About a month ago I read a great article on the differences between a Master Sommelier (wine expert) and wine novice in regards to tasting wine. This was a fascinating subject for me because I always wondered if sommeliers or famous wine critics like Robert Parker Jr. had a biological advantage or pre-disposition to become a wine expert. Needless to say, the article’s conclusion surprised me.
In short, the article referenced several studies that showed that the wine expert’s taste of the wine is no different than anyone else’s. In other words, they are tasting the exact same things as you and I. So then what makes them an expert? The only difference is the wine expert is able to put those tastes to descriptive words. They are better able to assign flavors and adjectives to what their perceived tastes are. That’s it. They don’t have super palates or bionic tongues.
This means that if you want to be a wine expert there is hope. Start tasting as many wine as possible and practice putting your tastes to words.