This is just a festive season diversion.
Over the years I have built up a small collection of supposedly fine vintage wines, each of which has a period lasting for a few years (the so-called "plateau") during which it is said to be at its best for drinking. How to decide which of my wines should be ready to drink now? I turn to the experts.
The words used by wine experts to describe their tastings (e.g., tight-knit, closed/open, well-structured, lots of backbone, flexible, etc) could equally well be deployed in the reviews of esoteric hi-fi. In each case, impressions are all and nothing so vulgar as "measurements" is contemplated.
My favourite comment of all goes along the lines of: "I found that this 2005 first-growth claret has opened up considerably since I last tasted it in 2010". This statement has the beauty of being absoutely impossible to disprove, because by definition, the remaining bottles of the 2005 vintage have all now reached the same age, 11. There are no 5-year-old bottles available to compare, and the reviewer's memory becomes the sole arbiter.
Ring any bells?