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Wine 101 is a FREE OnLine Wine Education Course Includes: Dionysus vs Diogenes | Why Wine? | Wine & Health | Social History | Sensory User's Manual | Wine Growing | Wine Making | Varietal Profiles | Sparkling Wine Consumerism information on Bottle Shapes and Sizes, Reading Labels, Selecting and Buying Strategies, Recommendations for Corkscrews and Glassware, Serving Order and Temperature, Cellaring, etc. Taste includes the compiled Wine Tasting Notes from our monthly panel, Reports on public tasting events and a Food & Wine section with Pairing Suggestions and even some wine-friendly Recipes. Aftertaste includes one section we call "Wrath", serving our Opinions and Editorials, and another we titled "Bacchanalia", with our Reading List suggestions and pages of Links to additional wine information. About contains information on Site Conventions used, stories of the Group Formation & Website Genesis, Acclaim & Awards, Biographic Sketches of our Tasting Panelists and Contact & Sponsor information. Return to the starting point.

About PfW Tastings

Professional Friends of Wine maintains a core panel of ten to fifteen active members. Seven RSVPs from this group is considered a quorum to proceed with a monthly tasting. Prospective members and guests may bring the number of tasters at any one session to a maximum of twelve.

Taste With PfW ... if you plan to be in the vicinity of Fresno, California, on the 2nd Monday of any month and would care to join us, please e-mail.

We gather normally on the second Monday each month. Each participant brings their own wineglasses to taste six different wines grouped around a "theme". The tasting panel at any particular meeting is a minimum of seven (quorum).

The wines are tasted "blind" and compared to one another about half an hour. Conversation about any particular wine is discouraged, although comments about the overall group of wines are tolerated. Each taster is encouraged to write down comments about each wine's Appearance, Aroma, and Flavor.

We then individually rank the wines in descending order of personal preference; after tabulating, we announce the rankings by tasting order. Starting with the least favorite wine, we proceed to discuss (argue!) the merits and demerits of each wine before revealing its identity. A copy of each taster's notes is collected for assembly into the Group Compilation/Consensus tasting notes.

Our descriptions are the sum of the individual tasting notes. It is therefore unlikely that any person sampling these same reviewed wines would experience all of the same aromas and flavors described. During any single session, out of a group of seven or more participants, maybe three or four tasters' descriptions of any particular wine might be contain some similarity.

There are undoubtedly "gifted" tasters whose individual ability, sensitivity, experience, and consistency are superior to the skills of the masses. Preferences, however, remain very individual. Winetasting contexts change: comparative overall quality levels of particular groups of wines and an individual's relative state of health (mental and physical) are variables that are difficult, if not impossible, to consistently control. Publications that provide hundreds of tasting notes rely on the individual expertise of their contributors, in order to review many wines each week or month, regardless of these uncontrollable factors.

Tasting notes from a panel have the benefit of consensus. Individual variables are reduced to have less impact on the outcome. The argument is ongoing as to whether this results in the selection of the most appealing wines or merely the wines that are least likely to offend. On the other hand, it is logistically difficult to gather ten or more tasters with any great frequency. Another consideration is the attitude brought to the table by those who merely enjoy tasting wine and those obligated by employment to be there. For our buying advice to you, the best strategy is to gather information from several sources, rather than relying upon a single source or guru. It's certainly a mistake to allow any individual, no matter how expert, to dictate your enjoyment.

Your comments or observations are always welcome. Please let us know whenever PfW has helped you along (or led you astray - it could happen...).




Updated June 17, 2012
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