This can be true at some more hard core spirit tastings and certainly at a large wine tasting. Now it is true for beer production as well.
The NY Times did a funny (and horrifying) story about Dogfish Head brewer Sam Calagione. This mad genius decided to produce a small patch of authentic South American Chicha, a brew that uses chewed up blue corn, the saliva do the job of the converting the starch into sugar.
They apparently had a panel of experts help in the chewing. They had a very difficult time.
Notice: No women were involved at all in this process.
Chew it Up, Spit it Out