As with the first PCE, choosing a wine was not easy. A very high priority was placed on a wine that was very easily and widely available and reasonably priced, so that the broadest range of people could take part.
Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages "Combe des Jacques" 2003 is the wine that was finally chosen. Beneath are some summarised statistics from the exercise. Participants were asked to write a note on the wine, but also to mark it out of 20 points. They were also asked to say whether they thought the wine was good value for money, whether they would buy it again, and how the wine changed if they drank some along with food. Go straight to the tasting notes
(there's another link at the bottom of the page)
In total, 54 people bought the wine and took part in the PCE. The scores awarded for the wine ranged from 7/20 to 18/20. There was one score of 1/20, but that taster
suspected his bottle was faulty. One other taster, who scored the wine 7/20, also suspected a fault in the wine. The graph below shows how many people awarded a particular score to the wine:
|Lowest score given||07|
|Highest score given||18|
|Average score males||13.54|
|Average score females||12.92|
|Average overall score||13.31|
Tasters were asked whether they would buy the wine again, whether it represented good value for money, and - if they had it with food - whether the wine improved or not. The
data returned is:
|Would you buy again?||14||19||21|
|Was it value for money?||19||25||10|
|Did it improve with food? *||18||08||04|
descriptive: strawberry (22 tasters); cherry (19); raspberry (16); fruity (10); fresh (9); soft (7); black pepper (6); spice (6); bubble gum (6); banana (6)
positive: well-balanced (12); long finish (10); ripe (4); complex (2)
negative: acidic/bitter (9); short (6); bland/insipid (5); thin (3)
I am certain the choice of a Beaujolais as the PCE wine certainly
added to the huge variation in scores and reactions: Gamay is a very distinctive grape which makes an equally distinctive style of wine, and I am sure scores and reactions would have been somewhat more homogenous had we chosen a
£5 Australian Chardonnay or Chilean Merlot instead. But of course that's what the excercise was all about - to see how different palates react to the same wine - so in many ways it was the ideal choice.
This was a truly fascinating experiment and I would like to thank everyone who bought the wine and took part, including readers of Richard Ehrlich's column in the Independent on Sunday.Read the full suite of 54 tasting notes returned from the PCE. Copyright 2004 Tom Cannavan. All rights reserved..