Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

Blind and Double Blind

User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Blind and Double Blind

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:21 am

I'm not quite sure why but three people this morning have asked about the difference between blind and double-blind tastings.

In most cases at blind tastings the taster or tasters are told what wines are to be served. The wines are then offered in bagged bottles or by being poured for them into numbered glasses.

In double-blind tastings, tasters do not know any more than the general category of wines to be tasted, but not the specific wines. The information given sometimes includes the variety, the region and the vintage year.

Anticipating a question - my own tastings held in my tasting room are a combination of blind and double-blind starting off by my giving my assistant a list of wines to be tasted and she matching those with other wines in a similar category but not letting me have any information at all about what wines have been added.

Under any system, notes should be written and scores assigned before the bottles are unveiled and neither the tasting note nor the score should be "adjusted" after knowing what wine was tasted. The only exception to that rule, knowing the track record and having experience with specific wineries might allow for adjustment of the drinking window.

Best
Rogov
User avatar
User

Ian Sutton

Rank

Spanna in the works

Posts

3652

Joined

Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm

Location

Norwich, UK

Re: Blind and Double Blind

by Ian Sutton » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:04 am

Rogov
I do agree with your approach to tasting notes / scores in this situation. Fine to add comment in hindsight (e.g. this was more open/advanced than expected; or - in the context of the wine, my uncertainty about just how long it should cellar, can be clarified I'd expect it to do 15 years with ease).

FWIW I actually don't have an issue with a critic adding a revised score (whilts retaining the original), perhaps the best example of that is the "85 points now, but with the potential to rise close to 90 based on previous development"

Also good mention of drinking windows, as I think for wines tasted blind, they're ignoring key information. Blind I'd be confident of only a broad now/short/medium/long rating, but with past vintages to reflect on, that could be refined to something more reliable. Decanter magazine have been notorious in their blind tastings for giving plain stupid drinking windows.

regards

Ian
Drink coffee, do stupid things faster
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Blind and Double Blind

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:40 am

Ian Sutton wrote:...I actually don't have an issue with a critic adding a revised score (whilts retaining the original), perhaps the best example of that is the "85 points now, but with the potential to rise close to 90 based on previous development"


Ian, Hi....

Your example is one valid option in such cases. My own is to use, e.g. - "approachable now but best only from 2010-2030" or in some cases "approachable and thoroughly enjoyable now but best from 2010-2030"

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Michael Greenberg

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

121

Joined

Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:32 pm

Re: Blind and Double Blind

by Michael Greenberg » Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:54 pm

I suspect we could have a lot of fun testing wine critics in DOUBLE BLIND tastings..It would be interesting to see if some distiguished panel of wine critics identified correctly:

i) the type of wine in each tasting
ii) country of origin
iii) region in that country
iv) winery
v) vintage

I would guess the answers would most be correct on i) but get progressively poorer on the other identity facts..

Finally we could compare their scores for the wines (I'm gussing big variation when they do not know which wines willbe tasted --as they would in single blind tastings),and then also compare their scores to a Double Blind tasting of the very same wines given to a group from the general public who are not professional wine critics....The variation here would also be most interesting.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Blind and Double Blind

by Daniel Rogov » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:14 pm

Michael, Hi....

A noble experiment but one with so many variables that it might be impossible to set up anything resembling logic in the answers.

Several years ago, for example, examining at what I and others call the phenomenon of the "internationized Merlot" a group of colleagues and I sat down to a tasting of 150 varietal Merlot wines, those from nine different countries and from 22 varied regions. The only thing we knew is that we would be tasting Merlot wines. No clues as to vintage, origin of the wine, prices, nada!

Even though each of us had his/her own goal in the tasting, the goal shared by the group was to find out if we could identify the nations and regions of origins of each of the wines. The results were fascinating. There were only twelve wines that were identified almost unanimously by nation of origin and of those eight by specific region. As to the rest, pot luck was the rule of the game, in most cases the majority of us not even able to guess the country of origin. As I say though, we are talking here of the phenomenon of internationzliation. Those wines that were identified easily enough would probably be on most people's lists of the world's most intersting Merlot wines..... The rest....internationalized.

One year after that we attempted a similar tasting of Sauvigjon Blanc wines. In this case the group successfully identified the country of origin of more than 90 of 120 wines tasted. Far more influence of terroir and of winemaker influence.

As to the internationalized Merlot wines, even though far from all could be identified by country of origin, quite a few were quite pleasant. Pleasant but not necessarily interesting. Is it possible that wines of interest are more easily identifiable than wines that are not?

And now I'm sure we can get into a discussion of what makes a wine "interesting". If we do, at least let's start another thread on that one.......

Best
Rogov
no avatar
User

Michael Greenberg

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

121

Joined

Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:32 pm

Re: Blind and Double Blind

by Michael Greenberg » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:54 pm

Apropos of this --the movie BOTTLE SHOCK starring Bill Pullman goes into wide release in the USA and Canada this Aug 15th--there was some limited release in a few selected cities last week...the movie deals with the famous 1976 shock of california wines beating french wines in a showdown blind tasting with wine judges in Paris...that event put California wines back on the map of wine lovers attention back then and set the expansion of the California wine industry to this day...Critics have said the movie is good but not as good as Sideways and what it did for California Pinot Noir ..

Anyway I wonder where both french and California wines would fare today in not merely blind tasting but a double blind contest with other wines from around the World...WHO would"SHOCK" today? You know--the wine world really OUGHT to have a WORLD WINE DOUBLE BLIND OLYMPICS for each type of wine in the standard repitoire (eg. Can Sauvs,Cab Francs,Merlot,Syrah/ShirazPinot Noir,Chardonnay,Riesling (dry and Off-dry/sweet categories),Sauvignon Blanc,Red Blend,White Blend, and a Miscellaneous "other" category for both Reds and Whites--something like that..Tobe fair maybe you need to sub-categorize by price levels...but in any case --the only piece of knowledge the judges should have is wine type category and perhaps a price category for the grouping of wines to be judged ..the rest of the knowledge (country of origin,producer ,vintage year) should not be told to them...THEN let us be "SHOCKED" by the results.
User avatar
User

Daniel Rogov

Rank

Resident Curmudgeon

Posts

12964

Joined

Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:10 am

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

Re: Blind and Double Blind

by Daniel Rogov » Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:07 pm

Michael, Hi....

An interesting concept but one that might have a great many problems, at least one fault, and one possible disagrement.

(1) The number of categories to be tasted would be far larger than you imply. Not only individual varieties (of which at least several dozen are considered major) but of various blends, the permutations and combinations of which are nearly endless. I would think that without too much trouble one could easily come up with 500-600 valid categories.

(2) Within each category would be anywhere from dozens to thousands of wines. My guess is that we would wind u8p with a minimum of 15,000 wines to taste. But that is only the beginning of the story, because we are talking about 5,000 wines to taste on an annual basis (different strokes for different vintage years).

(3) Considering that the above would take full time work for either a single critic or a panel of judges for a minimum of half of each year, I wonder just who we might get to volunteer for such an effort. And of course, just who will supply all of those wines.

(4) As to the fault - it is my belief (quite strong) that price range should not be part of pre-known criteria. Price and should have absolutely nothing to do with evaluation (either tasting notes or scores). Whether the wine is good or bad value for money is something to be determined only after the tasting note and score have been finalized.

(5) As to other possible problems - is this not precisely what individual critics do every year? And why a panel of judge where problems such as regression to the mean rise to the surface?

My suggestion - let's stop looking for shock and continue in our individual searches for those wines that give us the most pleasure.

Best
Rogov

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign