Spurred on by Robert Parker’s unheard of additions to several perfect wines last year, where 100-pointers denoted with asterisks (100-pointers that were better than previous 100-pointers) rocked the wine world and threw collectors for a loop as they rushed to replace their perfect – yet asterisks-free –100-point wines with the new and improved 100* wines.
The early plans, a leaked copy of which was obtained by Snooth, proposed a simple addition of asterisks to denote ever-increasing quality – the asterisks being “the new black.” A 100*** wine obviously being better than a 100** wine and so on. The talks over the asterisks broke down when critics who have used asterisks in the past, generally without the 100-point prefix, entered the fray and complained that this new scale would devalue their asterisks-driven scale and cause even more confusion.
It was argued that the existing scale, used in conjunction with asterisks, would just cause additional discomfort in the marketplace. The idea that a *100-point wine might be considered as simply an acceptable 100-point wine, and a ***100 point wine might only be deemed a ‘good’ 100-point wine frightened collectors and critics alike. “The point here is to make 100-point wine more attractive, not less attractive,” a panel member was overheard lamenting as he floated down Mandalay Bay’s Lazy River.
Later that day, over free drinks during Dierks Bentley’s Jagermeister Country Tour, several prominent British critics proposed extending the 100-point scale to 110 or even 120 points. Objections similar to those raised in reference to the asterisks program came up, and it was decided that with the current trends in the wine market and grade inflation, an extra 10 or 20 points may not prove up to the task.
The Italian contingent offered up a simple suggestion, adding between one and three red shrimps to the 100-point scores. This just caused several groups to plan an assault on the buffet, while the Spaniards searched for garlic, then took a nap.
Discussions around the craps tables shortly thereafter indicated that the asterisks and a simple layering-on of points addition were dismissed; and when the buffet ran out of crab legs, this mighty group of critics and authors retreated to the penny slots room where confusion reigned. “How is this penny slots if I’m betting a dollar a pull?” was batted around the room several times as competing critics attempted to understand the arcane rules governing multi-line payouts and max bet prizes.
It was here, during a brief moment of victory, that the solution was discovered while 1000 pennies poured forth from a well-known Elvis Multi-Strike machine (“It’s by the entrance so you know it’s loose,” commented one English critic). While confirming that 1000 pennies were in fact paid out, it occurred to the famous American critic that therein laid the solution they had been looking for.
The solution is a revolutionary 1000-point scale! Now just like the 100-point scale is not a true 100-point scale – after all, wines can only be scored between 50 and 100, with the vast majority being awarded between 80 and 100 points – this 1000-point scale is actually only a one point scale, used only to differentiate between 100 point wines.