scores on the doors or .. simply riders on the storm?
Into this house we’re born
Into this world we’re thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm
There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road, yeah
Girl ya gotta love your man
Girl ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah yeah yeah and yeah baby!
So, let’s jot down a little of the dog without a bone. Here they are. PB, CC, WA, OC, WS, JR, NM, AG, RP, ST, SP, JS and it goes on and on and on and on… maybe there are some new ones today to add, who knows?
There are many more as you well know, of course, and you probably have to subscribe to the various wine journals, or sunday periodicals, WineApps? (whatever that is) to really keep up with who is who in the wine writing game these days. There is a JA, there is an OS and who is GS? and, oh my god, who is EPR? Gottcha there, the last one is as clear as a whistle for me. I made it up, but it is our dear old departed friend, Edmund P-Arousal, who thank goodness was around at a time when names seem to carry more weight than just someone’s initials. Mine, by the way is WPH (and who cares). The others, well I am sure we can work them all out, if you can be bothered to. I just cannot believe where they get the time, or really the inclination, to write all this garb down. And that’s just the writing bit. Tasting aswell? I am a wine drinker as you know, and even my limit of daily wine intake has to be put on check. Lunch, always wine (a glass or two). Dinner always a wine. As someone brightly once said, I cannot help feeling it was me of course, that the only meal of the day without wine, is of course called ‘breakfast’. Even then I have enjoyed a glass of night before fizz, or a good hearty, brekky red Burgundy before heading off into the chilly highlands, with or without stick and gun.
But it does leave me squirmin’ like a toad (a bit) when you read over and over again the JS, crispy Sauvignon Blanc notes, or the wine has body, and that wine has a finish that goes on and on. Or the other guy, who writes that this Claret is the greatest vintage ever made, yet it is the third time (vintage) that he has written the same note on the same wine from a different vintage. In Argentina and Chile, recently (more the latter of course) they are receiving scores of the perfect 100 points. Whaaaat! cringe!!
Is someone going to make him (her aswell of course) understand that people do actually bother to read some of this stuff (including me with my speed reading ability on full, as it is apart of my job as a wine dealer. I have to know what the hell my customers are talking about half of the time). Please, if you are going to make an effort to taste something, do have the decency to admit when you have made a mistake or when you have overscored a wine. And try your very best not to be so dam repetitive. It drives me completely mad. There are more descriptive words in the English dictionary than the 25 you all keep using to describe 1000s of different wines from around the world. I am not asking for W.Shakespeare here, but come on!
This could be an old chestnut of course, but there was a story going around, last year, about a dinner where 3 or 4 of these very top wine critics, and I mean the big 4 one hundred pointer brigade. They had been polishing off a number of bottles of wine at dinner and finally went to be at 5am. The following morning, one of the big four was out of bed at 9.30am, tasting a bunch of wines, all noted and complete with scores, to get the copy to his magazine’s 10am deadline. Wow!
So where is the flesh on these bones? if any. Let’s call it Wine Scoring, for now. I think it is the correct terminology but really I have no clue. It does however remind me a little of my dear late sister’s refrigerator door. When I used to visit the family in London, there were silver stars splattered all over the shiny fridge door with the names of her children magnetized to it. If the children did a good job, when they were at home, they won a star. At the end of the month, the stars were added up and the ‘winner’ received a prize. No, not a case of house Burgundy or a decent bottle of Claret, but probably a trip to the sweet shop or to the zoo. I really don’t know. But it has put me into a wee stooper as to what and why a points system (the more we receive) should equate to a better? , a higher? It’s just someone’s opinion. It could all just be wrong. Look at what Darwin came up for goodness sake. And with regards to this column, a wine that should be sort after as it has higher points than another wine, can just go down the swanny. I want to drink everything. Life is short and these dam wine scores are just making it even shorter.
And for the final sake of my non-argument, we can call it the WPH over-obsetinal wine scoring-system (a.k.a. WPHOOWSS). You can try it out if you want to, you have my contact details. So what you do is this. Buy a case of wine (3, 6 or 12 bottles) and see how many bottles are left at the end of the week, month? It can be mixed, it can be a vertical mix, it can even be a horizontal mixture. Hay why not go the whole hog, it won’t hurt I promise, and actually buy a case of something the same and risk, ooooH no not risk I can’t handle that one, that it might just not be your cuppa. But I guess you’ve done your homework already on the wine, and is it really so bad to drink the something that is more or less for a bit. It sure makes me appreciate the good stuff a lot more knowing that across the board there is so much variety. The spice of life!
If this is all too complicated for you a much more simpler version of this is, the FULL glass system. The full glass, half full glass or the empty glass system. What’s left on your table. If there is something, then use it to cook with, but never throw it down the goddam sink.
Last one. I put three bottles of 99/100 point South American wine here, the other day, for some pretty experienced tasters. Blind of course. All three bottles got different scores. Sorry, it was the same wine. Naughty me and more cringe.
asta la vida baby!