Who Died and Made You Prince?

May 28, 2014 by

Who Died and Made You Prince?

Who Died and Made You Prince?

I am a professional wine writer/blogger. I am also a longtime wine industry professional and wine judge. I have a good palate and a strong work ethic. And I do my best to be nice. My mother told me, many years ago, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” and I took that to heart. I use that tenet in my personal life and in my career as a wine writer as well.

If a wine doesn’t meet my exacting standards (Does it taste good? Is it varietally correct? Is it consistent from the first sniff through the finish?), I simply keep my tasting notes for future reference. I NEVER write anything bad about a wine. I know firsthand all the passion, sweat and dedication that goes into making and marketing wines.

Some wine bloggers feel that it’s their duty to alert the public to “inferior” wines. This has always bothered me. Case in point – a few months back, I took part in the production and marketing a fairly large local wine event. This wine event drew many small, family-owned wineries as participants. There was a wine blogger who had a fairly high profile position with the event (and an even higher opinion of himself), although in actuality, he didn’t do much to promote it or help produce it. In fact, this blogger took it upon himself to denigrate the wines of a participating small winery.  He told the winery owner that the wines were going to get bad reviews in his newsletter, because he, in his infinite wisdom, felt that they were inferior. The winery owner then called me, distraught about the possible impact of said blogger’s opinion. I reassured her. Since this blogger is not Robert Parker, Steve Heimoff, Jon Bonné, Alder Yarrow, Hosemaster or any other A List wine writer (although in his mind, I’m sure he thinks he’s of the same echelon), I told her that his impact is limited.

My point is this – what gives ANYONE the right to criticize someone’s art? Wine is art. I have two words for you egotistical hobbyists out there – BE NICE.



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1 Comment

  1. Jill

    I agree wholeheartedly.
    While working in the wine industry, I learned a special phrase that I would use if someone asked for my opinion and I didn’t “like” what I tasted…”It’s not my style.”

    Unless it was corked or had turned, I tried to reserve criticism and only kept to an objective description…

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