Sorry for the radio (er, blog) silence of late. It’s been a busy few weeks for me with non-blog things–but I am now back in the proverbial saddle.
What with the heat, humidity and storms here in the northeast, and fireworks on the horizon, pardon me for thinking that we were in summer. Instead, it seems to be open season once again for trashing wine critics. A resurgence in interest in Bob Hodgson’s studies seems to have sparked the boom in articles deriding wine tasting and criticism. But these articles have also reached into the annals of the subfield to pull out other studies pointing to the fact that wine consumers are perhaps more influenced by price or labels than what’s in the glass in front of them.
Don’t throw the l’enfant jesus out with the bathwater. While it might be hilarious to see a wine snob get his comeuppance, people in America (and around the world) are increasingly into wine and crave more knowledge about wine. In fact, I taught an intensive wine class at the New School last week and about half the participants admitted they wanted to be “that guy” at parties, who can talk about wine with confidence and order from a wine list with aplomb. Blind tasting is a bit of a parlor game and there are a million facts to learn that someone could be tripped up on. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that wine goes with food, fuels socializing, and is easy to uncork and enjoy.
So even if there is a lack of rigor in a lot of blind tasting and more than a whiff of pseudoscience, learning more about wine is still something meaty that people want and value. Or am I wrong–what do you think?