Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mike Lynch Gets Score of 100 Points

"Mandrake, have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of wine? "
"Well, no, I can't say I have."

Mike Lynch has
a great column about how he came to "love" the 100-point scale. I've gotta agree. Despite its flaws, I do think that 100 points gives a reviewer "room" to be more precise than a 10 or 20 point scale. I think when you taste thousands of wines each year, as many reviewers do, you really do get a sense of the difference (in your mind anyway) between a 90 and an 89 point wine. As Jim Laube said when asked what's the difference between a 94 and a 95 - "I like the 95 a little bit better" (paraphrased). In the end, its like the BCS rankings or everybody's "Top 100 Something's of 2006" - they aren't intended to be absolute measurements but instead a somewhat arbitrary ranking of things we enjoy that create discussion, controversy and debate. And that is what makes them all worth having.

I also would like to give a hearty "Cheers!" to Mr. Lynch and the following quote from his column:

"The 100-point scale is the most effective tool we have for marketing wine to the public. It excites consumers. It also forces wineries to produce better wines with fewer flaws. It encourages wine critics to take a stand rather than equivocate. It sets a benchmark, making it easier to compare relative qualities among wines. Yes, we can thank the 100-point system for the internationalization of wine. Finally we can taste real terroir, rather than bad winemaking and unsanitary cellar conditions. The 100-point scale was not created by Satan. It was developed by kind and benevolent scientists to lead mankind out of the thin, under-ripe world of yesterday into the hedonistically rich and unctuous world of tomorrow."

That was good.....I mean really, really good. Satisfying like a 98 point Zinfandel.



Blogger timmyc said...

I have to say I agree, I used to use a 20 point system - the problem was that I found very little reached 20 points (equivalent of 100 surely) even 19 (95-99) was rare - that left everything else drinkable being either 16,17 or 18 (and possibly 15) that means a massive difference between a 16 and 18 pointer - but more to the point you can end up with literally hundreds of wines which you score 16 - but some of which will be really very nice indeed and some might be a little uninspired but well made.

February 09, 2007 7:51 AM  

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