Primarily because I know how to hold a wine stem, and can pronounce "Pinot" I was asked to participate on a wine judging panel at a local fundraiser this past weekend. There were eight of us on the panel with varying degrees of experience, from complete novice to relatively well tasted. The wines were a mix stuff from Indiana, and largely California, that were being auctioned at the event. They ranged in retail price from $8 up to about $45. It was all in good fun, but I tried to be serious and professional in my tasting.
We were given a scoring sheet with numerical scoring boxes for color, clarity, aroma, initial taste, and finish/length. It was set-up so that no wine could score less than fifty and the maximum score was 100. The wines were served blind in six flights of five. We had crackers, water and spit buckets to aid in the preceedings. I was doing very well through the first three flights, but then, despite my best efforts, my tongue seemed like it was coated with thick felt during the fourth flight and everything started to taste like chalky fruit punch. I did my best, but I was simply unable to recover my ability to fairly assess the wines.
Is there someway to overcome this tongue numbing phenomenon during a large tasting? I know that professional tasters may taste a hundred wines in setting. Are their judgements colored by tongue burnout? Just wonder if anyone else had experienced this problem?
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson