quote:Originally posted by -Cp:
Yeah but why does he have to sound so goofy with all the repetitive words like "Sniffy Sniff"? Everytime I watch him w/ my wife in the room, she has to leave cause to her - he's like fingernails on a chalkboard...
Mine too. I agree with you as to his antics also, it seems to be a branding/movement thing - he uses the same annoying phrases and those who like him only or more than other wine critics identify with them (and sadly enough might use them, too).
As to whether he's critic, he tastes wines, describes them and assigns a rating, so I think that has to make him a critic. The independence thing is not lost on me though. All other things being equal, I prefer blind and independent ratings to non-blind independent ratings and both to non-blind non-independent ratings.
But all other things are not equal and also, blind, independent ratings are, IMHO, more theoretical than real. I think the major critics often know what they're tasting even if its blind and as all of them are very much a part of the wine world, well, independence is merely a relative thing. As others have noted he pans so many of the wines they stock at all price points.
I don't like the antics. I don't even really like the "changing the wine world" shtick - I've never been a class warfare sort and I don't find him that different than other critics, save that he doesn't tend to taste really expensive wines. If you listed his ratings and compared them, I think you'd have a lot of head scratching to do. But I better understand what hes tasting than when I read others notes. Not the sweat socks nonsense (see gimicks above), the bigger things: fruit, acidity, tannin, oak, etc.
Just my .02