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,
We gather normally on the second Monday each month. Each participant
brings their own wineglasses to taste six different wines
grouped around a "theme"; members take turns volunteering to be the wine procurer/host. The tasting panel at any particular
meeting is a minimum of seven (quorum).
The wines are tasted "blind"
and compared to one another for 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 comments about each wine's Appearance, Aroma, and Flavor on our form.
We then individually rank the wines
in descending order of personal preference. For calculating the results, a 1st place equals 1 point, 2nd 2 points, etc. After tabulating, we announce the rankings and points in 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 sometimes collected (participation is voluntary, notwithstanding legibility) for
assembly into the Group Compilation/Consensus tasting
notes occasionally published on this site.
Our descriptions are
the sum of the individual tasting notes. It is
therefore unlikely that any person sampling the same
wines we reviewed would experience all of the same
aromas and flavors described. During any single session, maybe three
to five tasters' descriptions of any particular wine might contain some similarity.
Wine tasting 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.
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. Another consideration is the attitude brought to the table by those
who merely show because enjoy tasting wine and those obligated by employment to
be there; no matter how pleasant or ideal the job, everyone has days that they just don't feel like working.
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. 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 consensus
results in the selection of the most appealing wines or merely the
wines that are least likely to offend. Add the scheduling and logistical
difficulties of gathering ten or more tasters with any great frequency and the practicality of relying upon individual expertise wins the day.
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 pleasure. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder (or the nose and tongue of the taster in the case of wine enjoyment).
are always welcome. Please let us know whenever PfW has
helped you along (or led you astray - it could