Blog: Wine 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.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- SABMiller's troubles fuel M&A rumours
- Focus - Remy Cointreau's H1 Performance by Brand
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Diageo Q1 sales dip "in line with expectations"
- TWE unveils Penfolds range after CEO's "bold move"