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The Ill-Tempered Audiophool

Wine-tasting: it's junk science

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An interesting article in The Guardian that doesn't involve a Snowden leak.

Experiments have shown that people can't tell plonk from grand cru. Now one US winemaker claims that even experts can't judge wine accurately. What's the science behind the taste?
The similarities to cable arguments are kind of amusing.


  1. souptin's Avatar
    Pffft... I thought everybody knew that 90% of NSA and GCHQ resources are dedicated to a global wine-tasting operation. Cable believers are just a recruitment sideline for their maintenance electricians, they're just nothing to compete with high end cabling for revealing the innermost thoughts of the enemies of our great nations.
  2. esldude's Avatar
    Yes, nice article. Have also read of tests where whites were dyed red and tasters gave descriptions of red wines. No one said, "hey this taste like a white wine"

    I would have to say, sometimes a fancy bottle of wine can be accompanied by an attractive member of the opposite sex. So there is some value. Expensive audio cables.....not so much.

    I also have a hypothesis of sorts, related to relative bandwidth of the senses. One estimate is our total sensory input is about 11 mbps (less than a good broadband connection). Nearly 10 of that 11 is for vision, hearing for nearly a meg, and the rest decreasing amounts with taste/smell having the lowest bandwidth. I think our highly active processing brain allows the lower bandwidth senses to be more easily swayed by other non-perception based factors. Hearing more than vision. Touch more than hearing or vision, and smell/taste the most. Of course cognitive thought has been estimated to proceed at a mere few dozen bits per second. For some people that last one may be an over-estimation. And obviously bandwidth isn't the only pertinent factor. All interesting stuff of course. I do think the brain is just itching to create a subjective idea of a complex highly accurate perception when the input is low bandwidth and lacking in resolution. Then again itching is part of the lower bandwidth sense of touch.