remains, the so-called experts have radically different opinions on the quality of a bottle of wine, disagree with their own opinion, and people in general cannot actually tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine unless they are told which is which.

  • [-]
  • BobisOnlyBob
  • 1 Points
  • 22:46:46, 15 October

And the graduation of quality is almost totally divorced from the graduation of price.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • 1 Points
  • 22:52:50, 15 October

Often but not always. Sometimes it is related, especially when it comes to rarity.

I remember tasting a Chateau D'Yquem once. Had no idea what it was, someone just said "Hey, try this." It was like the heavens had opened, and angels were pissing into my mouth.

Then I found out later I'd had approximately $2K worth of wine in my mouth. Glad I didn't spit.

  • [-]
  • its_a_so_succulent
  • 34 Points
  • 21:15:32, 15 October

The first paragraph is circular reasoning.

The second is an ad hominem argument.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -33 Points
  • 21:28:52, 15 October

The second is obviously true.

  • [-]
  • its_a_so_succulent
  • 12 Points
  • 21:49:54, 15 October

When it comes to arguments, merely being true isn't the same thing as being informative or persuasive.

Here's an example argument that's all true:

There are potatoes on Earth. Therefore, cats exist.

Let's imagine the above argument is given in support of Obama care.

You see how the fact that everything in it is true, isn't enough for it to be a good argument?

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -21 Points
  • 21:53:56, 15 October

Except that it's both true and a good argument, especially since the person in question doesn't even drink and whose opinion is therefore completely uninformed and totally wrong.

  • [-]
  • its_a_so_succulent
  • 16 Points
  • 21:56:54, 15 October

An argument that attacks the speaker instead of the argument itself is not a good argument. This is what is meant by the "ad hominem" fallacy.

You just doubled down on your ad hominem fallacy.

The reason that attacking the person is a flawed method of reasoning is that even a complete d-bag can make sound arguments.

  • [-]
  • Grumpy_Pilgrim
  • 1 Points
  • 22:30:04, 15 October

As hominem is a valid form of logical argument. When used incorrectly it can lead to logical fallacy.

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 22:46:24, 15 October

Can you give an example of an ad hom that is not a fallacy?

  • [-]
  • its_a_so_succulent
  • 1 Points
  • 23:20:08, 15 October

You really cannot, the way the fallacy if defined. But, I think she might be thinking of something like the following:

Speaker A: I am wise.

Speaker B: Yesterday you fell in to the toilet. Anyone who falls in to a toilet, cannot be wise. Therefore, you are not wise.

The person, Speaker A, is being attacked, but this is because the argument is about Speaker A. This is not the ad hominem fallacy, because the fallacy is defined as: attacking the person and not the argument. If you're attacking the argument, and the argument is about the person, you're in the clear. :)

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 23:21:40, 15 October

Ah, makes sense.

  • [-]
  • its_a_so_succulent
  • 1 Points
  • 23:13:51, 15 October

It is not valid. An argument is valid if and only if the truth of the premises implies the truth of the conclusion.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -21 Points
  • 21:58:39, 15 October

Your patronizing tone is unnecessary there, kiddo.

It is a simple fact: if you have never experienced a range of something, you are ill-informed when it comes to commenting on that thing.

In your case, that would apparently be intelligence. There, there. We'll always need someone to ask "Do you want fries with that?", so you'll always have a purpose.

  • [-]
  • its_a_so_succulent
  • 13 Points
  • 21:59:48, 15 October

You see how you're attack me as the source of an argument you're trying to defeat? That's an ad hominem argument again.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -22 Points
  • 22:02:44, 15 October

No, the argument has already been defeated. I'm calling you stupid because the evidence points that way.

  • [-]
  • Black_Ash_Heir
  • 6 Points
  • 22:16:54, 15 October

Nobody was ever hostile towards you, yet you're resorting to insults for some reason. Do you feel threatened by the possibility of being wrong? Is it really so difficult for you to remain reasonable and logical in a debate? I thought wine snobs were supposed to be civil.

There. I've insulted you. Please, use all your remaining vitriol on me so you can present actual arguments to the people who are genuinely trying to have a discussion with you. Someone might actually gain something from your comments in that case.

More Comments - Not Stored
  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 2 Points
  • 21:21:35, 15 October

The posted article, and a half dozens studies linked there in, all come to the conclusion that there is no real difference between wines. Also, I don't drink.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -15 Points
  • 21:31:34, 15 October

>all come to the conclusion that there is no real difference between wines.

That is absolutely not true. There is plenty of real difference between wines; what the linked article says is that the precise differences are rather blurry.

>Also, I don't drink.

In which case your opinion is not only singularly uninformed, it's also completely and totally irrelevant.

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 3 Points
  • 21:33:59, 15 October

OK, let me rephrase:

> all come to the conclusion that there is no real difference between wines that humans can notice

And you may have noticed my position isn't based on my own drinking experience, but the article. Which is science. Science says you're wrong.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -12 Points
  • 21:40:30, 15 October

Sigh. No, that's not what the article said.

You don't drink, so you have no idea what you are talking about. But I'll assume you eat cheese from time to time, and since they tend to go together, we'll use that as an example.

I challenge you to go to your local supermarket and buy a block of standard-issue cheddar cheese. Cracker Barrel, say.

Now go buy a block of better cheddar, something made on an actual farm.

Blindfold yourself, have someone feed you a piece of each.

If you can't tell the difference in quality, your tongue is dead.

Similarly with wine, there are differences in quality, and they can be tasted. (I have done so myself, in blind tastings. I may not be able to identify specific varietals or vintages--and there are people who can, blind--but I can tell the difference between good wine and not so good wine.

There is a gradation of quality among wines. Some are better than others, and only a complete idiot would say that there is no difference between some red plonk and a bottle of Chateauneuf-de-Pape.

  • [-]
  • TheRealBigLou
  • 6 Points
  • 21:44:06, 15 October

Nobody is arguing different wines don't taste different. We are simply stating the pretentious culture around wine snobs is largely complete bullshit.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -5 Points
  • 21:51:21, 15 October

Actually, somebody is arguing that there is no difference between wines.

Some of it is pretentious, yes. Ratings should be taken with a grain of salt, and to my mind would be better replaced by qualitative ratings: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Poor, Don't Drink This.

But only the ignorant claim there is no difference. Which an ignorant person here has done, quite exactly.

  • [-]
  • TheRealBigLou
  • 1 Points
  • 21:53:42, 15 October

Eh. It all doesn't really matter. Wine is wine. Beer, now, that's a complex beverage that can be truly critiqued and compared.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -5 Points
  • 21:56:12, 15 October

I can only assume you're joking. If beer can be critiqued and compared, so can wine.

Both or neither.

  • [-]
  • TheRealBigLou
  • 3 Points
  • 21:57:42, 15 October

Nah. There are many varieties of beer with much more variety of tastes. Wine is completely different. You have red and then you have white.

More Comments - Not Stored
  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 21:45:26, 15 October

One of the linked studies showed no difference in the ability for people to tell the difference between a bottle that costs less then 5£ and more than 20£

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -7 Points
  • 21:49:37, 15 October

That is an extremely narrow range. Call me when people can't tell the difference between 5 and 50.

  • [-]
  • A-Hamilton
  • 1 Points
  • 21:53:05, 15 October

Sorry, wrong post.

I'm sure that if you stopped sipping your 100£ wine long enough, you'd find something on your own.

  • [-]
  • Nyarlathotep124
  • 2 Points
  • 22:12:25, 15 October

Relevant xkcd

  • [-]
  • xkcd_transcriber
  • 5 Points
  • 22:12:50, 15 October

Image

Title: Connoisseur

Alt-text: Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.

Comic Explanation

  • [-]
  • Nyarlathotep124
  • 1 Points
  • 23:26:16, 15 October

Neat.

  • [-]
  • ThePotatoHose
  • -7 Points
  • 22:15:02, 15 October

Up to the third panel is actually the perfect argument to refute the ignorance on display here.

  • [-]
  • silverstrikerstar
  • 1 Points
  • 23:27:46, 15 October

Yes, ignoring half seems just like the thing you'd do.