100 Point Rating System
The 100 point rating system is a good gauge of quality for consumers. Wine is an unparalleled consumer category with far too much choice for any reasonable human being to make a purchase decision at the point of sale. 100 point scale ratings act as an arbitration of quality and a valuable consumer service.
And, let’s not forget that a very, very small segment of wine consumers study wine as enthusiasts, the rest of the population needs a quality indicator.
Further proof is the simple fact that other subjective areas of review like music and books are adopting the 100 point scale because of its usefulness in helping consumers wade through too many choices with too few differentiators.
The 100 point rating system is the scourge of the wine world. By placing a number on a wine, dictated by a singular palate, it prevents consumers from doing what is the simple joy of wine – exploration. Instead, they make purchase decisions based on number, somebody else’s interpretation of “good.”
There is a difference between an artist and somebody who paints by the numbers, they are two completely different realms, and this painting by the numbers approach objectifies wine and its enjoyment in situ.
And, need I say anymore than the fact that it’s not even a 100 point scale, it’s really a 50 point scale and most wines, perfectly good wines, are persona non grata if they don’t score over an 85.
It’s ruining the wine world.
Giving wineries and retailers the ability to sell directly to the consumer is THE American way. Can you imagine if other consumer product categories had to go through a limited amount of distributors who would determine what could and could not be sold in a given state or market?
It’s lunacy and it’s anti-competitive for small producers who make up 95% of the wine world.
Factor in the political corruption of politicians who are hijacked by lobbyists under the guise of protecting our youth, and it all smells very rotten.
Give people the freedom to buy what they want from where they want.
The 21st Amendment was put in place for very good reason – to give states the power to protect their interests related to matters of alcohol.
It’s an efficient system that serves everybody very well – wine producers, retailers and consumers and in doing so gives them much greater choice then what would be available in a completely unregulated wild, wild west atmosphere, while keeping alcohol out of the hands of our youth.
The fact is that if checks and balances aren’t in place to protect youth, what is preventing them from buying wine online? Our politicians are merely doing the work of the people, who have indicated that protecting our future, our kids, is paramount.
New World vs. Old World
New World wines, as proven at the Judgment of Paris, and repeatedly thereafter, show that history isn’t an indicator of quality.
No New World wine drinkers are blinded by the canard of tradition that isn’t backed by quality.
Domestic wines have ruled the Old World for years and, in fact, other emerging wine countries are now giving the U.S. a run for IT’S money.
Technology, innovation, fresh thinking and competition all create a better product that is attuned to today’s palate, annoying traditionalists and their thin wines not included.
The New World needs to show some respect for Old World producers. Quality isn’t measured in months or years, it’s measured in centuries. Where would New World producers be were it not for the Old World?
Even the supposed New World champion, Robert Mondavi, used French quality as his baseline.
In 1855 the French were creating quality classifications for wineries that are still the best in the world to this day. Back then, the U.S. was trying to figure out if wine would even grow there, using French cuttings, I might add.
The U.S. culture is the same as their wine, all “now-now brashness” with no refinement and no sophistication.
Gen. Y and Wine
Generation Y is a saving grace for New World wine producers. With the aging of Baby-Boomers, the wine industry needed fresh blood. Even better is the fact, that they have bypassed the traditional adoption curve starting with White Zin—they’re adventurous with a taste for premium wines, domestic and imports. Not to mention, Gen. Y is also dragging wineries into social media kicking and screaming.
Thank goodness they’re here!
Generation Y. taking to wine just might be the final swirl in the wine toilet bowl.
If we’re reduced to pandering to a demographic that treats wines with as much reverence as their constant and perpetual practice of being in the moment tethered to text messaging and Facebook, we should immediately start writing the obituary for wine as a beverage of distinction.
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