Before we head into Roussillon next week, a friend of mine asked me, via twitter, about vintage. And I got to thinkin, WOW, what a juicy subject. The word brings to mind terroir, climate and DRAMA! What is it about vintage and why is it so important? Is it so important?
The following are one wine geek’s thoughts on the idea of vintage. Let the conversation begin:
Never think that good Bordeaux wine is beyond the reach of your wallet. Join me as I get nice with all the other good stuf that is not fetched at auction.
In 1978 an, I would imagine, not-so-happy attorney who had a passion for wine put out a pamphlet on his own dime that helped people, “make their own decisions on wine.” This pamphlet was eventually called THE WINE ADVOCATE. This pamphlet used a 100-point scoring system so that the reader knew what bottles to stay away from and what to enjoy. At the time Robert Parker Jr. was a sort of rebel, changing the way the country assessed wine. Before him there was a widely used five point system (Supported by the world’s most famous wine taster Michael Broadbent) that he believed was not enough this industry and craft.
THE WINE ADVOCATE became very popular, very quickly, at a time when Americans were developing a love for wine. The Judgment of Paris had already taken place and California was on its way to greatness. Thanks to Michael Broadbent the Christie’s wine auctioning program was solidly reestablished and the US was about to go bonkers with wine. Those who had loads of money were buying up lots at auction and having decadent parties with classic vintages and hundreds of guests while the well-developed middle class had a hero that allowed them to sample the good life by buying decent wine and sharing it confidently with friends. That hero was Robert Parker and his system.
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