Wine changes. A bottle of wine displays different characteristics with changes in its own temperature as well as with those of the environment. Decanting changes a wine as well. Much of how a wine smells and tastes is a result of the wine serving ritual and drinking environment.
Steve Heimoff wrote about “tasting room bias” some time ago. I commented that much of that can be attributed to the differences in humidity, temperature and barometric pressure differences between the tasting room and his apartment.
Additionally, in the tasting room, a bottle is tipped numerous times before it goes empty. This oxygenates the wine and achieves the same effect as extended decanting. In my own tasting and assessment of wines I have noticed that a wine will display very different characteristics if I taste it in an air-conditioned room versus outside, on my patio.
To my knowledge, very few – if any – critics decant wines and re-taste from the same bottle over several hours. While this may be a profound difference of protocol, procedure and tasting methodology between myself and other critics, it is reasonable to believe that only a small fraction of wine consumers decant their wines or chill them to traditionally accepted serving temperatures.
Some people can be pedantic about their wine serving ritual, while others couldn’t care less about conventions. Some people do things with their wine that would make others shudder and seek therapy. But exactly what are the typical wine serving habits of the average American?
Enter Wine Surveys my other blog intended to be a clearinghouse of wine-related surveys. I have created a new survey which seeks to understand the serving habits of wine drinkers across all strata. When there is sufficient data, I will publish the results as I recently did with the TCA taint survey. I realize that my sensory acuity may vary from that of my readers. I want to understand what their typical wine consumption ritual and environment are like so I can best relate to them the nature of the wines I write about.
In a nutshell, the survey asks how participants chill their wines (if they do at all), if they decant them, whether they use variety- or blend-specific stemware, if they consume most of their wines with or without food and whether they drink wine outdoors or indoors (and what their indoor environments are like).
If you are a wine drinker of any level, please contribute by answering these 12 questions.
If you are a wine blogger or wine writer, a member of a wine club or a wine tasting group or you work in a tasting room, please consider telling people about this survey.
The more data we have the more meaningful the results will be.
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