One of the thing that fascinates me is the amount of importance some wine enthusiasts place on the rating a wine received. Here’s the thing, I get it. You seek guidance. You want to know that you’re not wasting your time tasting an “inferior” wine when you could be sipping a “superior” one. You want some kind of guarantee that the wine you’re purchasing today will be good when you open it tomorrow, or next week, month, year, or decade.
But, what if I don’t agree with the ratings? What if that 90 point wine to me is just ‘ok’. What if I find that the alcohol in some of those wines is so overpowering that I can’t really taste the fruit? I ask this because this has happened before. I’ve tasted a wine, with a rated promise that it’s a good one, only to be disappointed with it. And, this this has happened more than once. Does that mean that the point system is a moot point? Does it mean that something is wrong with my palette? Or, here’s a crazy thought, what if something is wrong with Robert Parker’s palette?
Here’s what I think. I think that if a wine enthusiast is solely drinking wine with high ratings, that they are robbing themselves of the experience and education of all of the other wines. There is so much to learn and so many opportunities to learn about wine, why limit yourself to tasting only what someone else thinks is the best? Do yourselves a favor, create your own rating system. It can be complicated and point driven, or happy faces, doesn’t matter — just don’t cave to the the ratings of another. Sure, you can consider them, but do your due diligence and discover new wines, decide which ones you like and rate them your way.
A good friend of mine has always told me that “wine is a journey of discovery” – don’t limit your journey to follow someone else’s map, create your own, discover what you like and what you don’t like. I promise, it will make for so much more interesting conversation next time someone brings up the point value of a wine.