Submodalities & Wine Tasting...I'm Baffled

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Submodalities & Wine Tasting...I'm Baffled

Postby TomHill » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:39 pm

The latest LocalFlavor issue came out ystrday focused on the upcoming SantaFe Wine&Chile Fiesta (sorry...not yet on-line: LocalFlavor ...perhaps soon).
In it, writer (and Certified Sommelier) ErinBrooks has an article interviewing TimGaiser (sorry..almost forgot) MS. In the article, Tim goes on at length at how use of the concept of submodalities has dramatically changed his ability to taste wine. Say whot...submodalities?? What the heck's that:
1. Submodalities in neuro-linguistic programming are distinctions of form or structure (rather than content) within a sensory representational system. For example, regardless of the content, both external and mental images of any kind will be either colored or monochrome, and stationary or moving. .
3. (Sub-Modalities) The special sensory qualities perceived by each of the five senses. For example, visual sub-modalities include color, shape, movement, brightness, depth, etc., auditory submodalities include volume, pitch, tempo, etc. ...

These are some of the clearest definitions I could find w/ Google. If you Google "NLP submodalities belief changes", the definitions get even more woo-woo and out there.

This stuff sorta left me scratching my head in puzzlement. I am the first to admit....I'm not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box. But this stuff seems waaaay over my head.

Ahhhh....but when you Google "submodalities wine", up pops TimGaiser's BreakThrough Discovery: TimGaiser

AhHa....enlightenment is now within my grasp. Tim studied w/ world-renowned behavorial scientist TimHallbom of the Everyday Genius Institute (yet another organization I can't join) on deconstructing his tasting process. Alas...again...it sorta left me scratching my head in puzzlement. Some of it made a bit of sense. When I find barnyard in a wine, it certainly creates an image of my Grandpa's barnyard in my mind. But exactly how to fit that image of "barnyard" into a inner map or grid of a wine in my mind is beyond my ken. But, I'm told, this is something of "enormous importance" to attribute a structure to these images in improvinging one's ability to blind taste.
As for the "heirloom roses" image...I just don't have one...never smelled an "heirloom rose" that I have recollect of. Likewise for "charcoal roasted bergamots" or other such attributes commonly found in wine.

So...since there are some sharp pencils here on WLDGN and people whose tasting skills I have a very high respect for; I would like to pose this question to them:

Who has applied the concept of submodalities to improve their wine tasting abilities???

Surely, if this idea is of "enormous importance", then someone here as already taken advantage of it to improve their tasting skills. Is Tim really onto something here?? He is, after all, a MS and an Adjunct Professor at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, which has gotta account for something.
Like I said, I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box and this stuff seems way over my head and ability to grasp. Alas, I can't find a "Submodalities for Dummies" WebSite.
Tom
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Re: Submodalities & Wine Tasting...I'm Baffled

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:36 pm

Sounds like a bunch of hoity-toity BS to me, frankly. An attempt to justify winespeak (as opposed to plain speaking about wine) by mis-applying a type of scientific analysis.

"Barnyard" is perhaps justifiable as a euphemism for "smells like shit". But "heirloom roses"? WHICH of the thousands of varieties of heirloom roses does the writer have in mind? What does "heirloom roses", as opposed to simply "roses", convey to the reader of the tasting note? It's a useless frill--just the writer putting on airs. Bah, I say.

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Awwww...

Postby TomHill » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:54 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:Sounds like a bunch of hoity-toity BS to me, frankly. An attempt to justify winespeak (as opposed to plain speaking about wine) by mis-applying a type of scientific analysis.

"Barnyard" is perhaps justifiable as a euphemism for "smells like shit". But "heirloom roses"? WHICH of the thousands of varieties of heirloom roses does the writer have in mind? What does "heirloom roses", as opposed to simply "roses", convey to the reader of the tasting note? It's a useless frill--just the writer putting on airs. Bah, I say.

-Paul W.


Awwwww...now Paul...don't be a curmudgeon. That's my & Hoke's role around here.
But exactly my thought, how do "heirloom roses" smell different than just "roses". Just not within my realm of experience. I need to get out more (of the wine cellar).
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Re: Submodalities & Wine Tasting...I'm Baffled

Postby Jon Leifer » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:19 pm

I think the key here, Tom, is to drink and taste more...and read less. Barnyard by any other name, is still Barnyard.
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Re: Submodalities & Wine Tasting...I'm Baffled

Postby Hoke » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:41 am

Okay, I'll admit to being a little conflicted here: I think it sounds like bullshit academical winespeak too. On the other hand, take away about 99% of the fancy schmancy buzzwords of pretentious pap and you've got a reasonable idea. Don't know why Gaiser needs to puff it up so much though. Maybe he just likes to use that mysterious arcane technical language. Okay, I can sort of understand that, I guess. But sometimes people have a driving desire to make the simple vastly more difficult than necessary.

I spent some time studying and implementing some behavioral science, and had more than my share of hardcore behavior modification experience, and I recognize the verbiage. It's catching, and I think Gaiser caught it. Hopefully, it will wear off.

What's the reasonable idea? Well, let's stick with the subject of roses.

As you begin trying to identify what is in your wine, you might start with a simple "floral." Okay, gets you in a category, albeit broad, vague and undefined. Then you can go to "flowers". But you have to go further: roses. A winemaker friend of mine, who was an avid gardener and grew lots of different types of roses had such a well-developed sense-memory that he would identify the type of roses. For a Petite Verdot, he said it reeked of Mr. Lincoln rose petals, for instance. And he was right.

For those of us not as experienced, or not able to fine-tune the odors, bouquet, aroma, we're skeptical of this...but a lot of people can do this, and do it repeatedly.

The mind is also naturally associative when it comes to sensory things: we see images triggered by smells because that smell is associated with something in our past, or something with which we are familiar....for my buddy it was flowers. Apparently for Tom he has an affinity for bullshit...er, barnyard.

Trouble is, really, not a lot of us anymore have actually smelled a barnyard often enough to associate with that smell trigger. If I say allspice and you've never focused on allspice before, it's a mystery to you because you don't have the necessary frame of reference (or don't have a submodality, I suppose).

Recent true story: I was in Cognac finishing up my second level of Cognac Educator Certification and we were having a final dinner, outdoors in July. They served a VS cognac early on. When I sniffed it, I had the clearest, most definite impression of a floral smell, and because I had been using the French Cognac Aroma Wheel, I actually blurted out "Chevrefeuille!!" A dinner companion said, "Yeah, I love that smell; don't you? It brings back such fond memories." And she pointed over my shoulder. I turned and for the first time noticed, along the top of the boundary wall behind me, a huge curtain wall of....honeysuckle vines in flower. Chevrefeuille.
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AuContraire Monsieur

Postby TomHill » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:56 am

Jon Leifer wrote:I think the key here, Tom, is to drink and taste more...and read less. Barnyard by any other name, is still Barnyard.



Au contraire, Jon. I drive over to Amarillo once a yr for a tournament. The feedlots just West of Amarillo have a very distinct smell.
The feedlots driving across Kansas have a smell subtlely different. Which is distinctly different from the smell of my GrandPa's
barnyard. Which is distinctly different from the pigpens further out back. Which is totally different from the smell of his outhouse.
As we say in Kansas...all $hit is not created equal. As well as all brett in wine is not the same.
So...when I smell brett in a wine, which image does it conjure up in my mind??? Usually it's my GrandPa's barnyard. Because of the
pleasant/youthful memories I have associated with those times. If I replace that image w/ the Amarillo feedlots...it's not so pleasant.
Maybe that's what Gaiser's talking about to modify our experiences w/ a wine. Don't know.
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Re: AuContraire Monsieur

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:15 am

TomHill wrote:
Jon Leifer wrote:I think the key here, Tom, is to drink and taste more...and read less. Barnyard by any other name, is still Barnyard.



Au contraire, Jon. I drive over to Amarillo once a yr for a tournament. The feedlots just West of Amarillo have a very distinct smell.
The feedlots driving across Kansas have a smell subtlely different. Which is distinctly different from the smell of my GrandPa's
barnyard. Which is distinctly different from the pigpens further out back. Which is totally different from the smell of his outhouse.
As we say in Kansas...all $hit is not created equal. As well as all brett in wine is not the same.
So...when I smell brett in a wine, which image does it conjure up in my mind??? Usually it's my GrandPa's barnyard. Because of the
pleasant/youthful memories I have associated with those times. If I replace that image w/ the Amarillo feedlots...it's not so pleasant.
Maybe that's what Gaiser's talking about to modify our experiences w/ a wine. Don't know.
Tom

Never let it be said that you don't know your sh*t, Dr. Hill. :P

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Re: Submodalities & Wine Tasting...I'm Baffled

Postby Steve Slatcher » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:52 am

From what I have heard about Nero Linguistic Programming, the woo-woo starts there - even before you get to sub-modalities.
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