Australian scientists have come up with a system that, they believe, will allow them to spot symptoms of clueless tasting within 48 hours.
Known as Taste, Track and Trace it has been developed by a team of experts at the Centre for Research into Australian Show Scoring (CRASS).
Experts are already hoping that it could have a significant impact on the spread of crap tasting, which has been spreading worldwide for years.
With a competition taking place somewhere in the world every six hours, scientists have long been concerned that the Rubbish Tasting (R) number is too high, with one bad taster often infecting several others before being detected.
‘The trouble is that it can be a while before symptoms start to show,’ said Anna Lyses who headed up the team at CRASS. ‘Often competition organisers don’t realise they have a problem until it’s too late and a bottle of Apothic has won best in show.
‘Really, the only safe way is to stop crap tasters coming into contact with reputable competitions in the first place.’
Parker… Bettane… Kurniawan
The Australian system works by analysing the scores attributed to the world’s top 10,000 wines by respected palates such as Robert Parker, Michel Bettane and Rudi Kurniawan.
It then uses a state of the art algorithm that takes into account factors such as blind nationalism, stylistic bias and propensity for bribery, to award each wine a ‘globally averaged score’ – its Gas rating.
‘Once we had a benchmark for each wine, it was easy to see how tasters performed against it,’ said Ms Lysis. ‘We were quickly able to work out which judges had healthy scores, which were mildly bad but not dangerous to others, and which were super-spreaders, scattering abysmal scoring all over the world.’
While healthy judges have been given the all-clear to judge at globally recognised events, super-spreaders are being asked to self-isolate at regional wine shows.
‘It’s a bit of a comedown to go from the Melbourne Wine Show to being an associate at the Moola-Moola Shiraz Shindig,’ said one newly-tested judge. ‘But I guess it’s all free wine at the end of the day.’
Putting the ‘bon’ in Billabong
A joint statement put out by the organisers of Decanter World Wine Awards, the International Wine Challenge and the IWSC said they ‘cautiously welcomed’ the development.
‘Obviously we’re all keen to avoid the embarrassing situation where a big-budget name like Pricefixer Supermarket’s Billabong Chardonnay outscores Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet,’ they said.
‘Or was it the other way around?’