It's true in art: LeRoy Nieman retrospectives don't run at the Met, nor do collections of dogs playing poker. It's true in music: if it weren't for critics, would anyone listen to atonal classical compositions, free jazz or Elvis Costello?
And of course it's true in wine. This was brought home for me last weekend at Critics Challenge, a fine wine competition in San Diego, where the sweetness of many red wines was noticeably high.
I sat for part of the competition across from a serious wine expert who I enjoyed discussing the wines with. I, like many critics in the non-Parker class, do not like perceivable sweetness in red wines that are supposedly dry. But for my co-judge, these wines looked like a series of body blows; the judge's head would whip to the side, there'd be an exclamation, sometimes a grunt, often a "No, no, no!" I felt a little badly that I wasn't suffering as much.