The Wine Spout Vs. The Arcane
I’m always somewhat gratified and curious when internal wine industry debates spill over into the general media and into the laps of the average consumer. Such is the case with this Reuters article examining Alice Feiring’s concerns for and criticisms of the 100 point rating system, the dominance of Robert Parker’s palate, the "internationalization" of wine styles and her view of the general shitty condition of most expensive California wines.
I have a hard time stepping back and trying to appreciate how the average wine drinker will react to articles that examine what it means to rate a wine on a 100 points scale and the consequences of powerful critics. Do they even care? Do they note the headline then quickly move on to something else out of boredom the way I do when I see headlines concerning the mental state of Brittany Spears?
I kind of think it’s the latter. Why would anyone who buys wine by multiple liters in a single package care whether wine from California is any good, if Robert Parker has a hold on the imagination of winemakers or biodynamically grown grapes deliver a sense of place. The real concern is whether the box will fit on the top shelf of the fridge and whether or not the spout will leak.