Okay, so here's my start to a discussion board thread. (and by the way- thanks Andy and Nick!).
There are wines that I miss all the time in blind tastings. And after the tasting I always am the first to say, "But I love that wine!" And then I go out and buy ten examples of the wine that I "love". And I drink them. And I read about them. And I enjoy them. And then I go to a blind tasting and instead of landing the flight I crash it. Because one of the these wines I "love" is what I misbelieved.
I'm a firm believer in "bankers" and "Achilles heels" but how many times do you (anyone reading this thread) taste a wine and miss it and think to yourself "but I love (insert emoji here if you're that person) that wine???"
Here's my take.
I don't really love that wine I miss because I never recognize it. Maybe that's the case! If you never get Rioja and claim to love Rioja you might need to rethink the relationship. And you may ask yourself, "How do I nail this?" I mean, maybe David does. But sometimes you don't connect.
Does anyone else miss "wines they love" consistently? How do you get past blind spots? Do you love them?
Asking for a friend.
And yes Jeff, I am popping popcorn.
I honestly think this is a pit fall of many tasting groups. The group I belong to, as great as it is, does suffer (as I would imagine many others do), from the simple fact that it's expensive enough to open up 6 bottles of wine the week it's your turn, so that it's not always feasible to also make sure that the bottles you've chosen are truly classic. I believe, for most of us, we're trying to kill two birds with one stone. Provide a challenging but fair line-up, but also open up some cool shit for our friends. And that's where the exercise can go sideways. Opening wines that you're not super familiar with for the sake of sharing something "cool". Actually, once, curious about all the Kirkland house brand wines I'd begun to see at Costco, including Brunello, Paulliac, and other "fancy appellations", I actually did a themed tasting using nothing but Kirkland wines. I did catch some flack from the peanut gallery during the reveal, but, sort of got the last laugh because I don't recall another time when everyone got at least 4 right and most got 5 or 6. Average though they may have been, they were all doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing. Now, I'm not saying I'd be batting 1.000 if every wine was text book, but I do recall plenty of times when, at the reveal, we all tended to agree that the wine wasn't classic. Mind you, it does help if you accurately described what the wine was acting like, even if you missed on what it says on the label.
Dr. Jaimie Goode in his book "I Taste Red" mentioned some recent discoveries in how the brain works that might explain this. I know it made me feel a little better about the really difficult thing we do when we evaluate or blind taste wines[:)].
It kinda goes like this: If you try to construct an AI robot to do a simple task like picking something up, most people would probably start installing a bunch of cameras and sensors to record everything that is going on and rely on the robot's computer to crunch all that data to accomplish the task. Truth is that there is so much data involved that the computer would crash before it would accomplish the task.
The brain, he explains is similar and relies on previously experienced models to shortcut the process, reducing the amount of data needed to be saved. This works well if all goes well, but when it does not, the brain starts recording real time and saves the experience as new and potentially useful.
The parallel with your example is that when you like something, it goes into the "good" bucket and your RAM gets wiped clean. When something goes bad or is different or unexpected, you remember it much better, because your brain is trying to record the anomaly.
From an evolutionary perspective, this makes total sense. If something tastes good and you "love it", no need to remember anything. No harm done, or better., you really enjoy the endorphin rush. But if the experience is different than expected or unpleasant (bad), that might be important to your survival and would be handy to your survival to be remembered. Like bitter things in nature that might hurt you.
Thank goodness for the relearning process that allows us to enjoy things like Fernet, or to swim upstream sufficiently to be able to describe or blind taste wines.
Fun stuff. Thanks for the discussion!