I am like a lot of wine lovers, always looking for values to drink and cellar and — with limited budget — using wine “ratings” to help decide what to buy. As I’ve talked about before in this blog, if you find a wine expert you can related to, this is usually a pretty safe bet. But sometimes event that doesn’t help, which is what happened last night.
The wine was another Malbec — 2008 from Maipe — and was rated “90” by the Wine Advocate, which for a $15 wine made it potentialy an outstanding buy.
So I opened it with confidence, expecting the classic Malbec aromas and flavours of blackberries and that smooth, lush texture without any jamminess.
Surprise, surprise — none of the above! The nose didn’t have a lot on it, and the taste was about the same, with more herbs than fruit and cedar/oak in the background. It wasn’t “off” or bad, just a completely different style than I expected when I bought it.
The result for me, at first, was disappointment. I was really looking forward to the kind of wine I wanted.
But then I also thought more about “the rating” game, and it reminded me that everybody’s tastebuds — even so-called experts — are different. In the case of the Wine Advocate, Robert Parker now has 5 or 6 people reviewing wines with him, so there is bound to be variation in styles and preferences.
So I “sucked it up” and finished my glass…and had another. The wine seemed to get better over the evening, never evolving into the style I was looking for, but still a nice wine (perhaps made even better by Canada’s spectacular Gold Medial in Ice Dancing!!!).
Lesson learned…again! Buyer beware when it comes to ratings…but don’t let that spoil your wine experience either!