Any Reviews Including Wine Are OPINIONS..Take Them With “A Grain Of Salt”!


I am literally fed up with people (very few over my 9 year career) taking my Wine Recommendations and getting angry if the Wine wasn’t their taste. The worst part is they have the BALLS to return the Wine to the retail shop they bought it at in perfect condition(no cork taint) with no other reason for wanting their money back except after drinking the wine, they didn’t like it. Can you imagine how many Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Book Stores would be refunding money all day long, if people said “I didn’t like the Movie that got 4 stars and I want my money back”? Restaurants comping checks all day long because their friends told them this was the best Italian restaurant in town and they didn’t agree. What a scenario at a Book Store if someone reads a New York Time’s Bestseller and the consumer comes back after finishing the novel with the request being “I would like a full refund on this book because the New York Times said this Novel was great reading and I thought it sucked”!

Wine reviewers like myself and popular magazines like Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, International Wine Cellar, all have 4 or 5 different opinions about the same vintage of the same wine. One might score it 95 points and the other 82 points saying it was too tannic or bitter or needs more time. A Review is just another form of Opinion….Take it with a grain of salt and move on. Either try the reviewer’s suggestion or opinion or don’t. A good Sommelier (I consider myself in that category), once getting to know a specific person’s palate can pretty much hit the nail on the head 9 out of 10 times. With someone they never met, sometimes it’s hit or miss.

Case in point. The 2009 Chateau Trebiac Red Bordeaux from the Graves (Gravel) region is one of my new favorite values. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The name is derived from the area’s gravel soils, which help to create the distinctive profile of Graves wines – particularly those made from Cabernet Sauvignon. While Merlot grows well in the heavier clay of places such as Saint-Emilion, Cabernet Sauvignon performs very well in free-draining gravel and sand. I personally would rate this wine 89 Points and an absolut steal at under $15 in the marketplace. Not to mention that 2009 anything from France was a great year. I love this 2009 Trebiac from Graves because of the beautiful fruit but the distinctive nose and minerality that comes only from that area of Bordeaux.

I have recommended that wine to over 50 people all satisfied and full of gratitude to me for finding them a Bordeaux of such great quality at such a great price. One person, who I had never met before asked me to recommend a great wine for beef from france that was under $20. They hated it. Instead of doing what normal people would do and express their opinion to me and tell me what they didn’t like about the wine so I can get to know their palates better for the next recommendation. No, they had to be that 1 out of 50 to call me and curse me out and saying “you have no right to review a wine and recommend a wine to anyone unnless you have a sample of that wine for them”? Try that in a Restaurant…buddy! Next time a server recommends their favorite entree of the evening tell them you will not take their recommendation until the chef cooks a sample so you can try it or else you are going to order your usual dish you have eaten 100 times in the past. Tell the Movie Theater even though the Chicago Tribune gives the movie you are about to see two thumbs up, you want to watch the film for an hour first and if you like it, you will pay the $8.00 admission but if you don’t agree with the review, you want a full refund!!

The best wine in the world is the one YOU like to drink. My job as a Certified Sommelier is to try to match up your needs, your palate as you describe to me, your budget and then make a recommendation. Just remember, you have two choices: 1- Enhance your Wine Experience by trying new Recommendations or 2- Take my review as an “OPINION” and buy the same wine you have been buying every week. I promise to not be offended if you don’t take my Recommendation. I will be offended if after I did the best I can do to recommend what MY Palate and Training thinks is the best wine for you and after having a couple of glasses you disagree, YOU HAVE THE BALLS TO ASK FOR YOUR MONEY BACK FROM THE RETAILER YOU BOUGHT THE WINE FROM”

One thought on “Any Reviews Including Wine Are OPINIONS..Take Them With “A Grain Of Salt”!

  1. Larry I couldn’t agree with you more, you hit this one right on the head. People expect that a recommendation is a promise of enjoyment which is never te case. I will say that every recommendation you have given me has been great. You know my taste and you know I’m down to try anything new. Great blog, keep then coming!

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