|Like a beach many miles from the sea: what a Roero Arneis vineyard looks like before planting|
I have tasting notes and scores on all the wines I recommended at the end of the article. Normally I would have appended them. That's how mainstream wine writing works, and that's fine.
In the case of Roero Arneis, I felt that there is an ideal taste profile, which I describe in the article. I like that taste profile a lot. Sure, there are variations within it, and I could write my tasting notes in such a way that they all sound very different. And there are variations of quality.
There are several reasons I decided not to run tasting notes: the first two regarding the nature of wine tasting, and the others because of the relationship between wine consumers and the media.
1. The wines were tasted under very different circumstances
|I liked this wine, but did not publish scores|
2. The best wines shared the same characteristics
I always have a hard time writing Chardonnay tasting notes: How many different ways can you write toast and lemon? Lemon curd on toast? I have tasted thousands of Chardonnays, which is grown all over the world, and this is still an issue. It's an even bigger issue for a grape variety grown in one type of soil in one relatively small region.
3. When I post a list of scores and one wine gets a 94 and the others get 91s, people only want the 94
I liked all these wines and want to reward them by recommending them, not subtly insult them by not putting them first. The wines I recommended were all made in quantities of less than 1000 cases. If I single out one as the best, it wouldn't be a stretch for readers to seek it out and buy it up.
4. Most of the wines are limited in production and thus not available everywhere
If my fourth-favorite wine is the only Roero Arneis you can buy at your local store, I don't want to discourage you from buying it by saying it's my fourth-favorite wine. I want to encourage you to try it by saying it's one of my favorite wines, and validate your choice if you do try it. (Validation is a key role for wine critics.)
5. Tasting notes are generally boring
I was happy with the Roero story (you can be the judge) and thought a pile of similar-sounding sentences at the end would give it the wrong kind of finish.
I'm sure I'll post tasting notes and scores again under different circumstances, but this time it felt right not to. What do you think? Should I have posted tasting notes and scores?
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