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Winebits 241: Wine reviews, wine prices, wine blogging

Jonathan Swift? Mike Veseth at the Wine Economist, citing the precedent set by Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift 283 years ago, suggests “Instead of asking critics to score the wines on a quality scale, let’s ask them how much they are worth! How much should someone be willing to pay for this wine?” Which the Wine Curmudgeon wholeheartedly agrees with, and has been part of the blog since its inception. Imagine the fun: Suggested retail price, $15. What it’s worth price: $5. That would get everyone’s attention, no? Besides, who wouldn’t want to be in the company of Swift, who wrote “Gulliver’s Travel’s” and fought the good fight against the 18th-century British bosses and elite?

What should wine cost? Eric Asimov at the New York Times says $20, for at that price it’s possible to find something where “the odds swing decidedly in your favor. With a little experience, you can find dozens of joyous bottles, plucked carefully from the ranks of the routine.” He lists 20, mostly very nice bottles. though availability outside of Manhattan may be a problem. What intrigued me the most, though, was Asimov’s discussion of price, which is something he doesn’t do much. He acknowledges that $20 may be a lot of money for some of us, and that there are perfectly acceptable bottles of $10 wine for sale. When Eric Asimov says things like that, the wine world has most definitely changed.

Oops: The Wine Blogging Awards, which recently announced its finalists, made a mistake in the Best New Blog category, where one of the finalists wasn’t supposed to be one of the finalists. Something about a math error. It’s pretty much a mess, and involves separate voting in that category. I suppose I could write something snarky here, like a wine blogger should, but I like to think I’m better than that. Besides, the awards have enough problems of their own.

One Response to Winebits 241: Wine reviews, wine prices, wine blogging

  1. bill@billmciver.com' Bill McIver says:

    For my time, 1978-2000, in winemaking, Matanzas Creek’s wines sold in the top price tiers — in fact we came out with the first $75/btl Chard and $100/btl Merlot. I learned about wine drinking from top price tier wines. Now I hate paying more than $30 for wine in a restaurant and I buy wines that cost around $10/btl for daily dinner; much of it lower. Asimov is right.

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