Sunday, September 10, 2006

Checking the Critics...

Our local newspaper wine critic uses a "5 star" rating system, which is a tad better than the "100 point" scale. What he does different is rate the wine with respect to its cost - that is, a 4 star wine that costs 10 bucks should not be expected to taste like a 4 star wine that costs 100 bucks. What he gets wrong is that I have no idea what he expects a 10 buck bottle of wine to taste like...I want to know: is the damn bottle crappy, ok, or good. Then I make a judgement as to value - would I buy this wine at this price?
Alright, he rated the Estola, La Mancha, Reserva, 2001 4 stars. It costs $13. He raved about it, actually. Well, it's an OK kind of wine, nothing really wrong with it, actually went nicely with pork chops, but don't think for a minute it's what you would expect a "4 star" wine to taste like. If it cost $7-9, I'd say buy a bunch and drink it during the week. Don't keep it open in the glass or bottle too long though, it gets weedy fast. So, I would rate it "OK", and as for value, it's certainly questionable as to whether I would buy it again. Try it yourself, see if you think it's good value for the price. You gotta love the often colourful little labels the spanish put on the back of their bottles - it tells you where the wine is from (La Mancha in this case - check out the little guy on the horse, he thinks he's Don Quixote) and the quality level (Reserva in this case, means aged in wood then bottle a minimum period before release).


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