Collective versus individual tasting.
If properly statistically processed, collective tasting enables an immediate comparison of the various tasters’ profiles. The richness of the analysis is incomparable. Having twenty tasters taste the same bottles on the same day enables the establishment of twenty parallel rankings, and of the consensus and divergence between them. The analysis of the consensus and divergence is more valuable than any number of rankings.
Furthermore, the methods enable a reliable, qualified classification. Two wines can have the same score for different reasons, for smoothness or for austere elegance for example. A comparison of assessments offers a more reliable positioning of a wine than an individual tasting. The analysis of contrasts remains the safest method of analysis.
This approach to tasting has significant consequences for the composition of juries. Many think that a jury should be uniform, each taster a “clone” of the ideal taster: what could be better? But this ignores the variety of wines, their complexity and their diverse flavours. Tasting juries should rather reflect the diversity of consumer tastes.