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Sunday, October 15, 2006

But, remember the law of diminishing returns, studied earlier. Beyond a certain point, increase in reliability incurs a disproportionately greater cost. Remember also that the quality of a product at the point of use may be impaired by improper handling, transportation and storage*.

* - I am convinced that some wines (of the same label) taste better in Europe than in Singapore. How many distributors or supermarkets store their wines at the optimum temperature? Temperature variation doesn’t do the wine any good – by the time it gets into your father’s wine-cooler at home, the damage may already have been done.
It is also a misconception that all wines improve with age. In fact, more than 90% of all the world’s wines should be consumed within one year, and less than 1% should be aged for more than 10 years. Some wines now come in aluminium cans (e.g., on Tiger Airways flights). Nevertheless, please don’t gulp down your wine. Taste wine with your taste buds all over your mouth – on both sides of your tongue, underneath, on the tip, and extending to the back of your throat. Also smell the wine, after swirling it to release the esters, ethers and aldehydes, which combine with oxygen to yield the bouquet (total smell) of the wine. An average person can perceive only 4 tastes (sweet, sour, bitter and salt) but can detect about 2000 different scents. And wine has more than 200 different scents.

- Extract from notes for a class where, I swear, we spend up to 20% of class time on Internet jokes, which amazingly have some pedagogical point or other to them.
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