Sigh… Here we go. Again.
It seems the 100 point wine rating scale debate – and its subsequent delineation of ivory-tower criticism vs. crowd-sourced wine recommendations – has once again reared its ugly head, though since it’s a zombie topic that’s never quite dead, it doesn’t have to raise its moaning, rotting head very far to push itself back into the wine geek consciousness.
We begin with an article by my friend Jonathan Cristaldi, itself a reprise and update of a piece that was first penned and published in 2013, in which Jonathan discusses the relevance of the 100 point wine rating scale his future view of wine recommendations:
The future of wine ratings is a future of recommendations, not points or scores, from socially active wine enthusiasts and industry professionals who cultivate their own following and hold court over a sphere of influence. Experience and education imbues the passionate wine enthusiast with the kind of knowledge and confidence to entertain and communicate what is complex about wine, what is fun about wine–socially active oenophiles who post photos of labels and talk about wine in the vernacular will emerge as the collective voice for wine drinkers of the future. More and more people will learn of wine’s complexities through social engagement. Friends and confidants (trade and non-trade) will replace the lone critic and his bully pulpit. Wine drinkers will realize the power and worth of a discerning palate because of the value their friends place on such expectations.
This spurred a rebuttal by another friend of mine, Steve Heimoff, formerly of Wine Enthusiast, via his blog:
Proof? There is none. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” the old nursery rhyme tells us. Merely wishing that individual critics will fade away, in favor of crowd-sourced opinions spread via social media, is the biggest wish-fantasy around. When Cristaldi tells us that “Friends and confidants will replace the lone wine critic,” he has absolutely no proof; no evidence supports it, except anecdotally; and even if the Baby Boomer critics, like Parker, are retiring or dying off, there is no reason to think that their places will not be taken by Millennials who just might be the future Parkers and Tanzers and Gallonis and Laubes and Wongs and, yes, Heimoffs.
Ok, folks, I cannot resist chiming in on this, so here goes…
Read the rest of this stuff »
“This is the end… beautiful friend… the end…”
As we wrap up the June 2015 Wine.Answers.com articles, it’s with bittersweet emotion that I tell you that we’re also wrapping up my stint at Answers.com, a gig that kicked off over two years ago and that resulted in nearly two hundred (!) articles. Answers is winding down the entire expert article program (just FYI, in case you’re following any of the other expert areas there).
I find it interesting that, when I tell people that a gig like this is ending, I invariably get a “oh that sucks” response, which is the polar opposite of my “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity” response. I mean, I made some money talking about wine on a very high-profile online presence, and did it for longer than I’d ever expected it to have lasted. The only sucky part is the reduction of income, which I don’t see as permanent. But maybe I’m weird?
Anyway, here are the final four:
Three Reasons Why 2015 Is The Most Competitive Wine Market Ever
I couldn’t resist this one, since it’s the crux of my opening point from the speaking gigs I did recently with Full Circle Wine Solutions. Seriously, if you’re in the biz, get all of your excuses out now, because they all suck and sound pathetic: we are in the midst of the most competitive wine market in the history of planet Earth.
Wine Book Review: “Ancient Wine” by Patrick E. McGovern
McGovern is a Philly guy. So maybe I am biased. But… he writes a hell of an interesting book when it comes to wine history. This one is a bit academic and at times difficult to follow, but it’s so packed with excellent information that I’d encourage you to pick it up.
Sicily did NOT suck
Five Wine Producers to Watch from Sicily
Obviously a result of my recent jaunt there. There is much, much, much more to come from that, but I need to get my act together on a bunch of things first. But trust me, you will want to stick around for that, because it includes a never-before-attempted Ben Ryé vertical… just sayin’…
Wine Product Review: Peugeot Clef du Vin Travel Wine Tool
I couldn’t let this one go, I had to review this sample of the Clef du Vin before the Answers gig ended. And… well… I just don’t know… I mean, yeah, it affects the taste of the wine… BUT… Just read the review, and you’ll see what I mean.