How to Become an Expert

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Reader Comments (42)

True Story: I worked at a McDonald's for much longer than I should have, and it was primarily the free Coca-Cola that kept me there.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Bah. Shameless McDonald's plug. I hope they paid you well.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Chosen One

I worked at McDonald's for about a year and a half and developed a strong dislike for Coca-Cola. I stayed that long because I needed a job, and I had one there.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKristina L

Mexico. Mexican coke freakin' rocks.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Reilly

But it's watered down

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoto13

Lies! McDonald's does not have Sun Drop, the Cadillac of sodas! As such, it cannot have the best soda! I'm afraid I must question your pallet, sir.

I was going to try Sun Drop once, but the inclusion of vegetable oil in the ingredients scared me off. Seems like taking something generally bad for you and making it much worse. ~Missy

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDescriptor

The best soda comes from cans, or glass bottles, uses real sugar cane and isn't diet.

The mix at any fast food joint is too syrupy and flat. I can't stand it, not that I eat at fast food chains unless it's the only viable option.

A local ice cream shop also ruined fast food milkshakes/frappes for me.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Irn-Bru made in Scotland - from Girders!

Really it tastes awful but so does Coca-Cola. It's just an awful taste that has become familiar.
Wiki says:
It has long been the most popular soft drink in Scotland, with Coca-Cola second, but recent competition between the two brands has brought their sales to roughly equal levels. It is also the third best selling soft drink in the UK, after Coca-Cola and Pepsi, outselling high-profile brands such as Fanta, Dr Pepper, Sprite and 7-Up.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike Geordie Brown

Congratz on winning superbowl :)

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwickedragon

Ha for panel two. A French accent helps you sound just dignified and condescending enough to trick people into thinking your an expert on anything that is primarily subjective, but I find an Italian one gets people to enjoy listening to your descriptions. Plus, people aren't as likely to make surrender jokes. If it is something fully quantifiable and objective, the British accent, combined with a bit of math beyond your statistics, works far better than anything else.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenteraSimplerSimon

The fun thing is that studies have repeatedly shown that, barring the very bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, cheaper wines taste better than expensive ones, even to professionals (take the labels off wine bottles, give them to tasters, have them rank them). The one exception is older professional wine tasters, who do tend to prefer more expensive wines.

As such, it seems that the one group you should not trust to recommend wines are those with the most experience doing so.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGDwarf

I don't know about the US, but the cola at McDonald's here is downright terrible.

As is pretty much anything they sell there, so I suppose it goes well with their burgers.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWesley

Not just Mexico, also Canada. Pretty much anywhere that puts cane sugar instead of corn syrup.

I actually realized lately that I used to loathe diet soda as a child. Now, I don't find it tastes that different. I thought it was because my taste buds were more sensitive as a child, but I think the more awful truth, is that HFCS and aspartame are about the same level of "meh". So I literally drink diet soda now, because regular soda doesn't legitimately taste any better. Just a slightly different flavor of awful.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZee

The best is chilled Coca Cola in a glass bottle, that mist gently rising off as you open the bottle. Perfect. Far superior to anything else, even coke in any other container.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Awww. I was hoping for another "Mr. Pibb" shout-out.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Walters

Justin: Coke from anywhere outside of the US is sweetened with sugar instead of HFCS. That's the difference you're tasting with Coke from Mexico, and you'll taste it pretty much anywhere.

So what you really mean is "American Coke freakin' sucks".

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwintermute

I recommend a fun book called "Tastes of Paradise," which is about the effects of nicotine, caffeine, and chocolate on Europe, and the shift toward them and away from alcohol. There were real debates centuries ago about the downsides to waking up completely all at once in the morning with tea/coffee, as opposed to the gradual slide into wakefulness from a nice big bowl of beer porridge.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

I can't believe this hasn't devolved into a debate between the use of the words "Soda" and "Pop" and the always popular "Soda Pop" with occasional reference to the Texan "Coke" as a reference to any type of carbonated non-alcoholic beverage.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Wow. Hipster soda snobs. It was bad enough when beer turned into some hipster snob drink, but soda??

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMoon

I would totally read a pop sommelier blog, especially if it compared lots of types of Root Beer. Root Beer has such a wide range of accepted tastes.

Also, Nice job avoiding the "pop" vs "soda" debate with the use of "soda pop".

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Jolt! cola is the best. Not sure why you didn't mention it.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterXuuths

Bah. Shameless McDonald's plug. I hope they paid you well.

I love the idea that McDonald's marketing army might chose BI as a key market to invest in, rather than it just being Scott's personal preference.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaf

I see the Mexican coke myth is still alive and well.
Mexican coke does, in fact, have HFCS in it, as well as cane sugar. Both of which should be avoided for the same reason. Also, you need more cane sugar to achieve the same level of sweetness then you need with HFCS.
I suspect McDonalds seems to have the best flavor because of their straw size.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeekoid

There's a corner grocery near my house that carries Stewart's Cream Soda and Stewart's Key Lime soda. Awesome. Their cola's just a bit syrupy for me, though.

Right on about Mexican Coca-Cola. Real sugar makes the difference.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike Flugennock

I used to judge the fountain sodas of various restaurants in a similar matter. I would point out that the syrup and carbonation ratios varied, and this could make a huge difference as to the enjoyability of the soft drink, to which my friends reluctantly agreed.

Soda just doesn't get the respect it deserves, for being such an oft-consumed beverage in this country. Wine, sure; craft beers are huge now, too. Talk about how you value one type of cola over another, though, and suddenly it's "dude, really, who cares? It's just soda."

Or, uh, pop, soda pop, or coke. Depending on where you are.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Key lime soda? I sure hope they don't sell that anywhere in the twin cities, or my bank account is going to suffer for sure!

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd Anderson

It's true. Somehow, soda really is magically best from McDonalds. I've read that it's because of a regimented cleaning schedule for the soda machine's tubes, and the fact that it's not mixed together until right before being served, preserving fizz better than other shipped formats.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Mexican Coke is friggin' awesome. So is the Mountain Dew in glass bottles. Oh, and congratulations Scott! I was rooting for Seattle silently all night.

February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

If anyone would hire a soda sommelier, it's this joint:

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter1Mac

Advice from an authentic french (hence: it has to be true):
German taste isn't seen as generally great but I give them the ultimate taste for Coke. While Europa was accepting stupidly the end of glass bottles they never did. You can have a pint in a nice bottle and it tastes better than any other I drank. BTW I can't explain why but US Coke in fast food overall tastes odd to me and not in a good way.

Voilà messieurs, now you know where to get your Coke. May be a bit far away for some but that's what you get to live far from everything in the US.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGrégory

It's true! The Dr. Pepper from Mickey D's is SOOO delicious. I often go there just to get a $1 soda. Then, I go home or to some other fast food restaurant to get my food.
Don't judge me!

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeshka

First, Royal Crown Cola is the ONLY cola I would consider drinking (I haven't drunk a carbonated beverage in 30 years) and second, the only way to enjoy a carbonated beverage is over crushed or chipped ice, which is how they were served at Dairy Queen the last time I drank one. (I have no idea if RC or DQ are still in business, cuz I don't do fast food any more, either.)

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSunny

Oh dear... I feel out of place - I much prefer Pepsi Max to Coke...

Jamaican Ginger Beer trumps all, though.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatrik

Dear god, anyone who has seen the inners of the machines used to mix the sodas on site (such as guns and dispensers) would never recommend them again.

Foul things. Watching what comes out when they are occasionally flushed clean could put you off all drinks forever.

Bottles and cans are much better.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStevens

The thing about McDonalds is they do a little different ratio of the water/syrup, AND they have extra wide straws.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Mexican Coke is the best choice for a Cuba Libre. At university, I developed a taste for Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic, which is actually flavored with extract of celery seed. Sarsaparilla is good, too.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

Coca Cola from Mexico tastes better because they use sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdeimos

re: @ Wesley
"I don't know about the US, but the cola at McDonald's here is downright terrible.

As is pretty much anything they sell there, so I suppose it goes well with their burgers."

You complain, but you don't tell us where "here" is. Based on your name, I can only assume you're an acting ensign on the U.S.S. Enterprise! So, is the cola in 10-Forward any better than in space-McDonald's?

February 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterthe wesley crusher

I don't know WHAT it is about McDonalds' coke and Taco Bell's Mountain Dew but they taste the best out of anywhere else and go PERFECTLY with the food.

February 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I wanted to be the first to mention the nectar of angels which is cream soda, but I'm not.

February 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSimes
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