One can assume that we are all familiar with the notion that the key to tasting many wines in succession (especially young wine or wine from barrel) is staying hydrated and refreshing and clearing the palate with water often. Winemonkey and I had fairly recently surmised -- after attending many big and boisterous tastings of hundreds of wines -- that sparkling water does the trick better than the still stuff. " Much superior!" we discerned.
Always ready to reveal both sides of any issue, here is what our -- dare we say -- wine idol had to say about our shrewd perception...
Decanter Magazine: Is it true sparkling water is better for this (rinsing the palate)?
Broadbent: Complete poppycock.
Oh well. Here's to 50 years experience in wine. :)