Regional panels of ARC participants were convened to taste the trial wines and gather sensory information including difference and preference evaluations. The sensory evaluations were structured and data analyzed by Larry Brooks, Instructor for Sensory Analysis at Fresno State University. All of these tests were presented to the groups as a triangle/preference test. This is a test in which three glasses are presented blind to the tasters. Two of the three are identical, and one is different. The tasters have two tasks. First to identify correctly which two are similar and which one different. Secondly to make a preference between them. This type of test is recommended when there is a small group of technical tasters as was the case here. The probability of guessing correctly with this test is low – only one in six.
The number of correct answers to achieve a statistical variance of less than 5% depends on the number of tasters. For ten tasters it is seven. For twenty it would be eleven. Results were held to the 5% standard, which some hold to be overly rigorous for sensory work. It remains the scientific standard, but it should be kept in mind that this is a very high bar for the sensory realm.
ARC Member Labs
ARC member labs are expected to perform routine juice, must and wine analysis as required for ARC trial data generation. Some member labs may volunteer to run all the analyses for the ARC members participating in a particular trial if consistency is paramount and the laboratory analysis is not overly technical.
ETS Laboratories is the preferred analytical partner for ARC trial analyses. Founder and Owner Gordon Burns has generously volunteered the expertise of Dr. Richard DeScenzo and Dr. Eric Herve to act on the ARC Advisory Council and to consult with ARC members on the appropriate analytical methods for use in specific trials.
The SARCO Laboratory in Bordeaux France is a division of Laffort and will be utilized for select analyses.