As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.
These columns are hosted by Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).
In my latest column, I applaud the declining influence of prominent wine critics — and contend that in the optimistic future of American wine, well-informed consumers will be confident in their own preferences and eager to explore without consulting a professional critic.
A Consumer Revolution in Wine
“This democratization of wine is great,” asserted Jancis Robinson, one of the world’s leading wine authorities, over coffee one recent morning.
Robinson was in Washington, D.C., to promote the seventh edition of The World Atlas of Wine, the indispensable reference book co-authored with Hugh Johnson.
Robinson has spent the last four decades writing about wine, publishing thousands of reviews. Yet while chatting about wine criticism, she seemed excited about the prospect of consumers putting less stock in her opinion.
“No longer are wine critics and reasonably well-known wine writers like me sitting on a pedestal, haughtily handing down our judgments,” she said. “Nowadays… [consumers] can make up their own minds. That’s altogether a lot healthier.”
To hear Robinson so eagerly applaud the declining influence of prominent critics was refreshing.
In the optimistic future of American wine, well-informed consumers will be confident in their own preferences and eager to explore without consulting a professional critic. Already, we’re well on our way.
Check out the rest of the piece on Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.