Wine Guides – Which One To Use, If Any

I rarely chime in on the debates raging in the wine world these days. I read about them and think about them but this blog is more informational than polemical. Of course I have an opinion but I don’t always feel the need to voice it loudly, until I do…

On the subject of guides and rating, like many other people, I am generally against citing someone else’s rating or judgment. That said, I do understand that they can be useful to consumers who a) don’t know a lot about wine and b) do not have a lot of time.

I am sitting at my desk as I write this with about six different guides. I sometimes use them for vintage ideas and to see what other people think or merely for a figure such as blends that I can’t find on the website or I forgot to ask in an interview.

What I am trying to say is guides can be useful resource tools. I try not to slavishly follow any of them and to make my own decisions but I think it’s folly to pretend that they don’t and shouldn’t matter.

The same is true of the famous wine experts. It is ridiculous to suggest that they don’t matter in the business. Of course they do. Perhaps they matter too much but one can not ignore them as a stable and often useful presence. Wine experts tend to bring more people into the fold and that is always positive. Whether they need the security of knowing that an expert suggested this or that wine is a matter of personal interest, style and much else.

Like a financial consultant, many people want to know what experts think although to make the best investments in wine or finance, one should always consult more than one source. So, as I close this post, I am looking through my 2008 copy of I Vini D’Italia written by the Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso. I’m curious to see what new information I will glean.


    • I will thanks. Thus far I have discovered lots of wineries I have never heard of and the continued use of the term sapidity which we do not use in English. I find the “salty” discussion fascinating. Thanks for commenting..Sg

  1. Hi, SG:
    I used to accumulate numerous wine guides each year (some sent free by publishers looking for free press) and while sometimes repetitive they reinforced the importance personal opinion when judging or selecting a wine. However, wine guides, just like the occasional blogger, can serve to illuminate the path, particularly when entering a strange forest (such as that of Italian wines).
    I Vini d’Italia is a great example.

  2. Dave,
    Thanks for stopping by. When shall we have our next Pinot Nero?? Lots of NYC events at the start of the year that should interest you for wine openers. Hope all is well.

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