"The market trend now is to consume quality wines at prices of less than 10 Euros"
This morning the American blogger Robin Goldstein participated at FENAVIN, the National Trade Fair on Wine that is being held from today through Thursday in Ciudad Real, in a chat in which the idea was to dismantle the myth of the wine guides and classifications that have been proliferating in the last few years, the same promoted by the international gurus of wine, such as Robert Parker, and that in a certain way have been marking prices and trends in wines all over the world.
Goldstein, who studied Neurology at Harvard and is a Law Graduate by the University of Yale, champions the blind tasting session in order to guaranty really honest reviews of a wine, because in his opinion "what is really important is to enjoy the wines, independently of labels and prices." He told the audience that given his experience he has been able to prove that when you eliminate information about prices, people tend to choose cheaper wines. "I'm not saying that the more expensive wines are worse, but that there is a relationship between the type of wine and the price. In this sense it must be taken into account that price is not an objective factor, as the important thing is whether one likes the wine or not."
In the opinion of this wine reviewer, in these times of economic crisis consumers have other demands, choosing cheaper wines, as according to the experiments he has evaluated. The same by way of blind tasting sessions and other procedures, the results we are seeing is that there is more pleasure involved in trying cheaper wines than when tasting the expensive wines that the great gurus recommend. "The result of these studies is that wines that cost more than 25 dollars a bottle are undergoing a drastic drop in consumption, while the tendency is to buy wines that cost less than 15 dollars in the United States and 10 dollars in Europe."
In this respect, he believes that the guidebook published by Robert Parker that recommends wines that cost less than 15 dollars may have had its influence in the classification that his team has made in "The Wine Trials 2011". He has even asked himself if these wine guides are useful for regular consumers, reaching the conclusion that what really interests people is that the price of the wine be less than 15 dollars.
He also takes a tough stance in exacting that wine reviews should have some sort of serious credentials qualifying them to talk about wine. He explained how some of the tests they do to accredit these experts leave a lot to be desired and in most cases the tests they have to pass to obtain the certification are not very scientific, as they are mainly based on the interests of the wineries and companies so that their wines will be promoted in the most expensive guide books.
He even criticized the words that are used to define the characteristics of some wines. For example, he referred to the multiple adjectives used in the organoleptic definitions and in the description of the sensations that the reviewers obtain, such as "quince-like, strawberry-like, milk chocolate, baked apple, and winter pear… Really, ask yourselves if this is what we can taste in a wine while we have dinner, if these are really the adequate words he stated.
After talking about the lack of importance that international gurus such as Parker give to wines such as Catalan cava, a fine alternative to champagne and much cheaper, or the Provençal rosés, Goldstein hopes that the situation will change and that wine reviewers will start progressing towards more rigorous work in that regarding the needs of the average consumer.