I am sad to depart my Skeptics In The Pub community in Little Rock, and especially my cohost of three years. Ben is in the alcohol business, and brings the drinking to our “drinking and critical thinking”. For years, YEARS, Ben has wowed us with his knowledge of winemaking and tasting. Conversations with Ben were full of ‘earthy notes’, ‘tannins’, and the quality of soil from all over the world.

Then I read several articles about the unreliable science of winetasting.

I KNEW HE WAS MAKING IT ALL UP!

Do we really taste what we want to taste? To test this myself, at our Reason In The Rock presentation I planned a prank. My lovely wife ‘ran off to the bar’ to provide us with two pints, our usual stage props. Instead she poured him a non-alcoholic O’Douls. Despite her sweaty palms and nervous delivery he was none the wiser. He drank the entire beer onstage during and after our demonstration with homeopathy, and then I sprang it on him. (video begins at the prank)

I just saw the video for the first time a few minutes ago and couldn’t stop laughing at his reaction.

“How do you feel, Ben?”

“Not drunk.”

↓ Transcript
CRAIG
First, swirl the glass, then sip. Can you taste the earthy notes?

ROB
It's very a very bold wine.
CRAIG
Good! Also with flavors of oak and cherry.

CRAIG
Kate, this is a wine tasting, not a wine drinking.
KATE
And it tastes delicious!

MITCH
I'm detecting a hint of - grapes?
CRAIG
Very good, Mitch.

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