In Defense Of White Wine (Thoughts On Expert Scores And Red Wine Bias)

Vinted on November 2, 2016 binned in commentary, wine news
Red wine bias

White wines get the review shaft (image: winecurmudgeon.com)

A little over a week ago, my friend Jeff Siegel published details by PhD Suneal Chaudhary, who analyzed over 64,000 wine scores, dating to the `70s, from “major wine magazines.” The study’s aim was to ascertain if red wines routinely receive higher point score reviews than white wines (other styles were presumably ignored).

Long-time 1WD readers know that I have become a big fan of statistically relevant data, and the data in this case (including how those data were handled) are, for sure, statistically relevant, in sample size, time duration, and applied analysis.

It’s dangerous to draw too many conclusions, but Jeff summed up the congruence of the findings with the common sense experiences of wine geeks everywhere nicely in his original post on the subject:

“We don’t pretend that these results are conclusive, given the variables involved. Red wines may be inherently better than white wines (though that seems difficult to believe). They certainly cost more to make, and that might affect the findings. The review process itself may have influenced the study. Not every critic publishes every wine he or she reviews, and those that were published may have been more favorable to reds than whites. And, third, the scoring process, flawed as it is, may have skewed the results regardless of what the critics did.

Still, given the size of the database, and size matters here, Suneal’s math shows something is going on. And that’s just not our conclusion. I asked three wine academics to review our work, and each agreed the numbers say that what is happening is more than a coincidence. That’s the point of the chart that illustrates this post – 90 percent of the 2010 red wines that we had scores for got 90 points or more.”

What to make of all of this?

Personally, I think that we wine geeks ought to be a bit more flabbergasted at the discrepancy, considering that, in general, white wines are superior to reds aromatically…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 31, 2016

Vinted on October 31, 2016 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 14 Kim Crawford Small Parcels Favourite Homestead Pinot Gris (Marlborough): Their favorite is quite a compelling house white pour. $28 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus Red (Sonoma County): Ok, now this is what I call doing right by a namesake. Huzzah! Huzzah! $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Per Cazo Cellars Chenin Blanc (Paso Robles): Heady perfume gingerly spritzed onto peaches and chalk, with enviable results. $27 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Vina Robles Suendero Red (Paso Robles): Brooding, brambly, big, but ultimately balanced & bountiful with basically everything. $55 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Minassian-Young Vineyards Old Oak Zinfandel (Paso Robles): Dark Lord of the Sith levels of depth, power, & personality complexity. $28 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Dutton Goldfield Dutton Ranch Gewurztraminer (Green Valley of Russian River Valley): A charming white for you charming lushes! $30 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Kruger-Rumpf Riesling Trocken (Nahe): Well, *that* is one biiiiiig bushel of fresh fresh fruits for a small-ish bushel of cash. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): The view from this lofty spot is simply, obviously, totally breathtaking $75 A >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Martin Ray Synthesis Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): The parts are coming together to make a compelling, modernly-styled whole. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Joseph Drouhin Saint-Veran (Maconnais): Like picking fresh peaches, slightly under-ripe and with some of the blossoms still intact. $19 B >>find this wine<<
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Balancing Peanuts (October 2016 Wine Product Roundup)

Vinted on October 26, 2016 binned in wine products

It’s once again time for the monthly wine product roundup here on 1WD, in which I delve into the sample pool of wine-related items that cannot actually be physically absorbed without serious risk of injury or death. Kind of like the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Anyway, this month brings us two totally-unrelated products, both of which I can recommend, but not without caveats (because, hey, that’s just the kind of gal that I am).

BalVino

image: BalVino Productions

The first item comes to us courtesy of BalVino Productions who, incidentally, are also offering a 10% discount on orders for 1WD readers (if you use the promo code 1WD2016 when ordering before December 31, 2016).  BalVino is a family outfit run by Jeff Burnett in Indiana, who crafts those insert-the-wine-bottle-neck-into-the-hole stands that can then be balanced if set on a flat, level surface.

Despite the too-clever-for-its-own-good company name, I thoroughly admired the quality and craftsmanship that went into the samples of the BalVino ($15.99 – $39.99, depending on the model) sent to me (one of which has a slot with a waiter’s friend corkscrew cleverly attached via magnet inside of it), both of which were hewn out of gorgeous cuts of wood. Personally, these types of balanced holders scare the bejeezus out of me, because I’m constantly worried that I’ll knock them over, but it takes a really good shove to get these things tipping if properly used…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For October 24, 2016

Vinted on October 24, 2016 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 14 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Bianco (Umbria): Not technically a bargain, but a big amount of bright, bouncy bianco bang for the buck. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Rosso (Umbria): Chewy in all of the right ways, particularly if al dente pasta & tomatoes are on deck. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Giesen The Brothers Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough): It ain't heavy; well, unless you count the volume of citrus, nettle & verve. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 13 Anaba Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): The bigger side of the Coast; and also the delightful, delicious, decidedly drinkable side. $36 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Anne Amie Vineyards Winemaker's Selection Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley): Earthy, juicy, supple, and oh-so-dangerously drinkable. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Vinzelles (Maconnais): So, this is apparently when the lemons all decided to get really, really sexy. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Joseph Drouhin Vaudon Chablis (Chablis): Apples, stones, peaches, paired with zing, zest, & texture that's both rough & artistic. $23 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Coppo Pomorosso (Barbera d'Asti): Enticing rawhide conjuring Bowie lyrics, like singing falsetto 'bout leather, leather everywhere $60 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Casal Thaulero Orsetto Oro Pecorino (Terre di Chieti): Familiar, exotic, delightful, delicious; if only Summer could last longer. $16 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Middleton Family Inconceivable Wines Terremoto '68 Rosso (Sicily): Go ahead, spring these Sicilian grapes on your Zin-loving buds. $25 B+ >>find this wine<<
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