Tim Atkin on ‘Taster-bashing’

by Charles Lea

Tim Atkin MW on crackling form in this week’s edition of the trade rag ‘Off-Licence News‘ (bet quite a lot of you did not even know it existed). Following-up on a headline-grabbing article in the Observer at the weekend, he roundly rebuts the idea that tasters cannot tell one wine from another or judge quality…

The article prompted a flurry of online responses, most of them agreeing with the premise that tasting expertise is questionable at best or, as two of the 346 comments put it, “a crock of shit” peddled by “pretentious nobheads”.

Features bashing wine experts with their “flowery language” seem to appeal for two main reasons: first, they enable some members of the British wine-consuming public to indulge the muddle-headed notion that cheap plonk is “often superior” to more expensive stuff (that deal-driven, lowest- common-denominator mentality that has done so much damage to average wine quality in the UK) and, second, to give vent to a deep-seated insecurity about their own senses, invariably expressed as reverse snobbery – “I know what I like”, etc.

As so often, online name-calling rebounds on/shows up those who indulge in it. Read the whole piece here.