Notes From the Fermentation Bookmarks File


 To me it seems a long time coming since his penchant for wit, excellent writing, his wine journalism background and is general deep knowledge of the wine industry makes him an excellent candidate for blogger status. LongWineskewer time coming or not, it is very welcome news that W.R. Tish has finally launched a blog: THE WINE SKEWER: Bite Sized Comedy and Commentary from a Recovering Wine Critic.

Known to his mother as William R. Tisherman, Tish is a former editor of Wine Enthusiast Magazine who lives on the East Coast. For many years he has been in great demand as a wine educator and writer. He has also been long time observer of the wine scene, the emerging wine blogging community and a vocal critic of the 100 Point Scale, among other things.

The Wine Skewer is already a great read. I recommend it highly.

Judd's Enormous Wine Show is, I think, the only comedic wine show on the Internet, assuming that you Enormouswineshow view Gary Vaynerchuk's Wine Library TV is a serious wine show (I personally do). Judd's Enormous Wine Show is the work of Judd Finkelstein and Rudy McClain of Judd's Hill Winery in Napa Valley. This is self and industry mocking stuff that puts the winery at odds (shall we say) with the general tone that emanates from Napa Valley's wine industry. It will take more than excellent production standards, toddlers being consulted on new wine packaging and the deep humor of Judd & Co. to turn around Napa's elitist image. But I'm looking forward to eating up more of Judd's Enormous Wine Show.

The American Association of Wine Economists is a unique organization. When It formed a few years back Dogplate I was excited because it suggested we'd see some in depth analysis of significant issues. And we have seen such things. But the utility of this group of number crunchers was truly driven home when I received an email announcing their current set of working papers. Along side a paper titled, "When Does Price Affect Taste? Results From A Wine Experiment," there was this engaging title: "Can People Distinguish Pate From Dog Food?"

For as long as I can recall, this issue has burdened the American wine industry as well as the canine culinary industry and we've been waiting for a set of smart people to determine whether or not the production of Pate is even necessary given the proliferation of different styles and flavors of dog food on our grocery store shelves. Finally, smart people have weighed in. The conclusion? "In a double-blind test, subjects were presented with five unlabeled blended meat products, one of which was the prepared dog food. After ranking the samples on the basis of taste, subjects were challenged to identify which of the five was dog food. Although 72% of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste (Newell and MacFarlane multiple comparison, P<0.05), subjects were not better than random at correctly identifying the dog food."

This is great news. However, we still need good study that detail whether or not Dogs can tell the difference between Pate and Dog Food. I'm sure the Economists over at the AAWE are on the case.

8 Responses

  1. Greg - May 6, 2009

    Tom, see my and others’ comments on why the conclusions of the pate study were flawed at NYT Freakanomics blog:
    Basically, they told the people who were their subjects that they would be tasting dog food and that it wouldn’t be disgusting – biasing them to believe that the dog food would not be the worst thing they would taste.

  2. Tom Wark - May 6, 2009

    I don’t think it is any coincidence that the date on this working paper is APRIL, the most foolish of months.

  3. John Kelly - May 6, 2009

    Um… yes, but reputable “peer-reviewed” journals don’t publish April Fools papers. Sort of makes one question the entire “raison d’ etre for the AAWE, doesn’t it?
    But “Judd’s Enormous Wine Show” don’t play that – it’s just outright hilarious. Thanks for that.

  4. Greg - May 6, 2009

    I’m pretty sure its not a April Fool’s joke – they went to a lot of work contacting sensory scientists to make sure they used proper statistics if it was just for a joke.

  5. Tom Wark - May 6, 2009

    No, it’s not an April Fools Day joke. However, it ranks only slightly higher than an April Fools Joke and therefore is appropriately paired with the month of April.

  6. John Kelly - May 6, 2009

    And they used Newman’s Own, which is some mighty fine dog food IMO – may not be Fatted Calf charcuterie but it sure ain’t Alpo. “Lies, damn lies…”

  7. Dylan - May 7, 2009

    Why wasn’t poor taste also associated with being dog food?

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