Are wine connoisseurs scientists or charlatans? Well, both Oxford and Cambridge have wine-tasting teams that compete annually which may offer some sense of academic gravitas.
According Dan Rosenheck, The Economist‘s data editor and wine expert for 1843, the wine tasting contests have been held since 1953 as PHD’s in Chemistry go taste bud to taste bud with students just finishing their Philosophy dissertations. And this is no trivial pursuit, the winning team gets the honor of representing Britain at a taste-off in France.
No word as to how much library support is offered as competitors research the “subtleties of scent and structure that made distinguishing Manchego from Morbier look as easy as apples from oranges.” However, as Mr. Rosenheck leaves little doubt, the aptly named “Varsity match” is taken very seriously by everyone involved.