In Defense of Excess(ive) Wine Writing
While it is true that the vast majority of wine that is sold and drunk in the U.S. is sub-$10 basic stuff of little note or interest, that’s no reason for a writer (or publisher) to focus on these wines. The best of the best is much more interesting. And the same can often be said of travel, automobiles, other consumables, etc, etc: These much more rare and treasured items (including wine) beg the question, what’s it take to be the best and how ought one understand the meaning of “the best”. In other words, what’s the meaning being excess?
Certainly the new quarterly magazine “100 Points—By Robert Parker”, published by Germany-based magazine and digital media company Burda International and hitting the stands in November, will try to answer the question of what it means to be the best, have the best and excessively spend in the process. Burda recently published a sneak preview of “100 Points—By Robert Parker.” Based on the two or three articles being shown off in that preview, they aim not only for the 1%, but do a pretty darned good job of explaining to the 1% why their excessive spending is justified.
What’s really kind of interesting about this extension of the 100-point idea is that it takes this pinnacle of the Wine Advocate rating scale and turns it into a useful metaphor for excessive spending, excessive consumption, the best-of-the-best, and top-of-the-heap. It allows one to cast their gaze over the body of an Aston Martin, place one’s nose into a very nice wine, or step into a perfectly appointed Park Avenue Penthouse and exclaim, “Whoa….100 points!”
The fact is, the finer things in life are almost always more interesting than the common things in life. Where wine is concerned—and whether you appreciate the 100 point scoring system—the 1961 Latour is simply more interesting and more deserving of special attention and excessive words than the 2013 Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon. I suspect the editors at 100 Points—By Robert Parker are about to join the ranks of those publications that spare no expense in explaining exactly why this is true.