Connect with us


Same wine, different tastes: Study pits B.C. oenophiles against Montreal sommeliers





You’re at a dinner party, and the host excitedly uncorks a bottle of wine. She sticks her nose in the glass and exclaims, “Do you smell the berries?”

Your eyes flit left to right.

“What berries?” you’re thinking.

And when the host nods approvingly after each sip, you nod, too — even though secretly you’re wondering what fool would pay money for this glorified paint thinner.

No need to worry about being exposed as an oenological ignoramus. You’re in good company when it comes tasting the same bottle differently than others do.

A recent study, published in the Journal of Wine Research, revealed a group of Montreal wine experts experienced the same wines differently than experts in British Columbia.

For the study, researchers from Concordia University and the University of British Columbia organized blind tastings in Montreal and B.C.’s Okanagan Valley.

The same seven wines were served to both groups, but the Montreal tasters were more inclined than their Okanagan counterparts to describe the wines as vegetal, acidic, and smelling of oak and spices.

‘The group of experts that work with us tend to favour fruit-forward wines,” said B.C.-based wine expert Karine Lawrence. ‘The French, Old World style is more austere.’ (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

When the Okanagan experts detected spicy aromas, they were more likely to give the wine a higher quality score. Wines that were identified as “taint/off-flavour” were given higher quality scores by the Montreal group.

In the B.C. tasting, three of the seven wines were scored for high berry aromas. In Montreal, it was the four other wines that had their berry notes highlighted.

And then there was wine #5 in the tasting, a 2015 Apothic Red.

It was ranked third-best by the wine experts in B.C. It came dead last in the Montreal tasting.

New World vs. Old World

Over the years, there have been several blind taste tests that have cast doubt about the objectivity and consistency of the wine industry’s trendsetters.

The most famous of these is the so-called Judgment of Paris. In 1976, a panel of the biggest names in French wine tasting agreed to take a blind test of a selection of bottles from France and California.

They assumed the French wines would carry the day. But the judges gave the highest scores, in both the red and white categories, to American bottles.

One judge was so ashamed of the results, she tried to take back her score card.

More recently, the wine world was turned on its head when Robert Hodgson, a California winemaker, published a study that revealed judges at the prestigious California State Fair competition awarded wildly different scores to glasses from the same bottle.

But the Concordia-UBC experiment doesn’t suggest wine tasting is an elaborate con job.

On the contrary. The blind tasting was conducted twice in each location, with the same wines and the same participants. The bottles received similar scores both times.

Bianca Grohmann, a marketing professor at Concordia University, was the study’s lead author. (Submitted by Concordia University )

Instead, the study explored what might account for the differences in how experts experience the same wine.

“We always assume that experts sort of agree on the quality attributes of a wine, but their training and background make a difference,” said Bianca Grohmann, the study’s lead author and a marketing professor at Concordia.

The Montreal tasters, eight in total, owed their expertise mainly to the sommelier tradition popular in France. They worked mainly as sommeliers or wine journalists.

The 14 British Columbia tasters, on the other hand, tended to be schooled in an approach that originated in the United Kingdom, known as the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Moreover, they worked at vineyards in the Okanagan Valley.

These different backgrounds, Grohmann said, help explain their contrasting takes on the Apothic Red.

A blend of California groups, the wine has been noted in the past for its sweetness, even having an engineered quality to its taste.

That’s a characteristic that’s tolerated, even prized, in New World wines. It’s considered a defect among adepts of the Old World style.

“The Montreal panel really reflected more of a European mindset where you have specifications as to what Bordeaux is and what a Chianti should be like,” said Grohmann.

“For New World wineries, blending is actually quite accepted and it’s something positive. It makes the wine pleasant and also more consistent.”

Old World wines, like those from the vineyards of Bordeaux, influenced how Montreal experts rated the wines, according to the study’s author. (Regis Duvignau/Reuters)

Everyone has their style

The results didn’t surprise Karine Lawrence, who runs the B.C. wine-consulting firm Sirocco and helped organize the Okanagan portion of the study.

“The group of experts that work with us tend to favour fruit-forward wines,” said Lawrence. “The French, Old World style is more austere, and is certainly less fruit-forward.”

The results of the study are likely to prove useful to wine merchants and markets. Sweet, blended reds, for instance, might have a harder time getting positive reviews in Montreal-based publications.

But wine educators also hope the study will help demystify the standards used to determine why some wines are worth drinking and others, not so much.

With wines now being made all around the world, their makers should no longer assume there is one set way a red or white should taste, said Nick Hamilton, a tasting instructor in Montreal.

“That really offends me. That’s like saying everyone has to like the same artist. That doesn’t make sense,” Hamilton said.

“Everyone has their preferences, and you might prefer a style of wine that is not really trendy. Don’t think you don’t have good taste just because you don’t like what the influencers are pushing.”


Source link

قالب وردپرس


Top 5 Analytics Trends That Are Shaping The Future





Digital transformation is increasingly becoming the focus for many CIOs around the world today—with analytics playing a fundamental role in driving the future of the digital economy.

While data is important to every business, it is necessary for businesses to have a firm grip on data analytics to allow them transform raw pieces of data into important insights. However, unlike the current trends in business intelligence—which is centred around data visualization—the future of data analytics would encompass a more contextual experience.

“The known data analytics development cycle is described in stages: from descriptive (what happened) to diagnostic (why did it happen), to discovery (what can we learn from it), to predictive (what is likely to happen), and, finally, to prescriptive analytics (what action is the best to take),” said Maurice op het Veld is a partner at KPMG Advisory in a report.

“Another way of looking at this is that data analytics initially “supported” the decision-making process but is now enabling “better” decisions than we can make on our own.”

Here are some of the current trends that arealready shaping the future of data analytics in individuals and businesses.

  1. Growth in mobile devices

With the number of mobile devices expanding to include watches, digital personal assistants, smartphones, smart glasses, in-car displays, to even video gaming systems, the final consumption plays a key role on the level of impact analytics can deliver.

Previously, most information consumers accessed were on a computer with sufficient room to view tables, charts and graphs filled with data, now, most consumers require information delivered in a format well optimized for whatever device they are currently viewing it on.

Therefore, the content must be personalized to fit the features of the user’s device and not just the user alone.

  1. Continuous Analytics

More and more businesses are relying on the Internet of Things (IoT) and their respective streaming data—which in turn shortens the time it takes to capture, analyze and react to the information gathered. Therefore, while analytics programspreviously were termed successful when results were delivered within days or weeks of processing, the future of analytics is bound to drastically reduce this benchmark to hours, minutes, seconds—and even milliseconds.

“All devices will be connected and exchange data within the “Internet of Things” and deliver enormous sets of data. Sensor data like location, weather, health, error messages, machine data, etc. will enable diagnostic and predictive analytics capabilities,” noted Maurice.

“We will be able to predict when machines will break down and plan maintenance repairs before it happens. Not only will this be cheaper, as you do not have to exchange supplies when it is not yet needed, but you can also increase uptime.”

  1. Augmented Data Preparation

During the process of data preparation, machine learning automation will begin to augment data profiling and data quality, enrichment, modelling, cataloguing and metadata development.

Newer techniques would include supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning which is bound to enhance the entire data preparation process. In contrast to previous processes—which depended on rule-based approach to data transformation—this current trend would involve advanced machine learning processes that would evolve based on recent data to become more precise at responding to changes in data.

  1. Augmented Data Discovery

Combined with the advancement in data preparation, a lot of these newer algorithms now allow information consumers to visualize and obtain relevant information within the data with more ease. Enhancements such as automatically revealing clusters, links, exceptions, correlation and predictions with pieces of data, eliminate the need for end users to build data models or write algorithms themselves.

This new form of augmented data discovery will lead to an increase in the number of citizen data scientist—which include information users who, with the aid of augmented assistance can now identify and respond to various patterns in data faster and a more distributed model.

  1. AugmentedData Science

It is important to note that the rise of citizen data scientist will not in any way eliminate the need for a data scientist who gathers and analyze data to discover profitable opportunities for the growth of a business. However, as these data scientists give room for citizen data scientists to perform the easier tasks, their overall analysis becomes more challenging and equally valuable to the business.

As time goes by, machine learning would be applied in other areas such as feature and model selection. This would free up some of the tasks performed by data scientist and allow them focus on the most important part of their job, which is to identify specific patterns in the data that can potentially transform business operations and ultimately increase revenue.

Continue Reading


Waterloo drone-maker Aeryon Labs bought by U.S. company for $265M






Waterloo’s Aeryon Labs has been bought by Oregon-based FLIR Systems Inc. for $256 million, or $200 million US.

The acquisition was announced Monday. 

Dave Kroetsch, co-founder and chief technology officer of Aeryon Labs, says not much will change in the foreseeable future.

“The Waterloo operations of Aeryon Labs will actually continue as they did yesterday with manufacturing, engineering and all the functions staying intact in Waterloo and ultimately, we see growing,” he said.

“The business here is very valuable to FLIR and our ability to sell internationally is a key piece of keeping these components of the business here in Canada.”

Aeroyn Labs builds high-performance drones that are sold to a variety of customers including military, police services and commercial businesses. The drones can provide high-resolution images for surveillance and reconnaissance.

The drones already include cameras and thermal technology from FLIR. Jim Cannon, president and CEO of FLIR Systems, said acquiring Aeryon Labs is part of the company’s strategy to move beyond sensors “to the development of complete solutions that save lives and livelihoods.”

‘A piece of a bigger solution’

Kroetsch said this is a good way for the company to grow into something bigger.

“We see the business evolving in much the direction our business has been headed over the last couple of years. And that’s moving beyond the drone as a product in and of itself as a drone as a piece of a bigger solution,” he said.

For example, FLIR bought a drone company that builds smaller drones that look like little helicopters.

“We can imagine integrating those with our drones, perhaps having ours carry their drones and drop them off,” he said.

FLIR also does border security systems, which Kroetsch says could use the drones to allow border agents to look over a hill where there have been issues.

“We see the opportunity there as something that we never could have done on our own but being involved with and part of a larger company that’s already providing these solutions today gives us access not only to these great applications, but also to some fantastic technologies,” he said.

Aeryon Labs has done a lot of work during emergency disasters, including in Philippines after Typhoon Hagupit in 2014, Ecuador after an earthquake in 2016 and the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016.


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading


Inuvik infrastructure may not be ready for climate change, says study






The Arctic is expected to get warmer and wetter by the end of this century and new research says that could mean trouble for infrastructure in Inuvik.

The study from Global Water Futures looked at how climate change could impact Havipak Creek — which crosses the Dempster Highway in Inuvik, N.W.T. — and it predicts some major water changes.

“They were quite distressing,” John Pomeroy, director of Global Water Futures and the study’s lead author, said of the findings.

Researchers used a climate model and a hydrological model to predict future weather and climate patterns in the region. They also looked at data gathered from 1960 to the present. 

If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate — which Pomeroy said they are on track to do — the study projects the region will be 6.1 C warmer by 2099 and precipitation, particularly rain, will increase by almost 40 per cent.

The study also found that the spring flood will be earlier and twice as large, and the permafrost will thaw an additional 25 centimetres. While the soil is expected to be wetter early in the summer, the study said it will be drier in late summer, meaning a higher risk of wildfires.

John Pomeroy is the director of Global Water Futures. (Erin Collins/CBC)

“The model’s painting kind of a different world than we’re living in right now for the Mackenzie Delta region,” Pomeroy said.

He noted these changes are not only expected for Havipak Creek, but also for “many, many creeks along the northern part of the Dempster [Highway].”

Pomeroy said the deeper permafrost thaw and a bigger spring flood could pose challenges for buildings, roads, culverts and crossings in the area that were designed with the 20th century climate in mind.

He said the projected growth of the snowpack and the spring flood are “of grave concern because that’s what washes out the Dempster [Highway] and damages infrastructure in the area.”

Culverts and bridges may have to be adjusted to allow room for greater stream flows, Pomeroy said. And building foundations that are dependent upon the ground staying frozen will have to be reinforced or redesigned.

Pomeroy said the ultimate solution is for humans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This study is the future we’re heading for, but it’s not the future we necessarily have if we can find a way to reduce those gases,” he said.  

“It’d be far smarter to get those emissions under control than to pay the terrible expenses for infrastructure and endangered safety of humans and destroyed ecosystems.”


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Continue Reading