Wine Talk

Snooth User: robertjcook

6 Wines Everyone Shold Recognize

Posted by robertjcook, Jan 19, 2011.

The above article by Gregory Dal Paiz should have noted that these wines are so recognizable because of advertising, not the quality of the wines nor the design of their labels. They are all ordinary wines that are very over-priced - half of what you are paying for is the cost of advertising. For example, at we have shown that the Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, regularly $19 a bottle, should cost no more than $10 based on its ratings by wine critics. Wine Spectator rated the 2006 at 82. Wine Enthusiast rated the the 2005, 2006, 2007,and the 2008 at 86. Robert Parker, Wine & Spirits and the Beverage Testing Institute have not bothered to rate it. We rated the 2007 at 86. In other words, it is an ordinary wine with no distinqishing features, positive or negative.


Reply by dmcker, Jan 19, 2011.

I hear you loud and clear on this subject.

One thing that has been painful to watch is how Snooth editorial is impacted by Snooth sales imperatives. IMHO, Greg and any others in the editorial group need more independence from the prods and pulls and shapings and misguided direction from sales, whether regarding content or format. As Snooth content has mushroomed, and its orientation focused more efficiently towards the bottom line, I feel a threshold has been crossed whereby I have to take most everything presented with at least a couple grains of salt, and spend a moment or two wondering about motivations behind each article, particularly. 

Too much direct mail volume has led to a crossing of my annoyance threshold, and too much obviously-commercial orientation has soured the reading experience, even though Greg and others are still doing a lot of good work.

Things always go haywire when the advertising department runs the news department....

Reply by hhotdog, Jan 19, 2011.

i gotta say that the bottles are easily recognized...i have had the ruffino and the kendall jackson.  i really have to admit that i have gone back to the ruffino gold label once or twice in the past year or two. it was always good. .  i tend to stay away from the "big" labels" unless in a bind!  i like to try the "little guys" if possible first.  

not too sure if the article is really about what you are saying guys..."let's see how they, and you, do!" seems to be the idea here?  i do get the quality point but i don't think the idea is about high quality wines.  the ruffino gold label is not all that present in advertising as the yellow tail(i don't drink the yellow tail).  i think i will have to look to GDP to find out where he was in his thoughts when he wrote it. i think this says it all?:

Marketers say to shop with our eyes, and we do, but more importantly, by creating iconic images, designers and consultants not only earn a nice fee but develop a reputation for success -- and we know what that means.

So, do wine labels really work? Can you tell from a glance what label you're looking at? If you're running through the store, these labels should jump right out at you. Let's see how they, and you, do

Read more:

 just a starter in comparison to the wise snoothers i look up to here...what do i know... 

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jan 20, 2011.

This was simply a firs quiz that was done for fun. Zero input from anybody but if you are going to put together a quiz with the most recognizable albels you are going to end up with big heavily promoted brands. There's no point in putting together a quiz with really obscure lables that no one jnows about now, is there.

Well I actually do have that built but am saving it for future use.

And DM, things will be evolving slowly over the coming months in order to respond to your complaints. It's a slow process but things are being hammered out.

And to Robert. Who cares? Points are so important that you've built a pricing model around the? Sso how does that work? Is a 92 point Beaujolais supposed to cost the same as a 92 Cabernet, Zinfadel or Burgundy? Does vintage or age matter at all?

These wines are popular for seral reasons, and I will say that the Riserva Ducale is super popular and the best of this bunch, though the Corgon Negro is a fine bottle as well, but these are popular wines and are being sold for what they are worth. What they are worth is what people will pay for them, and millions of people have made that decision. Who are we to say that they are wrong?

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 20, 2011.

In Gregs defence, I must admit I took no philosophical or vinuous offence to Gregs article.

Popular lables are popular labels because people buy them.

Yellowtail is a case in point.

It basically only exists because lots of Americans keep buying it, why is a mystery to most Australians because its domestic consumption is significantly less than US consumption.

I might add it is made to suit the palate of the average [I know terrible concept but...] US palate which is sweeter than most other countries - you do have bread made with sugar added in the US.

Consumption of cheap mass produced food and beveridge is the domain of the US - given the US invented McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Taco Belle etc etc oh yes and Gallo Jug Wine

I think Gallo is still the largest single producer of wine in the world and I think up until about 2000 they produced more wine than Australia in total.

anyway my point is that I don't think Greg violated any Snooth philosophy as it meerly pointed out some popular brands.  Bit like a car forum reminding us that at one stage the highest selling car in the US was the Ford Explorer which has to be close to the worse car made in the history of Detroit.

Reply by hhotdog, Jan 20, 2011.

the pinto (went boom when hit in the rear and ford new it!)and the pacer(just ugly) come to mind as the worst cars ever built in america...the explorer...not in that league for sure. the 2011 has recieved a lot of praise these days. 

Jan 13, 2011 ... Ford Explorer won Truck of the Year at Detroit auto show; ... happy to see our favorite truck and truck manufacturer getting the accolades. ... .html

ok...i own a ford f-150 crew cab(verty similar to the explorer but beefier).  ok... i'll jump off the soap box now...

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 20, 2011.


I certainly hope that Ford have got better a making explorer but the SUV version of 10 years ago was a bucket of bolts and we had a lot of F100 and F150 owners here who bought them only to be really crapped off with the product. 

I act for one of our local Ford Dealers and the Explorer was disastrous for them.  Toyota totally dominted and still does dominate the SUV/off road vehicle market.  F150's sell OK and is popular with people who tow boats and other big trailer type things!

Anyway we all need soapboxes occasionally

Reply by hhotdog, Jan 21, 2011.

i hear ya SH... it appears toyota has had some problems as well recently. hmm...i own a toyota as well. it seems no matter what, wine has been better to me these days! maybe the soap box has better emissions than the vehicles we drive?  lol!

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 21, 2011.

yeah, if only we could spend 10% of what we spend on cars on wine

Thats depressing - We have 3 cars soon to be 4 [because I have a wife and 2 boys at Uni/College], makes $500 abottle of wine seem cheap!!!

Our government taxes the crap out of cars and petrol too - its even more stop thinking about it its only 1 hour until beer o'clock on a Friday.....that eases the depression

Reply by hhotdog, Jan 23, 2011.

it's always "beer o'clock" someplace!  things looking better already!!


S.H. you know of a wine called Ferngrove 2005 shiraz...just an everydayer...but curious about them?


Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 23, 2011.


Not a bad quaffer from Frankland River in WA.  I don't drink it very often but if it is the choice at an event etc it is not a bad one have.

Reply by hhotdog, Jan 24, 2011.

thanks SH...paid $7 for it gave it a shot not bad everydayer for the $...screw capper as well,no corked bottle issues here! not to often you get a everydayer for that price.  not very knowledgable in the ausie wine depot...need to try some more!!  just another late nighter here in snoothzonia! 

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 24, 2011.

$7 is super cheap, we usually pay around $15 maybe 10-12 on special

Being 05 must have been imported when exchange rate was around 75c

Reply by widarlu, Jan 24, 2011.

i want to add 1990 Chateau Belair 1st Grand Cru Bordeaux France to the list of wines u should recognize ;)

Reply by hhotdog, Jan 26, 2011.

picked up a coulpe more SH to have around for a nice everydayer. thanks for info as always SH! nite all.

Reply by VegasOenophile, Jan 26, 2011.

It is an interesting point indeed.  Prices are determined by the market in many cases more so than the uality of the wine or even the cost to produce it.  Are the super premium wines worth their aking price?  Harlan?  Screaming Eagle?  I have had some really oustanding bottles of wine for under $15 and I have had some really outstanding wines that cost $100.  A point that is made regularly regarding wine perhaps needs to be made again.  Taste is almost utterly subjective.  I think the new Lotuses are ugly and lacking in the appointments to make the car worth the price, but plenty of people are paying for them, aren't they?  Enjoy what you enjoy.  Small producers or huge bulk produced wine.  If you like it and it's worth the money to you, then great!

Reply by robertjcook, Jan 26, 2011.

Taste is subjective, but when a particular wine is rated well by five or six different wine critics (Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Steve Tanzer, etc.) and has won several medals, you can rely on it being of reasonable qualty. Its style is a matter of choice, but its quality is undeniable. Gregory Dal Paiz's six wines that we should all recognize have been rated many times by the critics with consensus ratings of 86 or 87, which means they are good wines without any distrinctive attributes. Two are over-priced based on their quality - Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio and Ruffino Ducale Riserva; four are Best Buys and are worth buying if you like their style - Yellowtail (The Reserve only), Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, Geotges Dubeouf Beaujolais Village and Friexenet Cordon Negro.

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