Wine Talk

Snooth User: spikedc

How to lie about wine !

Posted by spikedc, Nov 1, 2012.

Are you a good bluffer when it comes to tasting and describing wine!

Call My Bluff


Reply by zinfandel1, Nov 1, 2012.

The lie begins with marketing tactics. If the advertising is repetitive enough in describing their product and reaches their targeted part of the population, then we "the consumer" believes and agrees with the advertised description. Even though we can't taste or smell what the marketing team says we should be tasting and smelling, we don't want to appear to be stupid and so we mostly agree with the lie.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 1, 2012.

Spike, thanks for that great link.  Fun read.

Interesting in that the point was not to identify the wine, but to guess when the person was bluffing.  I am going to reproduce this experiment, but make it two components.  Actually, three: 1)  Wines are poured for and tasted by the audience.  They taste them, make notes, try to identify the wine.  To make it somewhat fair, we'll reduce the number of wines to six.  They'll be given the options, so it won't be blinded in the sense that one has to guess the varietal and region out of the blue.  2) They listen to the "expert bluffers."   They try to guess which is bluffing. But the bluffers are also drinking blind and are given the words that they are to repeat, more or less--the audience does not know this.  They do add their own ad libbed dismissals of the other tasters.  The bluffers write down their own answers before reading the cards provided to them, and include their own tasting notes on their cards. 3) The audience is given the opportunity to change answers as to which wine was which.  How much are they influenced by the experts? I'm even thinking of adding a round where the "experts" read their own notes and guesses and see how that influences the crowd.

The object here was to figure out who was the bluffer, so tells were meaningful.  Since, in my case, the bluffers don't actually know they are bluffing--they may be wrong in their own guesses, but they have no idea--those tells should be less useful.

What's far more interesting is the phenomenon that occurs when someone like Rudi K. shows up on the scene, pouring "great" wines that nobody wants to admit they have little experience of.  (Everyone but the winemaker has little experience of the wine--little is produced and most of that sits in cellars forever, owned by "collectors.") He fills the bottles with competent wine and everyone ooohs and aaahs over them.  The few people who do catch on are even shouted down--Rudi K's fans who were tasting more DRC than was produced can't admit they have less knowledge or worse palates than someone who is an actual expert on that wine, or who just smells a rat and isn't blinded by the label. There's not even a "control group" of bluffers to compare to. 

Lying about wine--it's just too easy.

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