Blog: Olly WehringWine writers - criticising the critics

Olly Wehring | 9 February 2010

It's open season for critics of wine critics here in the UK this month.

Last week, US wine personality (I struggle still to find out what it is he actually does) Tim Hanni attacked wine critics en masse, claiming that the breed are of little use to the wine consumer in the street.

"We've created the false idea that to be a wine expert you have to have an almost supernatural palate," he told the Guardian. "But, ironically, if anyone really did have such a palate, it would disqualify them from being an oracle to those who didn't.

"Received wisdom holds that certain wines are simply the best, and that anyone who disagrees is stupid, unsophisticated, or both. That's more chaotic than giving people the confidence to drink what they like, no matter what the bottle costs, and no matter what food they enjoy it with."

(Granted, Hanni was pushing a questionnaire he has designed in partnership with Bibendum in the UK, designed to help consumers work out what tastes they prefer. Still, his opinion on wine writers warrants consideration.

Today, however, Tim Atkin – a wine writer – has countered Hanni's argument, going so far as to suggest: “Experienced wine critics are arguably more essential in a recession than ever.”

Do feel free to let me know which side of the fence you sit on. Indeed, if you tell me, I'll tell you.

I'll have to whisper it, mind.


BLOG

How to test Heineken's sense of humour

Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....

BLOG

Which spirits category is the next big thing?

Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....

BLOG

Aperol Spritz - Just the one. A large one?

I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....

BLOG

Boston Beer Co "just plain ugly" for TV money man

Jim Cramer, the excitable host of stock-picker programme Mad Money on CNBC, turned his attention on US brewers last week, attempting to forecast which has the most potential for investors....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?