This 2004 Palate Calibration Exercise was run jointly on and in the Independent on Sunday newspaper

In the Palate Calibration Exercise (PCE), people all over the UK and the rest or the world are invited to buy, taste and submit their assessment of exactly the same wine. We hope this will tell us a little about the similarities and differences in our tastes. If you wish to take part, read on...

Palate Calibration Exercise 2004
August 12th - September 17th 2004

The guidelines for participation in the PCE follow. This is not rigorous science, but please stick to them as closely as possible. I invite all to take part, and a special welcome to readers of Richard Ehrlich's column in the Independent.

When will the great Palate Calibration Exercise happen?

You can taste the wine anytime between the 12th of August and the 17th of September. This gives you a full month to source the wine and taste it.

What wine are we tasting?

WINE: Louis Jadot Combe aux Jacques Beaujolais Villages
PRICE: 5.99 - 7.59 depending on merchant.

Buy it from: Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Safeway, Peckhams, Luvians, Wimbledon Wine, Dallas Liquor Mkt, D Byrne, Vicki's of Cobham, Fareham Wine Cellars, wills burgundy,

The wine may be available internationally. For wine-searcher's list of stockists who will deliver world-wide, click here.

What glasses should we use?

Standard ISO tasting glasses if you have them. Otherwise, whatever glass you think most appropriate.


Do we taste with food, or on its own?

For the purposes of the PCE it would be good if the wine could be formally assessed on its own, without food. You will see when you look at the submission form that there is a separate area for you to comment on your perception of the wine if you also try it with food.

What are we trying to assess?

Some tasters judge a wine on technical criteria, some simply judge whether they like it or not. Ideally for this exercise you should judge on a combination of the two (tips on technical criteria below). The whole point of the exercise is to be as analytical as possible, but also to say how this wine suits our personal likes, dislikes and tolerances.

Technical criteria?

We assess the wine on component factors to see if it is a well-made wine and a good expression of the grapes used. We might assess the following:

Fruit quality

But don't get too hung up - this is not for experts only. Basically you will react to the wine's smell, taste and overall appeal to you.

Are we going to award scores?

Yes. Without a score, calibration is impossible. There is a scoring card to be filled out by everyone who takes part. It uses a 20-point scale, and you must award a score from 0 - 20, preferably without half points. Please also record any other thoughts you have on the wine, particularly whether you'd buy it again, and whether it is good value for money.

See the Response form and scorecard.

What happens next?

Send me your notes and scorecards at any time during the PCE month. I will assemble these into a Web page after September 17th. I will also do some analysis of the scores, and as soon as possible after the 17th will publish the PCE Report. I will email you to let you know it ihas been published. You can take a look at the results of the previous PCE in 2001, by clicking here.

Keep it quiet!

Many members of the UK Wine Forum will be taking part in the PCE, but please do not discuss the quality of the wine on the forum before the end of the PCE, so that others are not influenced by your findings.

Let's do it!

This should be fun so please do take part: it is NOT for experts only, and nobody will be right, nobody will be wrong: that's the whole point.

Take a look at or complete the response form and scorecard.