The Daily Rant February 2012.3

Talking about things that matter a little!


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What are Wine Awards

I'm continuing to think about wine awards, what they are and why they should be awarded. I need your help folks! Let's pull together and develop a framework within which we can begin to set the parameters for awarding the Best Wine of the Year awards for 2012. Deliciousness, value, polarity, fun and price appreciation all seem to be worthy factors. What do you think? Which factor is number one?

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Comments

  • Your idea of different categories seems like a very good solution to the dilemma of what is a good wine. A popular "people's choice" (affordable $25 or less) and then a category for the rarefied percentiles of high points, or price.

    Feb 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 196,289

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am definitely going to work with the community to help define the categories!

    Feb 28, 2012 at 7:33 PM


  • Tulip Mania


    There they were in the Dutch Golden Age scrambling to purchase tulip bulbs. It is reported that the prices climbed to extraordinary highs then in February 1637 some bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. Then in a few years to follow the price fell and the investment bubble created by the frenzy to purchase bulbs deflated.
    With famous wine labels selling well over a day’s earnings for a mid level professional , today’s question when will this stop if appropriate. As long as people buy wine for the image and not the content it is easy for 5th Avenue to inflate individual wines. It has been my experience with wine that when a certain group of wineries price their wines so high that the price is ten to a hundred times what is was years ago, then other wine makers set in to fill the gap with quality wine.
    I have been drinking Cote du Rhône for several years now. Granted many are not blessed with a blend of 8 to 12 grape varieties but they don’t need to age 8 to 10 years before drinking either. I started drinking Chateauneuf du Pape back in the 60’s when you had to age them. I appreciate the ( as they like to say today, the old world style ) over the new world style where the fruit is up front and the wine can be drunk when it is much younger but does not necessary age long in most cases. I find that many producers of Cote du Rhône’s make a very nice wine and at a price I can afford to drink it often. Once in awhile I will stumble on a nice aged bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape at a reasonable price, but not so often any more.
    However when the market grows so do producers and I am sure we will see more Cote du Rhône makers improving their quality perhaps by blending in more different types of grapes to capture the nature of a good Chateauneuf du Pape and sell them at much lower prices.

    Mar 01, 2012 at 11:15 AM


  • Hi

    Could you please consider the possibility of entering wines into the awards with a world distribution as reviewing and scoring wines from boutique wineries lets say in California only available in the USA is useless to many of your readers and may I say Bloody Frustrating. It's good and to hear about them but not in the awards please.

    Thanks for a good read & watch, I look forward to Snooth most days


    Hugh Chadwick

    UK

    Mar 02, 2012 at 3:20 AM


  • Snooth User: lfc reds
    823019 66

    lol @ 16 100pt wines. So what happens if say 2013 is a better vintage? Are we going to a 110 pts system then?

    Mar 02, 2012 at 5:28 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 196,289

    Hugh, you've made an excellent point. I will break the wines down by region of origin!

    lfc - I say we just go to 200, I hear the 2015s will blow away the 2013s.

    Mar 02, 2012 at 6:00 PM


  • Snooth User: shsim
    Hand of Snooth
    1032666 1,286

    This is great! And I agree with lfc. Haha it is never going to end. I would like to see that happen. Haha Robert Parker giving 100 points and saying but oh these 2013 100 points are better than the 2009 100 points.

    Mar 02, 2012 at 6:28 PM


  • Snooth User: Keith55
    680872 22

    Just read this on Bloomberg ... thought I'd share: "The flavors described so effusively by top wine critics may not be shared by consumers who buy products based on their opinions, a researcher suggests."

    Mar 02, 2012 at 6:38 PM


  • Snooth User: Santiago53
    111056 10

    Huh? How DARE you suggest that there is money to be made by inflating scores? Are you implying there could be such a thing as a consortium of high-placed executives who would willingly engage in deceiving the public? Why, that's simply un-american! Oh but wait, most Bordeaux and Burgundy producers are ... French... Oh, mais bien sur, c'est la faute de l'influence Franzaise...

    You see, the solution is simple, rate them at 100 now, then 3 or 5 years and then again at years 7 and 9 from now, when the next "vintage of the century " appears, it'll be easy to rectify.... "oh, haha, it looks like they haven't aged as well as we thought they would"... but THIS super-vintage will undoubtedly hold up better.... so those 100's now look like 90's and the current 100's are actually super 100's!

    Yup. It's a winning bet, and if the Americans aren't stupid (or wealthy) enough to continue buying into it, well there are plenty of nouveau riche new wine drinkers in China ! And for them, there will be no need to question any writer about the ratings, because that 100 pt Petrus or Romanee-Conti at $5K a bottle sure mixes great with Coca-cola on the rocks!

    Mar 02, 2012 at 10:05 PM


  • Snooth User: Santiago53
    111056 10

    Oh, I forgot to mention, Parker is American (I think)... but my guess is he's been genetically altered from spending too much time guzzling French wines of the new 14.5% alcohol variety...

    Mar 02, 2012 at 10:07 PM


  • Snooth User: MReff
    Hand of Snooth
    97856 254

    I am 100 points on Greg's oration.

    Mar 03, 2012 at 10:15 AM


  • O.K. Snooth. Jump on the bandwagon and smear Parker. SOoooooo easy, huh? It's Parkers fault prices are high. NOTHING to do with production costs, the horrible exchange rate, NOTHING to do with Asian market demands, NOTHING to do with the ridiculous petroleum prices, transport, laid-in taxes, luxury import taxes, secondary-sale auction records...or greedy businesspersons.

    It's his job. It's what he DOES. Don't consult the periodical if you don't like it! Parker didn't ask to be the wine pope!

    You know what the wine world, wine biz, wine industry would be without the Wine Advocate? Go back and drink Burgundy from the early 70's. Drink good Bordeaux vintages. Like 1970 and 1975, let alone '63, '64, 65', 67, '69, '71, '72, '73, '74, '77, '79, you get the picture. You remember those wines? Now, THOSE are the kind of wines YOU should be drinking. Unripe, flawed, poorly made, thin, chaptalized and overly-sulphured...when you needed a vintage chart because so very few vintages were magnificent. Oh, if you can't find any don't worry-you didn't miss anything!

    You know people listen to you and believe your slanderous lies and jealousy about Parker? Would you rather be in wine's Dark Ages of early-1970's when retailers bought for fifty cents and sold for ten bucks? You know that nobody really enjoys character assassination and transparent jealousy of established professionals? You know it's bad manners and unprofessional?

    What a wimp and unprofessional poser. I sent a complimentary post to you last year on the merits of YOUR writing. I take it back. Today I dump your small, wanna-be opinions. I UNSUBSCRIBE your email notices, delete your IPhone app, and wish you cheap, innocuous plonk that won't overwhelm your lousy, bland cuisine.

    Mar 03, 2012 at 11:36 AM


  • O.K. Snooth. Jump on the bandwagon and smear Parker. SOoooooo easy, huh? It's Parkers fault prices are high. NOTHING to do with production costs, the horrible exchange rate, NOTHING to do with Asian market demands, NOTHING to do with the ridiculous petroleum prices, transport, laid-in taxes, luxury import taxes, secondary-sale auction records...or greedy businesspersons.

    It's his job. It's what he DOES. Don't consult the periodical if you don't like it! Parker didn't ask to be the wine pope!

    You know what the wine world, wine biz, wine industry would be without the Wine Advocate? Go back and drink Burgundy from the early 70's. Drink good Bordeaux vintages. Like 1970 and 1975, let alone '63, '64, 65', 67, '69, '71, '72, '73, '74, '77, '79, you get the picture. You remember those wines? Now, THOSE are the kind of wines YOU should be drinking. Unripe, flawed, poorly made, thin, chaptalized and overly-sulphured...when you needed a vintage chart because so very few vintages were magnificent. Oh, if you can't find any don't worry-you didn't miss anything!

    You know people listen to you and believe your slanderous lies and jealousy about Parker? Would you rather be in wine's Dark Ages of early-1970's when retailers bought for fifty cents and sold for ten bucks? You know that nobody really enjoys character assassination and transparent jealousy of established professionals? You know it's bad manners and unprofessional?

    What a wimp and unprofessional poser. I sent a complimentary post to you last year on the merits of YOUR writing. I take it back. Today I dump your small, wanna-be opinions. I UNSUBSCRIBE your email notices, delete your IPhone app, and wish you cheap, innocuous plonk that won't overwhelm your lousy, bland cuisine.

    Mar 03, 2012 at 11:36 AM


  • I came into the trade in the late 60’s and worked indirectly under Frank Schoonmaker’s tutelage.
    Frank taught me a simple way to learn and appreciate wine. Start with the Loire Valley wines from Muscadet to Sancerre and Fume Blanc. ( In those days the traditional wines were made the same way they had been made for decades, not like today where various grapes are blended for new styles and fruit flavor is pushed so that the terroir is not so noticeable.) The idea was to learn what the bench marks in each little commune was that the wine makers in that commune tried to imitate each year. Of course when vintages were not good then a lower bench mark was sot after.
    Learning wines this way allowed me to understand each region and the communes in that region thus appreciating the wines of that region. I also never answered the question: What is your favorite wine?
    My traditional answer is what dishes am I having today will determine what wines I will select from and what vintages are available. To limit yourself to three or four selection of wines is to forgo the opportunity to discover the beauty of wines made through out the world.
    Unfortunately here in America, our general public does not drink wine with lunch on weekends or dinner in the evenings. They have no fundamentals about wine and food pairing or the idea that wine is an essential to the dinner table like other condiments [ salt and pepper, other seasonings in the food ]. The public of which only a very small amount, actually drink wine, drink it more as a replacement for a cocktail at a bar or party then a dinning experience.
    As long as people insist on talking about the next new styles or 100 pointers, the people who follow these blogs for guidance will be lost from the endless joys of drinking simple wines with dinners. I think many of you who contribute to the blogs could better serve some of the blog readers if you sometimes f commented about the average wine found in the stores and restaurants in your area and rating them as bad, fair or good with the meals you have eaten.
    It would serve the readers much better than talking about an $80 bottle of wine that is two years old and needs to age a lot longer before it can really be appreciated. This Is a suggestion based on the fact that nearly 88% of the American public do not drink wine much and if you look at what they have to say about wine it is the same common story: “ I don’t know how to find wines I like. I find a wine at a bar or restaurant that I enjoy. Then go out and buy wines with the same grape name from other wineries or countries but the flavor of the wines are not the same and I do not like them as much in most cases. Therefore I think I will never understand wine, or how to find one I know I would like to drink before I chance on buying it. “

    Mar 03, 2012 at 12:28 PM


  • Snooth User: Keith55
    680872 22

    I would suggest that buying from a reputable wine merchant, where advice can be sought, and where there are frequently wines available to taste, should be the first stop of those that are unsure about what wine to buy. Although, this may not help a great deal with wine/food pairings it's probably a lot better than just buying a bottle of plonk with a nice label from the local supermarket.

    Mar 03, 2012 at 12:43 PM


  • I concur with both BRose and K55. Wine periodicals (from any source) should be used for guidance, if you need, while you develop your individual palate, knowledge base, and style preferences while cracking lots of bottles for reference. There is absolutely no better coach and mentor than your local, knowledgeable wine merchant, especially as they become acquainted with repeated purchases.

    I think most people wish the 100-point-system as well as grocery-store-plonk would go away.

    Mar 06, 2012 at 12:04 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 196,289

    Maybe that's why I specifically gave Parker his due in my rant.

    You obviously can change your mind about people based on very little, why the inability to see that Parker and the times have changed?

    I guess it's because you think Parker saved the world. Probably helps you to sell wine too?

    By the way, your ad hominem attacks strip you of any credibility you might have thought you enjoyed.

    You are vulgar for the sake of being vulgar, uninformed, petty, and witless.

    Which makes perfect sense given the gist of your comments.

    Mar 06, 2012 at 3:21 PM


  • Snooth User: gerrad
    79282 55

    completely agree with g.d.p. on this one. just today a similar thing happened here in perth. a talentless ex-newspaper journo who now writes about wine with no actuall training or industry background, recently gave a very large local producer his 'wine of the year' award - and 98points. strangely, he used to never score anything above about 95, yet this weekend alone he hands out 96, 97, and 98 to a different producer again. i think ive seen a good 10-15 wines this year he scored at 96+, which if you consider he only does one winery at a time ea. weekend.. and only 3 or 5 wines ea. time..its March! This mirrors Australias most famous wine scribe, a doyen of the industry, a national treasure..who never scored above 96 until about 5yrs ago and ' will never give 100pts' ..guess what, seems he changed his mind. back then a 90pt wine was good value if under $30, thats 18/20, almost a gold medal in a show. Ive seen these same people give a trophy and 18.5 to a wine in a show and some weeks later review the exact same wine and it gets 19.7! please explain. I initially modelled my scoring and tasting notes on this serial overscorer, but he has become a laughing stock of late and i have switched to the 20pt scale as it seems to provide me with a wider score range in which to move- not least of all because i was handing out 90+ for anything. with the 20pt scale good wines get high 17's, obscene wines get high 18's and life changing experiences maybe 19/20! 100pt scores are ridiculous especially for anything that isnt at its peak maturity- what a 3yo bordeaux isnt going to get any better EVER? smash the control images, smash the control machines.

    Mar 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM


  • Snooth User: gerrad
    79282 55

    now that ive actually (discovered and) watched your daily rant especially 'the parker-centric one'- (giggle) i triple my endorsement. i was actually responding to mr nichols ridiculous tirade and your response (g.d.p.)...and hadnt seen your rant (ever strangely) but watching it, i felt like you had flogged my script- i couldnt have said it better myself, although as you can see from my comments i was talking closer to (my) home. clearly these issues are universal and similarly there are those of us who chose to pull back the curtain and reveal the dottery senior masquerading as the wizard beneath- so to speak. like politics, religion and most other things..it just takes someone to be even a little bit honest and educate the populace on the truth of the matter. in this case wine, france and most of all (in its ugliest format)
    -FASHION.

    Mar 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM


  • I was going to write about the Tulip Craze but somebody beat me to it.

    It's a bottle of wine, fer cryin' out loud. You open it, you drink it, and it's gone in a matter of minutes. Some taste better than others, but some of those that do taste better than others can occasionally be found at prices that are very nearly reasonable. And some that taste pretty bad, at least to me, cost one heck of a lot of money.

    I like wine, gosh darn it, but I also like to be able to afford it.

    Mar 14, 2012 at 8:56 AM


  • Snooth User: mchrist
    1043757 1

    I feel point systems should be taken with a grain of salt. Wine is such a personal taste, there are as many opinions/ratings/points as there are wine drinkers. I find I can enjoy any varietal and any wineries wine depending on what food I pair it with. If I don't like a particular wine, I open another; someone will like it if I don't. Food and wine go hand in hand and I have been fortunate to be able to enjoy many different wines and foods in many countries and at home. Let' not fight about it, lifes too short!!

    Apr 09, 2012 at 11:13 AM


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