The time difference here is quite hard to get used to - it's actually 13 hours, which means that as I write this at 0815 on Friday, in the UK where I've recently called home it is 1915 on Thursday.
After a day sitting in a conference, last night we had a symposium dinner at the Vice Chancellor's Lodge, a rather grand residence overlooking the Otago Peninsula. The wines served were, once again, pretty good. I had Valli Pinot Noir 2006 from Bannockburn in Central Otago, which was very polished and quite elegant. I also tried a rich Dog Point Chardonnay, but didn't give it the attention it deserved.
Coincidentally, I had a good chat with one of the researchers who is working with a large population study here in Dunedin, and he has a PhD student working on PROP testing this group. PROP is a bitter tasting compound that some people can't taste, some people find mildly repellent and some people find utterly disgusting - there's a chapter dealing with this and the implications for wine tasting in my Wine Science book.
Anyway, with a bit of luck I should be able to find out my PROP taster status later today. The issue of individual differences in taste and smell perception is a really interesting one - it deserves more than just a blog post.
Also by way of coincidence, the previous evening, at a reception, I met a researcher who has been working with Dr Wendy Parr, a kiwi who has published extensively on sensory perception of wine. I need to go back and revisit her work.
Another day in the conference beckons today, and then tomorrow morning I'm off to Marlborough. I'm quite excited - it's always fun visiting a wine region you've heard a lot about, for the first time.