Thursday, April 07, 2005

The power of Suggestion

Many claims have been made regarding various individuals abilities to taste. Some, like Robert Parker, have tastebuds so sensitive and important to our civilization that they even have their palates insured by large companies.

Never have I heard of one of these grand wine experts claiming the ability to taste "humility" in a wine. Yet that is exactly what Mondovino producer Johnathan Nossiter would have you believe he can taste.

Apparently he is in the same league as Msr. Nicolas Joly (whom I've ridiculed in the past) who can taste "authenticity" in wines as well.

Dear Lord! How I'd love to see the both of them perform in a blind tasting! And I do mean perform...because that's exactly what you'd be seeing - a performance by a nouveau 'wine drama king'...and I seriously doubt he could ever pick a wine out based soley by it's producers size without looking at the bottle first. And his hectoring about the follies of mass marketing and making wine from anything more than a few acres (perhaps a hectare or two) is patently absurd. That notion I think dates back to a Roman practice of issuing each citizen an 'iugera' of land to cultivate which they thought was an appropriate amount for an individual to spend an entire year tending (1 iugera ~ 2/3 acre, or 1/4 hectare). Having more land under cultivation was not discouraged, but the need for more manpower (the Romans used slaves for this) was suggested by their writers during their 'civilization'.

But I've digressed somewhat. The idea is that Nossiter suggests some force or ability that he alone can detect, and therefore supports his delusion of grandeur allowing him to appoint himself 'Saviour' of the world's wine culture.

How incredibly pretentious is that?



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