On Overcoming Biases: The Wine Critic

Lisa Perotti-Brown, MW, solicited comments from sommeliers on how many wines one can reasonably taste and evaluate in a day. I found this answer to be particularly worth noting:

“I reckon the optimum amount of wines to taste blind is 60 in a day,” commented Andrew Caillard MW of Langton’s Auction House in Australia.  “This is enough to taste, write a reasonable tasting note, review and memorize. Anything significantly over this is a struggle and requires short cutting. Anyone who says they can do more than this truly effectively is having him or herself on. The late Dr John Middleton of Mount Mary used to say it is 12 wines. Fatigue is a real issue and leads to inaccuracy. More alarming is the poor allocation of points and the lack of empathy for other cultural values that pervades among wine critics. Critics applaud individuality but assume that taste and received wisdom is homogenous across cultures.”

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