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The Wine Trials 2011 Paperback – September 1, 2010
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Might rattle a few wine snobs, but the average oenophile can rejoice. --Newsweek Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Robin Goldstein is an author and a travel writer. He has written for more than 30 Fodor's travel guides and is a contributor to the New York Times' Freakonomics blog. He has a certificate in cooking from the French Culinary Institute in New York City and a Wine and Spirit Education Trust certificate for advanced wine and spirits study. He lives in Oakland, California. Alexis Herschkowitsch is the coauthor of five Fearless Critic restaurant guides and a contributor to Fodor’s travel guides. She has a WSET advanced wine and spirits certificate. Tyce Walters is a student at the Yale Law School and a graduate of Yale University, where he founded the wine journal Vino/Veritas: The Yale Wino. He has also worked as a wine retail consultant and served as editor of the Yale Philosophy Review.
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Top customer reviews
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It has detailed descriptions of the taste of the wine, which is wonderful because it removes all of the trial and error with wines I'm not familliar with. I'm certain this has save me enough money to pay for the book a couple times over, since I'm no longer pouring whole bottles of reject wine down the drain.
One feature I loved is that the book has pictures of the bottle with the label, which makes it a lot easier to spot them in the store. I also love that it's in alphabetical order, which again is easier to use when shopping. Another cool feature is that on the corners it has a code to let you know if the wine is white/rose/red/sparkling, approximate cost and a "ribbon" to show if it was a finalist or winner in their blind taste tests. Great design - easy to use! ! !
Their critique of the label is rather annoying, but since it's such a big help in finding relatively good wines for a great price, I overlook that arrogance. The other thing I could've done without is the l-o-n-g description of the procedures (nearly 1/2 the length of the book) of their blind taste tests they used to chose the wines that made it into the book - that just makes the book heavier to carry around the grocery store.
I wish they had an ap of this book for my blackberry so I didn't have to carry the book around in the grocery store!
I know a good bit about wine and have even worked in a wine store, but these days when I buy wine I love not having to guess whether it will be good or not! ! !
As a former liquor store employee, my recommendations on wine were either based on my personal experience, my observation on what people were buying, or the promotion I got from the wine distributor.
This book will introduce you to perhaps a hundred or so affordable (under $15) wines that many people like. I have purchased this book 5 times to give as a gift to people I have met that enjoy wines. Do not forget to take the book to the liquor store when shopping in order to insure that you are buying the item covered by the blind taste testing method.
Of course, if one knows that a glass of wine comes from a bottle costing $1000, it would be very difficult not to rate it more highly than a glass from a $15 bottle. By "blinding" the raters, the author gives us a much more valid idea of the quality of different wines. Wine snobs will hate this book.
I do have one problem with the author's interpretation of his data. He argues that knowing that a wine has a very high price actually makes it taste better. That's an interesting hypothesis, but his data do not address it. The data merely show that knowing that a wine has a high price results in higher ratings. There is a fairly easy experimental technique called signal detection analysis that the author and his team of experts could have used to answer this question. Signal detection analysis, which is taught to every undergraduate psychology major, allows one to separate changes in bias from changes in the actual sensory experience when some variable like price is being studied. Goldstein is basically arguing that knowledge of the price of a wine actually changes the sensory experience of the taster, as opposed to just making the taster rate the more expensive wine higher with no sensory change. This latter effect is called a change in bias. Both results are possible, as is a combination, where there is both a change in the sensory experience and a change in the rater's bias. It's really too bad that Goldsteing didn't do a signal detection study of his wine tasters. This would have been very easy to do and would have resulted in a much fuller understanding of the effects of price on the sensory experience of wines.
By the way, another reviewer states that the tastings in this book were not done fully blinded. This is simply wrong. The description in the book is of a well conducted double blind experiment.
It was also fascinating to know that the major wine raters are "in bed" with the wine sellers. The major wine magazines that rate wines get huge amounts of advertising revenue from the sellers of the very wines they rate in their pages. Gee - what could be wrong with that?
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