I love wine, but I am by no means an expert on the subject. While I will swirl it in my glass and occasionally do that “slurping” thing that wine-tasters do (it really does alter the flavor of the liquid when it’s in the mouth, believe it or not), I don’t indulge in the weird language that wine afficionadoes have developed. I won’t talk about how a particular wine has “a bouquet like a fresh carnation, with a body reminiscent of blackberries and a chocolate finish”. I’ll pretty much stick to, “Yep, I like this one”, or “Yeeccchhhhh!!!” When buying wine, I’ll stick to some brands that I have had luck with in the past (Ruby Port by Cockburn is a favorite, though not in the summer months — I find Port too heavy for warm-weather drinking), and experiment with others pretty much by whim. The idea of ruthlessly adhering to the lofty edicts of some wine critic strikes me as bizarre, because I’ve learned from books and movies that there is no guarantee that I’m going to like what a critic likes, so why should wine be any different?
Well, according to this article from Slate, many people do precisely that, rigidly observing one particular critic’s 100-point scale for wines. Setting aside the obvious problem of how on Earth wine can be qualified with the precision that a 100-point scale implies, don’t people have tastebuds of their own?