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Misc. Thoughts

February 8, 2009

I am seeing more and more number ratings being used in wine marketing/writing and really what do they mean?

You can look at a tool, say a knife, rate it and give it a score. But can you. I have collected knives for years and have three blocks worth. Victorinox, Henkell, Trident, Mac and and a weird Finnish model. All are good for purposes and at a time were all my favs. Some are better than others at certain tasks. But the thing is I choose my champion at the time of use and it may not be the proper choice. My Mac Santuko is better than my Henkell, but sometimes I want to use it. The point it I want to use what I want at that given moment.

So wine. The wine is tasted in the moment and that moment will never exist again, therefore a number is useless. If the wine was tasted in a vacuum then that's what the number is good for; tasting in a vacuum. Environmental issues impact the taste significantly. Think about when you have a wine and remember it as better the first time. The was probably the same and it was you that was different. Were you cold, hot, had your cat just peed on the bed to let you find our way home, were you hungry, with friends, forced to listen to Brittany or were you having fun.

To me wine always tastes better with friends, music and food. That is why I try to explain the circumstances of my tasting. That is why I can't give you a number. A prime example happened after class last Monday. After tasting some doctored wine, smelling aroma samples and then some Syrah, I opened a bottle that I really liked last summer. It tasted thin, acidic and just not good. I bet I loved it last year and gave it a rave review. At that time it was good to me, but that night it wasn't, or have my tastes changed?

I refuse to read the Wine Spectator. Mr Parker has just way too much power and people buy to his numbers. What do they mean. Is that 98 relative to perfection or is it 98 to a $20 Boones Farm. Is it done blind or are the advertising purchase numbers sitting on the table. Don't laugh: I remember a stereo magazine which seemed to rate equipment based on ad space bought. I am not implying anything but like I say, nothing can be done in a vacuum.

Friday night Swiffty mentions to me that based on a glass of wine he bought at the bar that I have no taste. Ahhh I reply, a bar is not a good sampling place a the wine may have sat open on the back bar (on top of the coolers) cooking for several hours or days. A bad sample??? Who knows. Just like the fellow that wrote a wine review based on a glass he bought while having dinner at Babo, which is one of Mario Batali's restaurants. He loved it…one glass, while at a great restaurant, owned by one whom I am not worthy to be in his shadow…..I bet it tasted good.

So what do I mean by all this. Drink what you like. It will change and flow, but don't let a reviewer alter your tastes. I don't really like big reds, but hey Sir Rod does and we meet in the Barolo aisle. Today I'm off for some Cab/Merlot. I don't fancy Merlot, nor Mr Parker and Rolland's views but is agree with the Cab/Merlot thing. Its good, they are not…haha…watch Mondo Vino and you will understand.

Tootles and have some wine!

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