Sunday, November 30, 2008

Great Wine Quote

"The debate is not about whether the numbers are right but whether it is right to have numbers. Everyone agrees that Parker is, on his own terms, a completely honest scorer; but by scoring he intends to serve the consumer, and makes the wine drinker into one. What consumers want is reliable beverage products, and, once wine is a reliable beverage product, it isn't quite wine."

Demanding absolute excellence on an unchanging universal numerical scale is not, after all, our usual measure of sensual engagement. A man who makes love to fifty-some women and then publishes a list in which each one gets a numerical grade would not be called a lady's man. He would be called a cad. And that, more or less, is how a good many Frenchmen think of Parker: they don't doubt his credentials; they question his character. A real man likes moles and frailties; a real man marries his wine, as he marries his wife, and sees her through the thin spots. Being impatient with the tannins in a Margaux is like being impatient with the lines on your wife's face. They are what makes it a marriage rather than a paid assignation."

From THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY by ADAM GOPNIK in The New Yorker Issue Sept. 6, 2004. Review of the book "Noble Rot", by William Echikson.


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