WINE & DINE COLUMN: Hits and Misses of a Wine Manifesto

Chris Parente, Wine & Dine Column

Chris Parente, Wine & Dine Column

By: Chris Parente, Strategic Communications Group

Jaime Goode is one of the wine writers I follow online. He’s the wine columnist for the U.K. newspaper The Sunday Express, and he’s been blogging about wine since 2001.

This month he tried to capture his thoughts about wine in what he called his manifesto. It’s an interesting list, some of which I agree with and some that I don’t. He says the reason he published this was to spur discussion, so I thought I’d use this column to do just that.

Here are some of his stipulations that I agree with:

Rule 5 – “Some wines are just wine”

Some wines are simply enjoyable, there is nothing profound to explain about them.

Rule 11 – “Wine, Be yourself”

Goode is saying here that the world needs good, cheap wine. That wine shouldn’t pretend or attempt to be more than it is. Authenticity is more important than prestige.

Rule 13 – “Taste is not in the wine”

A wine’s taste is not inherent, but arises from our interaction with it. Each individual brings a lot to the tasting experience.

Rule 19 – “Wine resists the proud”

This is my personal favorite. Wine is an inexhaustible topic, and the more you know, the more there is to learn. This should produce humility. No one can know it all, and that’s perfectly OK.

Here are a few where I think Goode misses the mark:

Rule 6 – “Wine is a mystical transformation”

I think I know what he’s getting at here, but an understanding of yeast and bacteria isn’t required to respect and enjoy wine.

Rule 9 – “Monsters aren’t serious”

Here he’s talking about really big, bold, over the top wines. Goode clearly hates very ripe, oaky wine. That’s his opinion, but too subjective to make it a rule in my opinion.

Rule 15 – “Too many commercial palates”

This one is a little hard to follow, but Goode seems to be saying that a wine that is successful commercially can’t be a “serious” wine, and too well known tasters don’t recognize this fact. Seems again highly subjective and elitist, as if commercial success automatically demotes a wine to a lesser category.

Most of us probably don’t have a manifesto when it comes to wine. But wine is definitely a subject to care about, and one that produces strong opinions. What are some of yours?

Read Parente’s previous Wine & Dine Column: Kimpton Belies the Hotel Restaurant Sterotype on WashingtonExec.

Christopher Parente is managing director and partner of Strategic Communications Group, a social media and public relations consultancy based in Silver Spring, Md. and Tysons Corner, Va. He also publishes Work, Wine and Wheels, a top 100K web site in the United States as measured by Alexa, an online measurement company. You can follow Chris on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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