I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dom Cicchetti, a member of our wine club in New Haven, CT.
Dom was an avid wine lover and I can vividly recall the look of glee whenever he was talking about wine. Dom was eclectic in his choice of wine and wasn’t fastidious. Someone who knew him well was Dr. Ami Klin, of Emory University. He referred to the Vineyard Adaptive Behavior Scales which he co-authored with his late wife Dr. Sara Sparrow as a
‘paradigm shift’ that changed countless lives for the better.
“Friends,” said Klin, “knew they were in the inner circle when they received a bottle of wine along with a bottle of oral history from Dr. Cicchetti detailing the beverage and the culture they created.” Not surprisingly, his research on wine was also regularly published in many journals.
Dom was a longtime professor at the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Health and influenced many other areas of clinical medicine and psychology. He was a prolific writer whose work was internationally recognized especially for his conceptual and empirical contributions and innovations in behavioral health and in determining the reliability of measurement tools.
One of his recent contributions to the world of wine was his work “Replicate blind tasting of South African wines.” The Abstract reads: ‘Wine judges were randomly selected from the membership of the American Association of Wine Economists to participate in a blind triplicate tasting of two South African varietals: one Sauvignon Blanc and one Pinotage, as well as a blind tasting of a single pouring of five additional Sauvignon Blanc wines and five additional Pinotage wines. It was hypothesized that those wine tasters who scored the triplicate wines reliably would also score the single pour wines reliably, and conversely, those who were unreliable on the triplicate wines would also be unreliable on the additional five wines. The results were substantially confirmative for the Sauvignon varietals, but only minimally confirmative for the Pinotage varietals. Two possible reasons are, first, the simpler structure of Sauvignon Blanc (a white wine) and possible palate fatigue for the more complex Pinotage (a red wine).
In honor of Dom and with his prior permission, I would be happy to send a pdf copy of the above publication to anyone who requests one by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.