Find Benchmarks and Be Truthful In Your Wine Reviews

I was reading one of Alder’s recent posts, “Being Proud of Your Country’s Wine Doesn’t Mean Anything if You Don’t Drink It.” Charlie Olken, a reader of the blog commented on the post and what he says makes a good point, but so does Alder. All I have to counter with is I hope quality will rise and if it does, undoubtedly so will prices.

If the recent offerings I have tasted from Beaujolais and Bordeaux in the lower price ranges are anything like what’s being offered to the younger generation in France, I can certainly see why they are drinking less wine. Lately I have poured more French wine down the drain than I could have ever imagined when I was considered to be among the younger generation.

Having been fortunate enough to have tasted great Bordeaux and Burgundy in the 70’s and 80’s and even great Barolo in the late 60’s I do not think my disdain for the recent offerings has anything to do with my palate developing as I have matured.

Maybe the quality of viticulture has not kept pace with the demand for the quality of wine we desire and unlike myself, I do not think the producers are going to dispose of the inferior products they produce. Instead, they are going to just search harder for an audience to unload their wares on.

So to the unsuspecting plethora of bloggers who receive samples, here is my advice. First, try to have some benchmarks you can compare these wines to side-by-side before you start lauding accolades upon your benefactors during your live tastings. It might be advantageous for bloggers to get some backbone and tell it like it is. If the wine is not good, say so. Stop praising something that is mediocre at best and inferior or flawed at worst because you think you have to because someone sent you a sample. It is OK to say, “hey, for my taste that was not good.”

I have poured more wine in a day at events when I represented wineries to the general public than most wineries send to bloggers in a month, maybe even a year. It is the cost of doing business and the wineries know that.

But in the meantime, I will still continue to taste as many wines as I can from everywhere and continue to fight a good fight if it keeps anyone from having to taste a flawed or inferior product that they paid for with their hard earned cash. I too, like Alder, will keep on drinking and try to sort the good from the bad.

P.S. If you think I’m being harsh, head on over to Dirty South!