Ethics and Wine Critics

Posted by Keith Wallace

There has been an ongoing conversation about ethics regarding wine writing.  Specifically, wine reviews.  Should a (well-known) critic and his or her colleagues take samples and/or go on junkets that have been paid for by the very folks whose wines they will be reviewing.  Should a mere wine blogger do it?

This all started with Tyler Colman (Dr. Vino) posing questions to both Robert Parker, Jr. and Jay Miller (one of Parker’s staff writers) regarding Parker’s high standards of impartiality that have been the cornerstone of his wine reviewing since he started.  The question was whether or not those standards have changed recently, as it appears that Mr. Miller has, indeed, written wine reviews that were paid for by the producers of those wines.  Oh, and lots of other things.

It’s an interesting read for those who:

  • Enjoy The Real Housewives of New York City (what with all the name-calling and catfighting that comes with it.  Oh, what would Jill Zarin do?)
  • To be surprised by the rare insight made by a precious few (Joe Dressner comes to mind).  (Warning:  you must swim through a lot o’ sea to get to that “Aha!” moment)
  • Or just like a good debate (Undeniably, most people do not understand the concept of “debate”).

After reading through all the hundreds of thoughts, insights, and observations of so many wine folks, you may find your heart not settled on a damn thing.  Ah, but that is where the lovely Jancis Robinson comes along:  To ease our hearts and make it all make a little more sense.  She wrote brilliantly on The Ethics of Wine Writing last week.  It is definitely worth checking out.

Frankly, I’d head right on over to Jancis and get back to that marathon of Real Housewives.  Not that you’ll learn anything about personal ethics or anything.  But you might walk away better-mannered.

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00