Of Knowlege and Opinion on Wine

Let us sit together and speak of knowledge as men do.

Always ask: What does this reviewer know? We know what he thinks, but what does he know?

Berger This command comes from one of the smartest, most experienced and most knowledgeable wine writers/reporters/critics I've ever known: Dan Berger. He wrote it in his latest issue of his "Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences" in an article entitled Analyzing Marketing. In this article he lists a series of aphorisms and truths that he has come to in his nearly 30 years of writing about and studying wine and the wine industry.

What underlies this particular command is the idea that a wine critic or wine reviewer's opinions are only as good as the knowledge he possesses about wine. Now, I think Dan would argue that the usefulness of a reviewer's opinions are also only as good as the depth of his knowledge. But I'd take issue with him only because the information or opinions one person finds useful may have no relationship to the integrity or foundations that underlie the information or opinion.

However, I do think I agree with Dan that the deeper the knowledge one has about wine, the better they are able to evaluate a wine, put the wine in an historical or systematic context for their audience and to provide readers with valuable information. And this is one of the primary reasons why I don't review wines at FERMENTATION: There are many people, such as Dan, who are far better schooled and far more knowledgeable than I where wine is concerned and who, therefore, I can refer people to rather than ask them to take account of my merely average knowledge of wine.

Today, the number of people reviewing wine for an audience is far greater than it ever has been due almost entirely to an easy access to an audience via wine forums on the net and blogging technology. What I'm wondering then is this: are these new voices reviewing wines a collection of knowledgeable people who simply did not have the means previously to access an audience or are the  increased voices simply that—more voices with no particular depth of knowledge that readers can rely on as they consume their reviews?

I consume A LOT of wine media. And I have done so for 20 years now. It puts me in, if not an educated Bachelor place to evaluate the quality of knowledge behind wine media, then, at least, in an experienced place. And the fact of the matter is, I think the number of folks who have deep knowledge about wine and who also review wine is far, far fewer than the number of people actually reviewing wines today.

Now, again this is not to suggest that those with lesser knowledge are not useful. Let's face it, there are folks out there who find dating advice offered up by Flavor Flav and contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette very valuable. God, bless these folks. Please. They need it.

But Dan isn't really addressing these folks that need God's blessing. He's addressing those people who intend to take their wine education and their wine drinking far more seriously than the average drinker. He's addressing those folks who actually think of wine drinking not only as a form of pleasure but as a form of study that enlightens their mind and deepens their education about the world around them.

There is an admirable trend, well established now, that gives great credence to "Collective Opinion" and even to Opinions of the Average Consumer. "Citizen Critics" they might be dubbed. I say "admirable" because for most of the last century, critical opinion was left to "experts" and academics without much regard for the opinions of the people they wrote for. It was something of an elitist paradigm that, with new technologies, has been offset and even set aside in many cases by the addition of, reliance upon and importance of the opinions of the more common folks among us. We now live in a time where a synthesis of expert and amateur opinion inform us on all issues including wine.

Each of us need to decide just what measure of expert and amateur opinion we are willing to consume and rely upon as we form our own opinions and make our own buying decisions.

At heart, I'm an elitist. I like experts. I like relying on people who know far more than I do. I tend to have greater respect for the opinions of those who have made it their business to accumulate esoteric information and synthesize it for themselves and for their audience. I'm skeptical of folks who offer their opinions on things about which they know some, rather than a lot. I like people who use big words correctly because big words tend to have more precise meaning than small words.

So, you can put me in Dan Berger's camp, rather than in the camp of those who think "The Bachelor" has something of significance to say.

27 Responses

  1. KenPayton - August 7, 2009

    Wine reviewing is only a slice of the wine blogging world. For myself, should I need wine advice, purchasing advice, I rely on select retailers I’ve come to trust. Or Cellar Tracker or some other tasting notes aggregator. Now, if your talking about the difference between Burgundy vintages from vineyards around Aloxe Corton then, yes, expertise is called for.
    But bear in mind, it is a child’s game of hands. There is always someone who knows more, who’s hand will come slapping down.
    But how much knowledge is required to review a laughable 100 point Mollydooker? I mean, really…

  2. Tom Wark - August 7, 2009

    It’s not so much a question of how much knowledge is needed to review a Mollydooker. It’s a question of how much will be added to the review of a Mollydooker by possessing superior knowledge.

  3. KenPayton - August 7, 2009

    Well, to read Parker’s reviews, a couple of smarmy paragraphs, I think even he might come up short.

  4. Charlie Olken - August 7, 2009

    Really now. How much knowledge is necessary to review a laughable wine of any stripe?
    We all have opinions. We all have palates. It helps to have experience even though experience does not equate to universality of viewpoint. Dan Berger is a good case in point. I love the guy, but I would no more let him choose my wines than I would let Cellar Tracker. Cellar Tracker? Please.
    Tom’s point, as I hear it, is that you choose your experts. Berger is a smart guy, a friend, a valued travelling companion. His palate and mine do not agree. But, Dan has knowledge and when I read his words, whether I agree or disagree, I know instantaneously that he knows what he is talking about. He has wisdom that no enthusiastic amateur or collection of enthusiastic amateurs have. You gain wisdom by paying your dues, not by founding a blog or adding up the non-wisdom of others.
    People who know more than others and have the ability to apply that knowledge and to communicate their understandings are simply more valuable than others. And I don’t care whether we are talking about Molly Dooker or San Francisco Giants first basemen.
    There are things on your website that no one else does. I love reading it. I cannot and could not do what you do. But, Ken, when folks who have knowledge taste wines, you can be sure that we bring depth, context, passion and, yes, knowledge to that task.
    You can and should buy wine any way you like. You can listen to whomever you like, but please don’t try to suggest that what folks with knowledge bring to their tasks is unimportant or, to use your phrase, a childs’ game.
    When you do that, you sound like those folks who stupidly put down the blogosphere.

  5. KenPayton - August 7, 2009

    Charlie, the reference to ‘child’s play’ was to say there is always a greater expertise. It is a lesson we learn through the experience of playing so simple a game as a child. Like table manners.
    I interviewed Dan not too long ago and found him quite refreshing, humble in his own fashion, an avid teacher and student of the world. I do not think he would willingly submit to the label of expert.
    And about florid tasting notes. One the one hand we have Parker’s high school poetry and on the other extreme we have Michael Broadbent. His tasting notes are typically ‘Light wine, very clear, lovely acid.’ That’s it!
    And of cellar tracker, if the consumer listens to an expert, buys the recommended wine, and then writes about his or her experience, why is that therefore a poor choice for wine info for another consumer? How is it that expressing an opinion on ct, prima facie, irrelevant to other drinkers? CT is a pretty geeky site, after all. Eric LeVine, its founder, is no stranger to wine. I think he has in excess of 10,000 posts in the Parker forums. Seems to me to be as good a place as any at least to get a broad sense of a wine’s quality.
    But it is not that those with knowledge are unimportant. I would never say such a thing. I’m an elitist too, after all. But my understanding of Tom’s argument is a bit narrower than yours. I thought he was limiting the topic to wine reviews, not wine culture, oenology, history etc.
    Thank you for the compliment about my blog.

  6. Online Money Making Opportunities - August 8, 2009

    I do aggery with this article. The article give the many knowledge about the wine. which are very important.

  7. Charlie Olken - August 8, 2009

    Re Dan as expert. He may not willingly submit to the label of expert–but try asking him for his opinion on almost any subject of controversy. He won’t call himself an expert. He will just tell you that he is right and you are wrong.
    Those of us who know Dan well spend a fair bit of time laughing about Dan. We are fond of him, but we know him. Expert or not, he is right and you aren’t. We kid Dan a lot about that.
    As to tasting notes, we all have our own style of writing tasting notes. Parker did not get to be the big kahuna in the wine newsletter field because people (see your defense of Cellar Tracker for your opinion on the wisdom of the people) disliked the way he wrote. It is not how I write, and having just read your blog on Petite Sirah, it is not how you write, but it does work for lots and lots of people.
    If and when the blogosphere shakes out and new strong voices emerge, it will be because people like the way those voices express themselves.
    In your last paragraph above, you address the issue of tasting notes (wine reviews) as opposed to broader wine commentary.
    Let me be direct. Writing a good wine description that will be read, understood, believed, acted upon, respected is demanding. It helps to have deep knowledge of the subject to do it. One can write about any set of wines without that knowledge, but it is very useful to have years of experience with all kinds of Petite Sirah (to choose the grape about which you have just written in your blog) to be able to understand the kinds tannins they can possess, the kinds of ageworthiness those tannins and the rest of their makeup offer and the way in which PS drinks with food. One does not get that knowledge overnight–or by drinking lots of Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo or Cornas. That is my point. One gets that knowledge by paying one’s dues.
    The missing ingredient in so much of the blogosphere, aside from a convincing writing style, is knowledge. It will come, but, if you had read Tom Wark’s comments about a young neophute blogger and then gone to her site and looked at what she is writing, it would be clear in an instant that she does not have the “knowledge” today. She is working hard to get it, and if she tastes enough wine, reads the write books, learns from others the way the rest of us have done, she might turn out to be one of those bloggers who emerge as a leader. She certainly has lots of competition.
    I think the blogosphere is the best thing to happen to winewriting in years. Winewriting is a field clogged with old folks who have established their bona fides and staked out their territories years ago. Guys like me are going to get out of the way one of these days because we will eat the wrong thing or the wrong thing will eat us. Life leads to death, I am told.
    The blogosphere is filling up with thousands of voices. Many of those voices ultimately want to make a living writing about wine. Some will. And when and if they do, it will be because they have the knowledge, know how to use it and know how to impart useful information to the world who is eager for that information.

  8. Director of Lab Cultural Affairs - August 8, 2009

    As a soon to be retired “blogger” who possesses an average level of knowledge about viticulture, the chemistry of fermentation and world geography, I would come at this from a different angle.
    My own personal experiment in wine-blogging has been a great one, humbling, densely educational and even occasionally satisfying.
    But I’ve learned a couple things that have changed my approach to discovering wines.
    In the Logical Positivits’ sense of the word, I find tasting notes to be “meaningless.”
    cfr: http://rationaldenial.blogspot.com/2009/02/lab-quiz.html
    I wish tasters would stop blogging and post their tasting notes to CellarTracker where they might actually be useful. I can think of only one blogger who’s photography is interesting enough to justify an independent set of tasting notes (Doc, you know who you are.)
    I wish more winemakers would blog. What I’ve learned is that wine is an artifact of a conversation between winemaker and wine drinker.
    The best part of blogging, for me, has been the conversations engendered with winemakers. Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege to talk/email with Frank Cornelissen, Alexandre Chartogne, Doug Shafer, Gideon Beinstock (Clos Saron), Stu Smith, Mike Weersing (Pyramid Valley Vineyards) and quite a few others, but I’ll stop dropping names; it’s my Hollywood roots showing. These guys have an amazing depth of knowledge and tremendous passion for wine. In terms of putting wine in context, who better than the person who made it? And the power of networked technologies makes it relatively easy to have these conversations.
    As for the thousands of voices hoping to make a living writing about wine… well, there’s always the lottery.

  9. Charlie Olken - August 8, 2009

    Interesting blog, but full of tasting notes.
    May we presume therefore that you find your own tasting notes to be meaningless?
    By the way, your tasting notes also directly defy your conclusions in the post that you have linked above.
    What I think you have inadvertantly proven is that a good wine description–one which describes wine fully and also gives an indication of how much enjoyment the wine delivers is the best form of wine evaluation.
    Turns out that tasting notes are not meaningless after all, eh?

  10. Thomas Pellechia - August 8, 2009

    I’m remembering a blog commentary going back and forth over a certain grape variety and a certain wine region. People were yapping away about what the region should or should not do when producing this certain grape variety.
    In the midst of the conversation, the blogger allowed that he had absolutely no experience with that grape variety before tasting the wines of this certain region.
    Yet, he also had no compunction about opining over how the winemakers of the region should produce wines from that grape variety.
    I believe that what Dan wrote and what Charlie posted here addresses the above scenario. It isn’t just about style or even about ability–it’s about knowledge that comes from experience. It’s also about opinions that are based on knowledge and not based on a personal sense of “knowing.”

  11. Director of Lab Cultural Affairs - August 8, 2009

    You’ve hit it right on the head. That is exactly my epiphany. That tasting notes, especially mine, have very limited value (“meaningless” in the snotty, academic context I suggested means something like “beside the point” as opposed to “valueless.”)
    I have lost my old religion. What can I say?
    I’m not trying to prove anything. I think the aesthetics of wine are subjective at a molecular level. I don’t think this is an area where one can prove much at all.
    I agree with you that a good wine description does have some value. But, for me, a list of descriptors isn’t a “good” description, and it is definitely not a full account of a wine.
    I think Brooklynguy, who in my opinion is the most underrated wine writer in America, offers maybe the best example of a consistent effort to provide a complete description of wine. Neil tries to provide information about the viticulture, vintage, wine-making, and he may offer you a few “crushed orange blossoms” and “bright cherries” along the way. But he writes accounts of the wines he drinks with an expansive notion of context, his and the wines. He doesn’t write tasting notes.

  12. Charlie Olken - August 9, 2009

    Loved the discussion of one wine by Brooklyn Guy. Hard to do that when your job is to review hundreds unless one expects to put a telephone book in the mail every month.
    Now, it is only small sin that he got the cepage wrong, did not know that Mazuelo was Carignane. If all of the small sins in my rag were added up, they would stretch a long way.
    However, here is where you lose me again. This guy, this storyteller writes tasting notes. What else do you call the following ” …. the wine is a lovely mingling of bright red fruit and earth. The nose really soars, fragrant and full of energy. Vibrant and juicy on the palate, very intense and fruit forward but with a compact and lean frame. The current vintage is the 2003, and I think that another year plus of bottle age has been great for the 2002. With just a little air time, the aromas are still fruity, but become very stately and mature, a woven basket of fruit on a fine mahogany dining table. We drank this wine with a simple but wholly satisfying meal – cauliflower cooked slowly with pimentón and garlic, and a scallion omelet. The pimentón and the wine recognized each other immediately from their childhood days, and wasted no time reconnecting.”
    With all due respect, some of this stuff is straight out of the “prismatic luminscence” school of tasting note writing. Sure, his context was interesting even if it was as much about him and his wife as about the wine. Again, nothing wrong with that. Journalism needs to be interesting, and his storytelling is interesting.
    So, please don’t get me wrong. It was a good read, and the beauty of the Internet is that it invites all kinds of approaches. But, let’s not confuse the issue. You write tasting notes and so does he. Just as I have marked your blog as a place I want to visit regulary, so I will also visit his. But, I recognize a tasting note when I see it, and all of that context would be absolutely meaningless, to use your term, if the tasting note did not reside at its very heart. It was the tasting note, as florid as it was at times, that turned the whole piece into an article, a piece of useful journalism.
    But the day you find me writing something like “a woven basket of fruit on a fine mahogany dining table”, it will be the first in three decades plus.

  13. Director of Lab Cultural Affairs - August 9, 2009

    Nice one on the Herb Caen reference (had to resort to Google to get it, though).
    Leaving BG aside – and I don’t know that he gets it right every time, but I was referring to the fact that he as often writers about the winemaker and the viticulture as he writes about his impressions drinking a wine — I think I’m trying to work out something more basic. And something more nuanced. At the same time.
    And I readily admit, I have been writing tasting notes and (sort of) continue to do so. But I’m struggling to find a more meaningful way to describe wine. At first, I wrote TNs with gleeful abandon. I found the exercise in metaphor-making to be great fun. But as I moved up what was an unexpectedly steep learning curve (I thought I already knew about wine; ha!), I came to realize that I’m more interested in viticulture than taste as a starting point. I pick wine now almost exclusively based on how it was farmed and (not) processed. Many of the wines I drink are fantastic. Some are only average. And a few suck. But for me, it has become an immensely enjoyable exercise to see how the wine reflects its production. And at the Lab, I’m working through how to convey this approach. And frankly, it is A LOT OF WORK. It requires me to be a journalist which I am not. I’m not even a fake journalist (a la John Stewart).
    I think it is helpful for this kind of discussion, by the way, to differentiate wine writing into two categories: Journalism and Consumer Advocacy. I don’t think they’re the same.
    So here’s what I mean by meaningless (and here’s where I agree emphatically with Tom about choosing one’s own experts): if I know your palate in the way I know Brooklynguy’s, Lou Amdur’s or CellarTracker legend Keith Levenberg’s then all I really need for a tasting note is: This is awesome.
    But speaking of CellarTracker, that’s also where my argument breaks down. Because there is certainly something there, related to how you identify like-minded tasters, that implies value for tasting notes. I can’t really explain the critical process meets experience meets intuition that happens, but in my experience there is some alchemy that differentiates tasters I trust and those that I ignore.
    So why bang on about this at length? Especially given it’s 8 AM where I sit and I am stone cold sober.
    Not sure. I think it has something to do with Thomas Kuhn’s Structures of Scientific Revolutions. I think wine writing in that phase where the old paradigms start to show their cracks leading to eventual breakdown and a paradigm shift. I think blogs are transitional. I don’t think they have staying power. But I do think they are important in moving towards a democratization of taste.
    This is why I’m often not invited to dinner parties…

  14. Thomas Pellechia - August 9, 2009

    “Now, it is only small sin that he got the cepage wrong, did not know that Mazuelo was Carignane.”
    Charlie, isn’t the essence of your point: knowledge? In that regard, why would you consider the above a small sin? With those two things wrong, which wine would be talking about?
    In this case, it may not be only a lack of knowledge–rather a lack of rigorous fact checking. Is that a small sin or is it THE sin?

  15. Morton Leslie - August 9, 2009

    Regarding “collective opinion” versus the expert, I bought a GPS device for my kid from Newegg. I didn’t bother to read reviews at CNet or PCMag. Over the years I have found such “expert” reviews to be “contaminated” by the suppliers and unreliable. (They didn’t tell me about incompatibilities, or lack of drivers, or poor customer service.) The reviews are written by journalists who with the help of the supplier look at a product and create a story. They only see what they are allowed to see, do not see the varied experiences of “real” people who spend hard earned dollars and use a product in real life situations.
    Instead I read dozens of GPS user reviews on Newegg, Amazon, gpsreview.org, and other sites where actual users post their experiences. I know there may be shills in there as well, but these are easy to spot and ignore. Real users raise, real issues and difficulties that you can then attempt to sort out.
    The art of “epinions” is in its infancy. It will certainly grow in importance. I would not discount its future importance in influencing wine buying decisions. The wine buyer will simply go to the source of advice that gives them the most satisfying results. For most wine drinkers the details and minutia that “experts” find important are irrelevant.

  16. Charlie Olken - August 9, 2009

    Great response although I would argue that no matter how much you know someone’s palate, a simple “this is awesome” has no more meaning than a 90+ point score absent descriptive commentary.
    If you had been reading my rag for its 35 years of existence, you might well assume you know my palate. But, how would you know whether my “awesome” rating of a Shafer Hillside Select differed from my same rating for Cathy Corison’s Kronos.
    They are very different wines. I like them equally, have both in my cellar, would use them differently. It takes words to describe the differenes and it takes well-expressed words to know if one or both is right for you. That’s the thing about palates–they are not narrow, tightly defineable, easily pigeon-holed.
    Tom P–
    The failure of BG to understand that Mazuelo is Carignane does show a lack of knowledge, but it is not a giant sin. If one writes about wine, one makes mistakes in details at times. If I somehow dismiss BG for that, I have to dismiss us all. His overall article was not greatly harmed by the mistake, and we all knew what wine he was talking about because he got the name right, and he did reference also a second vintage. I was more taken by the fact that his good article only became a good article because it described the wine. No description, no value to the article. I think David misses that point.
    There is no question that we all can use collective commentary in buying decisions. I used both Consumer Reports and lots of other commentary to decide on which outside grill to buy. But my choices were perhaps ten in number–not ten thousand. It is one thing to talk about wine made in very large quantities that are easily amenable to collective wisdom. But, when we start talking about wines that are the subject of BrooklynGuy or Parker or CGCW, it is harder to use collective wisdom. That is where “expert opinion”, as subject to variability as it is, will, I hope, still have relevance.

  17. Thomas Pellechia - August 9, 2009

    I’m trying to follow you. In one way you place importance on knowledge (expert opinion), but then you weaken that importance by claiming that the tasting description gives the value to an article. Am I misreading you, and if so, how?
    Keep in mind that after 25 years in the wine biz I still can’t figure out why anyone should care what I think about any given wine. I’m still doing my research on the concept of palate calibration, which I find less informative than esoteric. I’ve never found any other palate I needed to calibrate to than my own and I’ve never felt a reason to try to persuade others to calibrate to my palate. So, to me, tasting notes are like peeks into someone’s personal diary: interesting, but not necessarily informative unless they include information beyond the personal.

  18. Charlie Olken - August 9, 2009

    I doubt you are misreading me at all. You are very accurately reading the dilemma we all face in criticism of any kind. BG has written an article about a tasting experience. Parts of that article are, to my way of thinking, very interesting. I love the fact that he is sharing his full experience for one wine in a long piece. I can’t remember the last time I wrote an article like that. I am not sure that I would find a long serious of articles like it to be great reads, but I did like the article over all. It represents one of the great uses of the Internet and is a lot closer to the “democratization” ideal that gets talked about than having old farts like you and me waxing on for days about our expertise.
    But, it is also clearly the work of someone who is not claiming to be anything other than a guy writing about a subject he loves. Bravo. Bravo. Bravo. He is not a professional. He is not trying to sell his opinions to anyone. And, frankly, he shows that he is an amateur in the mistakes in accruacy and knowledge and in the kind of descriptions that no currently followed wine writing professional of any serious merit (by my snobby standards on that subject) would ever do. Some of his words belong in a wine comic book.
    But so what? There is not a deep pool of “expertise” in his writing. We agree on that, I think. And his description of the wine could easily have been less florid and overwrought (aside from the fruit baskets and the mahogany, did you also see the part about “The pimentón and the wine recognized each other immediately from their childhood days, and wasted no time reconnecting.”)?
    I don’t care about any of that. I liked the overall story, and my point about the tasting description was this–the story has no meaning if he does not describe the wine. I said that to point out to David Cultural Lab that tasting notes are an integral part of wine commentary. I am very happy for BG that he liked the wine, that he finds the wine in question to be a good value, but unless he also tells me what he thinks the wine tastes like, I am unlikely to be interested in the wine no matter who he is–including my tasting partners here at Connoisseurs’ Guide. In order to have a wine experience of any value, you have to have wine and wine has character. That is the point I was trying to make. I hope I have done a better job this time.

  19. Director of Lab Cultural Affairs - August 9, 2009

    It’s very hard to convey tone in the medium, but I’m beginning to appreciate your subtle wit. I’ve enjoyed this exchange immensely. And I think I’ve learned a few things here. Thanks for playing.
    I would agree that describing a wine, or describing your experience with a wine, is important. But I think there is a broad range within that heading. At a future time, we can discuss the merits of “blueberry” versus “racy”.
    I personally don’t think not knowing Mazuelo is Carignane is proof of much of anything.
    And I’d argue that Brooklyn’s “Aw shucks” rhetoric is part of his appeal. He often cops to his mistakes in full view and regularly admits where his knowledge isn’t that deep because he’s venturing into novel regional territory. But you underestimate his knowledge of Champagne, Burgundy and the Loire at your peril (none of which grow Mazuelo). If you’ve been a professional wine writer for umpteen years, I don’t think you’re his demo. But if you’re new to wine discovery, his style and approach are very compelling. Unlike most professional wine writing, it is not intimidating. It is very accessible and user-friendly. As a reader, I feel like Neil’s an old friend and I’ve never actually met him.
    But I don’t really need to defend him. He has reached a sizable audience without any help prior help from me.
    best, David

  20. KenPayton - August 9, 2009

    A few fun facts: The French recognize 25 different Carignan clones. Older Carignan vines produce a more balanced juice. The choice of barrels can have a dramatic effect on quality.
    So when we read a Parker review of a Bodegas Muga containing 75% Tempranillo, 15% Muzuela and 10% Graciano with no mention of clonal selection, the age of the vines, the age, toast level or grain of the barrels, where is the knowledge?
    He writes that the wine “spent 22 months in large American oak vats, followed by 16 months in French oak casks prior to being bottled without filtration. An amazing effort, it somehow benefits from such a long wood aging regime”
    Again, where is the knowledge? We don’t know the age of the vines, the age of the oak used, new or neutral, or the technical definition of ‘vats’ or ‘casks’, how many gallons do they hold, that kind of thing. And clearly Mr. Parker doesn’t know how the wine benefits from the wood. And of ‘no filtration’, was the wine cold stabilized or fined? Instead we learn it has” great concentration, as well as a tight personality”. Score: 92
    Oh! Got it! Informed consumer that I’ve now become, I’m off to the store.
    Parker dumbs down wine. Very simple.

  21. Thomas Pellechia - August 9, 2009

    Well, Ken, you and I agree on Mr. Parker’s knowledge conveyance level.
    I think I’ve “gaut” it now.
    The rain in Spain falls mainly on the carignane…whatevah clone ’tis.

  22. Dylan - August 11, 2009

    Ah, but now for the true paradox: If you feel you know so little, how then can you know with certainty that these people know so much more? Not to rock the boat, but what any of us consider to be credible is subjective, it’s that fact which allows con men to con.

  23. Thomas Pellechia - August 11, 2009

    How can you trust a college textbook?
    Reputation is all. That’s why it’s so critical (to me) for blogs to be more than just personal diary entries.

  24. ajay - August 18, 2009

    It’s not so much a question of how much knowledge is needed to review.I personally don’t think not knowing Mazuelo is Carignane is proof of much of anything.
    Cash Online Get Easy cash at your door step

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