>> Wednesday, July 04, 2007
You can read more on wine ratings in the article in the Wall Street Journal that you’ll find in the ‘link tips’ in another post. But the question certainly has a point. Yes, it can be interesting and “convenient” with wine ratings sometimes. But in many ways it is unfair and unjust to reduce a wine to a simple score. Because you can’t really rate a wine with a number. Read for example in the WSJ article about the wine that once had a top score in the Wine Spectator and a bit later only had a very moderate score. The same wine. What had happened? Nothing really. And you should certainly not blame the WS and say that they are incompetent wine judges. It’s just that you simply can “rate” (or taste) a wine differently at different occasions. On top of that, different persons have different tastes and appreciate different wines. Some like Burgundy and others like Amarone. Some like elegance others prefer structure. And Parker does not have the same taste as Jancis (Robinson) who does not have the same taste as (Hugh) Johnson who does not have the same taste as BKWine…
Another illustration: in a wine competition in south America the organisers decided one year that all members of the jury should come from England. No doubt a clever move to get some added international attention. But when the medal winning wines were announced they scratched their heads in South America. How could those wines win? Well, no doubt because the taste is different in South America and in England. (And in France, the US, Germany, Hong Kong, etc.)
So perhaps the best thing would be to scrap points ratings? But nevertheless, at BKWine we do use a rating system sometimes, albeit not often on these pages. But I encourage you to read the descriptions and comments rather than the point rating for a wine, and to not only buy top rated wines but also give the lowers ratings a chance – the “rater” may have had a bad day or may have a different taste than you. And best of all – don’t bother with what some “experts” say, taste the wines yourself and judge for yourself and you will discover many wonderful things in the wine world.