Public Opinion is to Elite Snobbery as Wine Blogger Reviews are to Wine Critic Reviews
When it comes to wine, what happened to the court of public opinion? Does the public even have an opinion? The wine industry has been dominated by a few individuals for such a long time that the voice of the masses has been drowned in a whirlpool of professional wine critics and writers.
The total reliance on professional opinion is one of the major factors contributing to the sorry state of the wine industry. Unfortunately, most people seem to be afraid to voice their opinion about wine. But there is one important thing to remember, tasting wine is a SUBJECTIVE experience.
It doesn’t matter what someone else has said about a particular wine, its all about what YOU think about it. While there are definite benefits to reading wine critic reviews, they should be taken for what they are; someone’s opinion on a subjective experience. Taking these opinions as rule is the best way to back your palate into a corner and never really discover what you really like and don’t like.
> Free Thinkers are to Sheep as “Followers of their own Preferences” are to “Followers of Wine Critics Preferences.”
Fortunately, over the past couple of years, things have been changing. The development of the wine blogosphere, although still in its infancy, has enabled a more democratic take on wine and the wine industry. Instead of reading a wine publication, many people are searching blog posts for wine reviews. These reviews are a better representation of public opinion because they are not corrupted by the forces influencing major wine magazines.
> Public Opinion is to Elite Snobbery as Wine Blogger Reviews are to Wine Critic Reviews
In addition to the wine blogs, there are now wine websites that are more interested in what people like you think than what some professional wine critic thinks. User generated wine sites like Cork’d, Winelog, Openbottles, Bottletalk and Vinorati all emphasize user opinion.
The trend towards impartial user reviews is taking hold in almost every major industry. User reviews are all over sites like Amazon and Overstock, and were the driving force behind the development of blogs; as they morphed from personal websites to weblogs at the turn of the millennium.
> Democracy is to Non-Marxist Imperialism as User Generated Reviews are to Wine Critic Reviews.
It seems that there are three major categories of opinion; Wine Critics, Wine Bloggers and the General Publics. Which is most important to you? How many people would have a give a positive review of a wine to convince you its good? If a wine critic gave a wine a bad review, would you automatically think its bad?
These are questions you can only answer for yourself, but have serious implications on the direction of the wine industry. As more emphasis is placed on wine blogger and general public opinion, the wine industry will become more democratic and less imperialistic. And it is within this movement that people will free their palates and truly develop their own tastes and preferences.