like this one, they attribute rising or falling ticket sales to star power, the weather, franchises getting old, new technology, and basically anything other than whether or not the movies are good.
I'm not here to slam Hollywood; it drives me crazy when Congressmen do so. The entertainment industry is America's most important; not only do we make a fortune exporting films, TV shows and music; we also simultaneously export the desire for the products shown within.
In fact, rather than disagree with the fact that Hollywood executives don't think film quality has much to do with success, I'm going to take the obvious position: this is their job. They have a lot of money riding in the industry and they know more about it than I do. Most likely they're right.
And that thought leads me to the question in the headline: Does quality matter in the wine industry?
Let's stipulate that, as with film, a wine can't be technically inept. Movies have to be in focus; wines have to avoid bacteriological infections, unintentional oxidation or other obvious flaws that even a novice couldn't ignore. The wine industry has only mastered this in the last 15 or 20 years, but with the exception of severely corked wines or wines damaged in transit, almost every commercial wine today is at least drinkable.
Do they really need to be any better than that?
I would argue that they don't: that the wine industry and Hollywood have more in common than we like to admit.
Don't get all huffy with me about how you love your single-vineyard Washington Syrah, and you never buy that mass-market crap. Well, I haven't paid to see a mainstream Hollywood action film in years. What's the difference? You and I, we're in the niche market, whether it's for independent films or small-production wines. Collectively, we matter; both Hollywood and the larger wine industry have thousands of people devoted to making products to please us.
But we're not where the big money is. There's an expression in the wine industry about the stacks of cases you see in the center aisle of stores: "Stack 'em high and watch 'em fly." You and I, we shop from the shelves, where the good stuff is.
The rest of America grabs wine from the stacked cases with the on-sale signs, and goes to see Hollywood blockbusters, with little regard for what the critics think.
Just food for thought for a Tuesday. Wine lovers like to think we matter, but we're really just an easily definable niche market.