quote:Originally posted by pape du neuf:
Parker lost me immediately with this phrase "when a vociferous minority are perpetrating nothing short of absolute sham on wine consumers"
Just a few sentences earlier he was claiming to be even minded and logical. Then he jumps in with emotional, doctrinaire, and unsubstantiated claims.
It is true that Parker has become a convenient target for dissidents to the hegemony of "big wines", but Parker put himself in the cross hairs, and he is mainly the one who caused a difference in taste to devolve into, "I know you are, but what am I?
I suppose the problem started with the 100 point scale. It is not just the rating itself, but the fiction that the points have any absolute value. As Parker's influence spread, more wines were made to score Parker points. Thus, RP takes credit for raising the overall level of wine making. I do agree that he has had considerable influence, often for the better. I dislike brett and concur with him on cleanliness in wine making.
A big issue is the disconnect between the way wines are rated, and the way I drink wine. That is, with meals. I'd say that the majority of Americans don't primarily think of wine food combinations any more deeply than red with meats, white with fish. Many drink wine before the meal, after, or without food altogether. Published critics, OTOH, always taste without food. It goes without saying that riper, softer, and even sweeter wines are going to give a better impression.
Another way that critics take wine out of context is by ignoring the way wine is interwoven into the culture of the people who have grown the grapes for centuries. I'll just say for shorthand that they practice cultural imperialism. We are dominant, so our way is best. Parker sees the homogenization of wines from Bordeaux, Spain, Napa, Tuscany and anywhere else to be a move for the better. He just doesn't get it when people prefer old styles and niche grape varieties.