In my journey with wine, I've often wondered just how much wine ratings really count in the scheme of it all. This is some of what I've learned:
The "professionals" DO have validity. Their ability to smell and taste what's in the wine is really, really good. They understand what a well made wine should taste like. But, their ratings are also used to market wine. Customers depend on ratings to help with their buying decisions. Keep in mind, these ratings are subjective to the individual palate of the person rating the wine. You may not like the same kind of wines that a Robert Parker likes, for example. Also, merchants can be a little tricky. When you're looking to buy a wine that has been rated, be careful. Merchants sometimes word the little rating blurbs in a way that is misleading. I've learned the hard way on this one. So, when you read about a wine that is rated a 92 points by Robert Parker, make sure the bottle of wine that is being sold matches with the year that Robert Parker actually rated. Things like this that can be, technically "okay" in selling wine can be very misleading to the customer who doesn't know what "professionals" and merchants know.
There are many, many great wines that never get reviewed or rated. I acquire these wines as much and as often as possible. A good wine is a good wine, rating or no rating. There are more wines that are not rated than wines that are.
Not all wines that are high rated will be wines that you like. Choose what you like, regardless of the rating. YOUR PALATE IS KING. A caveat...if you want to "push your palate" and try new things to expand your taste experience, try wines that you normally wouldn't buy. You'll get some pleasant surprises.
Explore and have FUN!
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