For those who know me, know how much I hate points. I think that by enabling a select few individuals to have an extraordinary level of power over an industry as much as people like Robert Parker (Wine Advocate) and James Laube (Wine Spectator) have over the wine industry, you have an extremely stilted view on this business.
Recently, Tina Caputo, the editor-in-chief for Vineyard and Winery Mgmt. Magazine, put together a documentary entitled, Robert Parker’s Bitch, exposing the debate on the influence critics like Parker and Laube have on the business, and what that influence means to winemakers. Aptly titled, and posted by Josh Hermsmeyer of http://www.pinotblogger.com/, the short documentary features interviews of Randy Dunn, Karen MacNeil, Tom Eddy, and several others, asking them to weigh in on the debate.
Interestingly enough, Karen MacNeil, the Wine Studies Chairperson at the Culinary Institute of America, is also a contributing writer to the Parker’s Web site, so knowing that, viewing the clip is even more fascinating.
You can watch the clip at http://www.vimeo.com/3519159. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. While I agree with Karen MacNeil in that it’s probably a debate that should just be dropped, the fact of the matter is that winemakers ARE artists, and as a fellow artisan myself (if you want to call my writing art), the critics should NOT be dictating how artists create their works.
Just remember, those who can, do, those who can’t, teach, and those who can’t teach, CRITIQUE.