I am definitely not a gourmet when it comes to food and drink. My senses of taste and smell are not highly developed and I do not frequent fancy restaurants. My idea of a good eating experience is to order familiar take out dishes from local Chinese, Thai, Indian, and Mexican restaurants. My reaction to food consists of just three categories: good, okay, or bad.
I also do not drink alcohol of any kind, never having acquired the taste for it. So in social settings where the conversation turns to food or wine, I usually sit silently when people discuss the finer points. It turns out, though, that the people discussing wine so knowledgeably may actually not have a much more discerning palate than my own coarse one.
David Derbyshire reports that even professional wine tasters who judge competitions seem to be highly variable in their judgments. In one experiment they were even unable to distinguish between red and white wine.