Like playing a sport professionally, or doing anything professionally, really, years of training are required. That education is then backed up by practical application, while involves practice, including physical and mental conditioning, maybe some coaching and refresher courses, and actual game play.
I went to the dentist today, and realized that having my teeth professionally cleaned more often, or using a different mouthwash or toothpaste, could most likely have an affect on my tasting abilities, but also how things taste. While tooth-care companies will tell you that you can get that fresh from the dentist feeling in your very own bathroom, without a room full of equipment, I’m disinclined to agree. Not saying it’s impossible, but the sonic water jet device that the hygenist used today was amazing; unfortunately I won’t be investing in that $10k gadget anytime soon (I have a sonic toothbrush, though!).
So, I’m curious what the pros do to maintain their $1m noses (and tongues), if it’s anything different than the average Joe.
I absolutely agree. I was a cigar smoker until I got more into wine; now I have a huge paperweight full of nice cigars. The cigars were detracting from my ability to truly taste the wine. I’d imagine certain wines would pair nicely with cigars (smokier, more minerally wines, maybe) but overall I think cigars muted my sensitivity to the nuances of most wines. But then again, I’m no pro!
Thanks for reminding me! I need to get my teeth cleaned next week in Italy! I have a normal routine. I get them cleaned every four months or so. And I brush twice a day. I rinse with lots of water when I am tasting, and I brush at lunch.
I smoke cigars about once a week at most, and it’s not on tasting trips.
Happy to help! Many thanks for your response. Not surprised re: cigars.
Follow up question: When tasting, how many wines do you taste per day? RP recently posted a travel/tastinglogue demonstrating what appeared to be him tasting 100+ wines per day. I would think you’d need to brush and rinse several times during the day to survive that on a regular basis, even with spitting.
I try to keep to 35 to 50 wines a day. I can taste more if necessary, but I don’t think I am doing the wines justice tasting more. I am happy Bob can accurately taste 100 or 150 a day. I don’t feel comfortable at that level. A taster has to know his or her limits.