There’s an interesting debate going on at my favorite wine blog, New York Cork Report, over the value of wine competitions. These are the things that where all those wines are always winning golds and double golds, and silvers, and best in class and so on. The editors of NYCR are saying that they think these things are too numerous, too confusing to consumers, and that they therefore will not participate in them anymore. I tend to agree with them; I spend a lot of time researching wine, and I never pay any attention to these medals.
Something similar happened when the blogger Dr. Vino called out wine critics for taking accommodations and free shipments of wine from producers whose wines they later reviewed (he didn’t call it bribery, but I would). A big name wine writer, Tony Blue, then wrote that Dr. Vino was just a nobody who was angry because he didn’t get free wine too. This might be a good place for me to say that I like free wine, too, if anybody wants to send me some.
It would be grossly unfair to compare the wine judge or NYT wine writer to the elite media whores who sell themselves at salons and take ponies from neocon sugar-daddies, all while impugning the motives of shrill, angry political bloggers, let alone to compare them to the little-people-hating Dan Shaughnessies of the sports writing world, but it’s all part of the same phenomenon. Being an “expert” can be a good gig. And when some nobodies try to kill the goose that killed the golden egg, it’s only natural for experts to point out that these nobodies are…well…nobodies.
You don’t need an official Council On Foreign Relations or Gridiron Club to know who the serious people are and who the jammie-clad losers are.