quote:Originally posted by Thomas Matthews:
What matters is how consistent a critic is, and how closely your palate correlates with the critic's opinions. If you consistently like the wines the critic likes, what difference does it make whether or not the critic smokes or not?
I think that's more than a satisfactory answer to the question. Consistency is really all that most of us can ask for, and then hope to find a critic whose palate seems to match our own. The fact that smoking or any other of a dozen or hundred factors might come into play there doesn't change the end result.