Posts Tagged ‘wine’

To the wine guzzlers hoarding that one special bottle

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 | Food

Let’s face facts: you have already waited too long to drink that bottle.

You know the one. The expensive looking red that was a year or two old when you got it. You put it aside for a special occasion. That makes sense. You might as well chug cheap plonk until you have someone to share it with.

But now it is five years later. Ten years later. It is still sitting there in your kitchen. You have moved house since then. The bottle came with you. You keep telling yourself that you are just waiting for an occasional special enough. But that occasion never comes. You have had major changes in your life since then and the bottle is still sitting there.

It’s not getting any better. You’re not even sure it has a cork in it, and even if it does, you have had it stood upright all of this time. All you are doing is building up expectations that it is going to be great. It cannot possibly live up to that hype anymore.

So, do yourself a favour. Crack it open tonight. This week at the latest. The next time someone suggests wine, reach straight for it. The poor thing has waited long enough.

I don’t mean to wine on about it…

Monday, August 11th, 2014 | Science

…but wine tasting it a load of nonsense.

I will point out at this point that I do know how whine is spelt. However, as this is a post about wine, I have deliberately used an out-of-context spelling for this purpose. I realise it is a shame to have to point this out, but it will save some of you from having to write a tedious comment.


In 2012 I wrote about how people could not tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine. Multiple studies have now shown this. But what about wine experts? Surely they are good at determining whether a wine is a good one or not?

Apparently not, according to Robert Hodgson, writing in the Journal of Wine Economics, according to The Guardian. Most judges cannot consistently tell if a wine is good or not, and the judges that manage it vary from year to year – no judge is able to be consistent. It seems that even the experts are not able to tell whether a wine is any good or not.


Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 | Science

At last year’s Edinburgh Science Festival, Richard Wiseman demonstrated that people can’t tell the difference between expensive wine and cheap wine. It was covered in both The Guardian and The Telegraph. In fact, one of the funniest things about the whole business was some of the snobbery from the Guardian’s readers.

“Expensive is when you get to the £50 – £100 plus range. That’s when you really taste the difference.”

“Let’s do this with £2.99 against £299 instead. I think you might find the results aren’t quite the same.”

“£10 is expensive eh?
Pour them a glass of 2000 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc (the besr white I have ever tasted) at £60 a bottle and see if you get the same responses.”

“I ‘ve had £100 a bottle wine I CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE!”

The wine community didn’t seem to appreciate the results. Wine of the Week bolding told his readers that new evidence would be just around the corner.

WineOfTheWeek is aghast at such claims of label snobbery, and will bet his Tommy Hilfiger jeans that contradictory evidence will soon follow.

I presume he meant to say “against”. Unfortunately for him, more than a year on, and the new evidence has still yet to arrive. Wine Anorak did a slightly better job of arguing against, pointing out that members of the public weren’t given two wines to directly compare, but only one, and asked to say whether it was a cheap or expensive one.

Actually, this makes perfect sense though. You never (or at least I never) buy two bottles of wine, do a quick taste test and throw the bad one away. You just buy one bottle of wine (with others perhaps to follow later) and your enjoyment is based solely on that. As Richard himself said, “to keep it as realistic as possible, we presented them with a single glass of wine and they had to say whether inexpensive or expensive”.

Even if you want to poke your nose up at Richard’s experiment, a full paper has been previously published on the topic by the University of Minnesota. Here is what they concluded.

Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive relationship between price and enjoyment. Our results are robust to the inclusion of individual fixed effects, and are not driven by outliers: when omitting the top and bottom deciles of the price distribution, our qualitative results are strengthened, and the statistical significance is improved further. Our results indicate that both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.

So there you have it. You can’t tell the difference between an expensive wine and a cheap wine. So you might as well pick up the cheap bottle. Indeed, with the money you’ll save, why not buy two bottles of the cheap stuff, taste them, and throw the least pleasant one away.


Thursday, November 10th, 2011 | Life

Despite little success last time I complainted to Sainsbury’s, I decided it was worth one more go when I had another complaint.

To whom it may concern:

Earlier today, I visited your branch located on The Headrow in Leeds.

Upon arriving at the tills and scanning my items I was asked to produce identification to complete my purchase. I have recently turned 25 and therefore was expecting not to be flagged by your Check 25 policy, given I have now been able to legally purchase alcohol for 8 years and nice as it is to think, there is no way I look 9 years younger than I actually am.

More to the point, however, is the fact that I was attempting to purchase non-alcoholic wine. It therefore baffles and frustrates me that I would have to produce identification to prove I am over the age of 18, for a product which is alcohol free.

I asked the assistant who approved the item for me why such a product would be classified as restricted, but she said she didn’t know.

I believe such a restriction should be removed from such items, to avoid further aggregation for your customers.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Chris Worfolk

Luckily, this one was slightly more fruitful. Well, I say that, this time they said that it was indeed a problem and generally a bit silly, but there wasn’t exactly a promise to do much about it.

I contacted the store and spoke with Lisa, the Customer Service Manager, who advised the checkout automatically prompts colleagues to ask for identification when items are scanned. Lisa apologises if this has inconvenienced you and advised she will have your feedback logged for future reference.

We appreciate you taking the time to make us aware of this issue and look forward to seeing you in store again soon.

Still, better than nothing. And way better than Co-op who don’t even respond to your complaints.

Post birthday treats

Thursday, October 29th, 2009 | Friends, Life

On Thursday Oli paid me a visit with a number of suprises including a Lil and a late birthday present in the form of a box of wine 😀 . As my blog readerable is mainly sophisticated well educated individuals similar to myself it would almost seem patronising to remind you that such a produce is the finest type of wine as it can breathe when in a box rather than being stuffed up in a bottle.

This was followed by pizza which included extra for myself and Oli and Lil is trying to lose some weight plus the fun of watching a woman take out a bike just outside our house. The guy seemed alright which makes it ok to laugh about. Oli had to rush off in a hurry to catch a train shortly after which resulted in me not getting chance to grab a photo so I present instead one of the classic Chris and Oli pictures. Enjoy.

Lil Wine Oli and Chris


Friday, September 18th, 2009 | Humanism, Life

Day two was Tueday and I was still feeling crap but decided to push ahead with my plan of trying to drink through it. After all, with it being an A-Soc social night it’s pretty much my job. I wasn’t even taking it easy and with it being the last day of the wine festival, when Graham tried to order a glass of wine he came away with the bottle.

On the negative side it didn’t make me much better. But the on plus side it didn’t make me any worse – I work up Wednesday morning feeling rough but with no signs of a hangover so I once again seem to have managed to stop drinking at the appropriate time and get enough water in me.

Wednesday night I finally gave up – relucantly cancelled on York Brights and headed to bed which I was in before 6pm.


Sunday, August 16th, 2009 | Life, Photos, Thoughts

It’s an expensive business this young professional lifestyle.

Picked up a few bottles of wine at Tesco which was an interesting experience, trying to pretend I wasn’t just guesing. As I said on Twitter though I think a sensible policy is to avoid any wine which insists it must be enjoyed with a meal rather than on it’s own.

That is all fair enough but now I just have them sitting around on my side so now I need to buy a wine rack which is even more expense. Might try and hold out until my birthday.