How consistent are wine reviewers?
Interesting article in the Telegraph titled Consumers warned over consistency of wine reviews. It's based on a survey undertaken at the California State Fair wine competition at Sacramento, in which the judges were assessed for the reliability of their palates. You can read the original article from the Journal of Wine Economics here.
Tasting wine blind in competition settings is difficult, and few do it really well. It's important we know how reliable tasters are in these sorts of settings, because then we know what sort of confidence we can have in the results.
This is the first time I've seen these sorts of data collected, and the results are quite sobering. If we, as the 'wine trade', are to be taken seriously, then these are the sorts of studies we should be encouraging.
How about doing this sort of exercise at the International Wine Challenge, or the Decanter World Wine Awards? Or entering exactly the same wine into the competition under several different names? We should be eager to see how well we are doing, because this would reassure us, or help us improve.