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gmunger's picture

For anyone who takes the Wine Spectator seriously:


http://www.drvino.com/2008/08/19/fictitious-restaurant-wins-wine-spectator-award-of-excellence/


Did I mention that I also really detest the 100 point scale? What a worthless rag.


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
Glenys's picture

(post #50712, reply #1 of 33)

I realised about ten years ago that San Francisco had given its head a shake and began creating wine lists that weren't pumped, or should I say pimped, by Parker.

gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #2 of 33)

You can put 2 wines next to each other on the shelf, each with a little sign containing the WS rating. Wine A got a 90-point rating, while wine B received an 89. Wine A will outsell wine B by 4-to-1. Amazing.

 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
ashleyd's picture

(post #50712, reply #3 of 33)

Long may it continue. That way the poor folk who know nothing about wine will buy the 90 pointer at inflated prices, leaving me to pick the bargains. I buy what I like, and that ain't necessarily what Mr Parker likes (I'm pleased to say).


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #8 of 33)

Good point.

 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
Gretchen's picture

(post #50712, reply #4 of 33)

DD has little to do with Parker's picks, saying they will be a huge fruity whatever, etc.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Glenys's picture

(post #50712, reply #5 of 33)

His preferences have evolved with his ego. He also is no great fan of Italian wine; how does one dismiss a country like that?

gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #6 of 33)

a huge fruity whatever


Can I use that? LOL


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
Gretchen's picture

(post #50712, reply #7 of 33)

At your own risk!!   LOL

Gretchen

Gretchen
msm-s's picture

(post #50712, reply #9 of 33)

reminds me of Milli-Vanilli winning a grammy

ouzo's picture

(post #50712, reply #10 of 33)

To me, Grammy awards, especially 'new artist', = music to avoid.

"The best tricks are the simplest and the simplest tricks are the oldest" -Simon the owl

  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop, The Lion & the mouse

gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #11 of 33)

As a followup, the following comment about the restaurant award scandal appeared on the blog Vinography. I thought it was spot-on, and furthermore, is just as easily applied to life in general beyond simply "taste":


Although I have had issues with Goldstein’s previous publications, I think he and I are after the same thing: getting people to realize that those we have anointed the arbiters of taste know as little about their subject of interest as those who lazily rely on their judgment.


But the deeper message on Goldstein’s much-debated Wine Trials (and now this shocker, if it proves to be true), I think, is that if you get lazy and want simple, “bottom-line” answers, those giving you the answers will soon get lazy as well and their answers will be worthless.


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
BonnieinHolland's picture

(post #50712, reply #12 of 33)

Heaven forbid that I should defend Parker, because I do not think much of his influence on either winemakers or the wine buying public.  But he is indeed an extremely good taster - you have to give him that.  cheers, Bonnie

gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #13 of 33)

Yes, tasting more than a dozen or so wines at a time is challenging. At least mentally. But I am up for the occasional challenge.


I agree with the now-commonly held notions about Parker's negative influence. But to be fair he didn't invent wine criticism, the 100-point scale, or the now-popular notion that wine can be "judged" outside the contexts of food accompaniment or it's evolution over time (both in bottle and in glass). Context, I fear, has largely been lost from our collective vocabulary, and not just regarding wine. And The Wine Advocate doesn't do advertising.


I suppose there will always be a significant segment of folks (I prefer the term sheeple) who will blindly follow their prophet(s). (Wine as a metaphor for life?) And it is true that the vast majority of wine drinkers need at least some guidance to help them wade through the wine dark sea. I know I sure do. I would suggest, however, that a) the Wine Spectator has become a false prophet, undeserving of our attention, and b) something as subjective as wine deserves multiple opinions and an open mind. Is it the fault of wine critics that they become "prophets"? Perhaps to some extent, but mostly I blame the blind followers. And as Ashley suggests, ultimately they get what they deserve.


I am somewhat envious of Parker's experience. Think of the great wines he has spat!


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
ashleyd's picture

(post #50712, reply #14 of 33)

The thing about Parker, however good his palate is, is that he has his own idea about what he wants to taste, and inevitably gets it. So far no problem. But look at the reactions to food here, what one person loves another hates, and vice-versa. At our wine group we have a tasting every month, have done for well over a decade, and we all know a fair bit about wine, but sat round a table comparing the wines we have tasted, and those we have brought for the lunch afterwards show an amazing range of views, our chairman is in love with the wines of the Loire but has to be dragged kicking and screaming to drink a glass of Australian anything, I'm almost the reverse. The secretary and I share a love of decent Burgundy, but he also has a passion for Cru Bourgeois from Bordeaux which I don't share, but then again he can't understand my love of Sauternes. And so it goes. A good wine is one that you enjoy at a price point you can afford. Some are better with food than others, but all should be able to be drunk with a suitable dish. That's it. Simple.


The great thing about learning what you like (style, grape, colour, region, whatever) is that in a restaurant you can order with confidence at lower price points rather than trying to conceal your ignorance by ordering something showy but out of your price comfort zone.



Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.


Edited 8/21/2008 1:23 pm by ashleyd

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #15 of 33)

Well said.


When a customer shows undue (IMO) hesitance in taking an inexpensive bottle that I have recommended, I often utter "hey, it's low risk".


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


'


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
roz's picture

(post #50712, reply #16 of 33)

"...I often utter "hey, it's low risk"."

LOL, who knows, a person might find they actually like the low risk wine! Or they may discover a new taste treat or something they've been desiring flavor-wise, but couldn't actually articulate the taste they crave. My favorite is a mineral or gravel taste.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #17 of 33)

Exactly. Ashley made another good point that I'll restate for the purposes of emphasis. There are plenty of good, inexpensive bottles that provide the curious wine consumer with examples of particular styles, be they associated with grape varieties, geography, or just simply different appproaches to winemaking. Are they the most complex, sophisticated, profound examples of each style? Almost never, and if they are they rarely remain inexpensive for long. But they give folks a chance to explore the unfamiliar without risking a lot of money on an unknown. And when you discover that yummy $8 blend of tempranillo and mourvedre from La Mancha, you'll be more likely to spring for its Estate-bottled cousin for a special occasion, rather than the tired old overpriced Napa Cab.



 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.


Edited 8/21/2008 3:03 pm by gmunger

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
roz's picture

(post #50712, reply #18 of 33)

Unfortunately we shop at grocery stores for our wine and there are no 'gmungers' there! Just 21 year olds stocking shelves, who drink vodka coolers! We are usually willing to try almost anything!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #19 of 33)

Unfortunately we shop at grocery stores for our wine and there are no 'gmungers' there!


We hope the presence of gmungers their ilk bring more people into our store to buy wine (and other things too). We aren't the cheapest place in town, but we try to offer a combination of goods and services that can't be had elsewhere. It seems to be working...


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.
Glenys's picture

(post #50712, reply #23 of 33)

Hey, I was there for twenty minutes and dropped $85. I live for impulse shopping; would have been happier with some of that bubbly in my basket.
Le sigh.

Jean's picture

(post #50712, reply #20 of 33)

Oh, you just reminded me.  We have a bottle downstairs that I bought just for the fun of it.  It's label is House Wine. Hee. I've got to break that out for DDs birthday on Sunday. Nothing like a nice bottle of House Wine to celebrate your 50th. LOL.



A merry heart does good like a medicine: Prov. 22:17



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
roz's picture

(post #50712, reply #21 of 33)

Don't forget, it may be her 50th BD, but it's your 50th as well! Happy, happy!

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Jean's picture

(post #50712, reply #22 of 33)

Yup, both of my girls have caught up with me now. :) Son has a couple of years to go.



A merry heart does good like a medicine: Prov. 22:17



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Gretchen's picture

(post #50712, reply #25 of 33)

If it's the one we have had--and was at our Club's wine tasting--it is really quite good.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Jean's picture

(post #50712, reply #26 of 33)

Heh heh.  We'll see.  IIRC it was cheap.



A merry heart does good like a medicine: Prov. 22:17



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Gretchen's picture

(post #50712, reply #27 of 33)

I think about $10 or so. Cute label. Black and white?

Gretchen

Gretchen
Jean's picture

(post #50712, reply #28 of 33)

 Guess what! The house wino drank it already. The old poop. So much for that bit of fun.  sigh.



A merry heart does good like a medicine: Prov. 22:17



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Gretchen's picture

(post #50712, reply #29 of 33)

That's it. It's pretty acceptable, in addition to fun.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Gretchen's picture

(post #50712, reply #24 of 33)

DD tells of many a customer coming in to the restaurant and ordering the biggest most expensive cabernet on the wine list (to impress his dinner guests), and she will ask if he would like to consider something else that might go with the menu items chosen a bit better (in her very sweet way, mind you).

Gretchen

Gretchen
gmunger's picture

(post #50712, reply #30 of 33)

Well, I'd be less than honest if I didn't say how tickled I am that this story is getting traction in the mainstream press:


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-winehoax22-2008aug22,0,5377368.story


Here's the money quote:


"This gets down to what the Wine Spectator is all about. It's not exactly Wine for Dummies; it's more Wine for the Gullible," Pirko said. "This gives the appearance of paying for advertising disguised as a contest."


 


We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.

 

We are truly what we eat, and too many people are fast, cheap and easy. Who owns your food owns you, and it is unwise to let that power rest in the hands of a very few wealthy corporations.