Posts from 7th September 2005

Sep 05

Food Science Day 8: The Truth about Pink Wine

Proven By Science2 comments • 1,077 views

AIM: To determine whether pink wine is just red and white wine mixed together.

APPARATUS: Glasses. Pen. Paper. Sample of food scientists.

INGREDIENTS: One bottle each of cheap red, white and pink wine.

METHOD: A glassful of pink wine was poured, and then red and white wine were mixed together until something that looked like the pink wine was achieved. The proportions of this were approx 1 part red to 3 parts white.

A glass with an equal mix of white and red was also prepared. We did nothing with this, except I think Pete may have ended up drinking it. (At the back of my mind making this third there may have been the thought that the white and red would magically make each other disappear, as they do if you spill red wine on a carpet. To test this properly, though, we would have needed a fourth glass of red wine and some salt. But Tim doesn’t have any salt.)

The two glasses were marked so I could tell which was which. The food scientists were then called in one by one to taste both. They had to then do two things:

– give a mark out of 10 to each wine.
– indicate which they thought was the real pink wine.

RESULTS: Exactly the same number of scientists picked each wine as the correct one, as seen graphically here:

With the exception of Marianna, every single scientist either gave both wines the same mark or gave a higher mark to the wine they thought was the real one. People who were wrong detected on average a much greater difference in quality (Pete in particular was very emphatic on this.)

The mix of red and white was liked more than the real pink wine (see chart below).


1. There is NO scientific difference between pink wine and mixed red and white wine.

2. Except that the fake pink wine is actually NICER.

3. Most people are wine ROCKISTS and believe that a ‘real’ wine will likely be nicer than a ‘fake’ one.

4. The more WRONG about wine people are, the more OPINIONATED they will be.

5. Ergo, DON’T BOTHER buying pink wine again, just pour unused red and white wine in together.

(5a. Unless you’re buying it at POPTIMISM on Friday week.)

Brains Trust

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 385 views

Music and Writing: interesting roundtable from 2003 where Mark Sinker sets a bunch of questions that assorted ILXish and other thinkers try and answer. I think he sent me the questions too, I know I didn’t answer them. Well worth a look.

Now That’s What I Called The 90s

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Some of you may remember my Top 100 singles of the 90s, which I ran on this site six years ago. They have been off the site for a long time now, because they’re not hugely representative of my tastes now. Occasionally I wonder what I should do with them (or get asked about them), and now I’ve decided. I’m revisiting them on my livejournal, posting the original text and then adding notes about the entry, or the song, and whether I was right or not.

This is fearfully self-indulgent which is why it’s happening there not here. But I thought I’d mention it. Relive those glory days of a big white times new roman font on a black background!

House Rhythm

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Tim Finney, from an ILM thread about reggaeton.

I often think about a post Josh Kortbein wrote on his blog about how he couldn’t remember the moment when he got used to house beat, but somehow it had quietly gone from seeming oppressive, rhythmically authoritarian, to seeming quite natural, almost inaudible in its familiarity (and this is only about a year or two after we’d had a bit of back-and-forth where he’d complained of exactly that) – in some senses the dance music fan doesn’t actually hear the house beat at all, just what a particular track does with it – in the same way that when you’re reading you don’t necessarily stop and take notice of the fact that you’re looking at the letters “a”, “b”, “c” etc., but you will notice if they’re written in an interesting font.

I like this idea a lot! I wonder if it’s true though.

Robin Williams: My Idea Of Hell

Do You See2 comments • 587 views

Last night in the pub we realised that there has never been a good Robin Williams film. People professed to soft spots for The Fisher King, Aladdin and even Hook* but the general consensus was that Williams is the worst thing in these movies, and his performance pulls them into bad.

As Mike pointed out, any actor whose signature scene is putting out a fire on his fake breasts is not one whose career is in anyway salvageable.

*Hook, whilst a terrible idea, belongs to a favourite genre of mine: what happened next movies which imagine sequels to famous literature. As a genre it is nearly always appalling, except where horror movies are involved (Bride Of Frankenstein is a stone cold classic, but then this Frankenstein bears little relation to the book anyway.)

The Evil Z

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 225 views

You used to know where you were with Diet Drinks. They would usually come in white, or at least lighter versions of the full fat packaging and have the word DIET emblazoned on them. They were, in short, pretty easy to avoid. Now however things have changed. Take Dr Pepper Z. I accidentally did. What I wanted was the hangover sating tang of a sugary syrupy soft drink. What I got was like the remnants of a mud flavoured ice lolly.

The can looks exactly the same. (Others agree with me on this.) Except for a big ZED (not a ZEE) on it, in a different font and stylized in such a way as to just look like a lightning bolt or a bit of flash on the can. Coupled with the “win stuff” promotion, it was impossible to detect that this would do nothing for my hangover but mock me.

And the Z? It stands for Zero Added Sugar. Even the phrase seems clumsy. Take your Z and put it in the stupid ideas bin.

Food as Presents

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 306 views

Those out last night could not help but be overwhelmed by one of my birthday presents: 2kg of Parmesan. I look forward into risottoing the hell out of that bastard…

But it was not the only food present I got. From Andrew Farrell was a small bar of Kinder Country – a chocolate bar stuffed with cereals. It was breakfast. There was also super chocolatey mini bites from Robster and Ricky T leapt in with Cis’s Ginger Cake recipe, which was awesome.

Still not enough though. On Monday I was given a slightly more outre collection of food with which to make a meal Ready, Steady Cook style:
1 largish Lambs Liver
A box of Bisquick
5 Lady’s Fingers (okra)
Loads of red chillies
A packet of Smash
A huge white Radish
Two Prickly Pears
A round thing what looks like celeriac but is something else what I have forgotten.

I am thinking of some sort of curried liver crumble, but any suggestion please chip in.