The Rating Game by Greg Altieri
I hark back to a cartoon I read over twenty years ago – First frame shows a customer tasting a certain wine in a wine shop…customer exclaims, “This is awful!” Second frame: store person says “The Wine Speculator rated it 90 points”. Customer says “I’ll take a case”.
Never has a picture spoken truer words and little did that cartoonist know how strongly prophetic that piece would be twenty years later. The specter of the wine rating still exists and more than ever wields far too much influence and further numbs the individual’s ability to exercise his/her own judgment. Taking it a step further, its 1984 (George Orwell) all over again; forget about the freedom to make decisions and the freedom to form impressions based on one’s individual development of sensory faculties.
The great aspect of this business, however, is that usually there are no right or wrong answers – just opinions. We’re playing a subjective game; we all should keep that perspective. The gray area (read: individual preference) should far surpass the black and white (the arbiter of taste), yet I keep hearing the horror stories.