My Response to a Former Reader
Dear Tom…I read your rant supporting wine scores. This has to be the most dundleheaded opinion I’ve ever seen. How can you justify using wine ratings to market wine when we know that the 100 point rating scale is a fraud. These “critics” who use the 100 point scale want to be seen to be objective and use 100 points to try to be seen as objective. And you know (so do they) that you can’t ever justify the difference between 92 and 91. The scoring of wine has made wine drinkers and others in this industry really dumb drinkers and really dumb sellers. It’s how we got all these Napa wines that are big, boring fruit bombs. I’m ashamed of you and anyone else who uses the 100 point scale or supports it. I’m done reading you.
The author of this email (who was anonymous—Why?) gets points for the use of a word I’ve never heard before yet I understand intuitively: “Dunndleheaded”. Well done, Mr/s Anonymous.
However, he loses points for completely misunderstanding what the 100 point rating scale is and what it does. The writer will be happy to see that I’m going to explain it to them.
First, in order to judge one wine better than another, it is true that the judge must first embrace an ideal of wine pleasure or wine deliciousness or potential wine pleasure or potential wine deliciousness. One cannot make an aesthetic judgment without an ideal in their head.
The 100 point ranking is the judge’s (or critic’s) very specific assessment of how close a wine got to their ideal.
There it is. That’s it. Moreover, it’s an entirely justified way for a critic to express their opinion on just how delicious or pleasurable or potentially pleasurable a wine is or will be. The number is not the result of a strict formula. It’s not the result of a calculation. It’s an adjective.
Finally, if someone wants to make the case that a critic that uses the 100 point rating system is unlikely to give the same wine tasted blind the same score when tasted blind the next time, I’d only suggest that the critic that only describes a wine with words is unlikely to use the same words the next time they taste a wine.
I’m unaware of any writer who does not accept the idea that different people may have different tastes in wine. Nor am I aware of a critic who states that their opinion of the quality or pleasurableness of a wine is the only opinion possible. I’ve never come across this kind of writer or critic because most critics are not dundleheads.
So, Mr/s Dundlhead, I’m bummed you won’t be reading me any longer as I’m always open to learning new, useful words.