Perfect Oppression and the 100 Point Rating

Some have argued that the very existence of a precise rating system such as the 100 point scale for wine is folly, that it assumes too much about our ability to observe a wine so closely as to detect any and all of its qualities. This argument embodies an attitude that shows great deference to the notion of human infallibility. And I like that attitude.

Other critics of the 100 point rating system for wine see it as a much more sinister implement and would agree with Anne Lamott when she declares:

  "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor."

I think she is right, to a degree. There is an oppressive quality to the notion of a perfect wine, described as is in the 100 out of 100 possible points. The source of the oppression, which by definition bestows a lower status on all other wines, comes not from the critic who declares the wine perfect and all others lesser drinks. The oppressors in the case of wine are all those who take someone else’s declaration of perfection and apply it to the task of selling wine. By doing this they leave behind something more valuable than a perfect wine. They leave behind their own judgment.

Posted In: Rating Wine


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