The physicist Leonard Mlodinow has a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, 20th October 2009. It may be an old article and it may be familiar to many already, but it is, I think, an exceptionally well written essay on something we winos rarely want to talk about: we rate wines haphazardly and randomly and with very little or no consistency. So it of course means that competitions and medals are worth pretty much nothing (we all knew that already).
But is this research applicable to normal drinking during a meal? I have a hunch that it is: I certainly have often in some state of mind been more forgiving of wines that I dislike very much again when drinking shortly after! This can be annoying if I've bought some initially that I then end up disliking, but mostly I think the mutability of my perceptions of a single wine is exciting. What is puzzling is that my thoughts on some other wines, however, are remarkably fixed and unchanging - perhaps most notoriously with Musar, where I simply fail to see the great variation that everyone else claims to notice. But the great thing about not being a professional is that I only need to drink and write for one person's pleasure - my own. So vive le changement, or something like that.