The World’s Most Underrated Wines
on 20/05/11 at 10:48 amWine
It’s probably fair to say that no wine lover—once beyond the basic level of grabbing a bottle for dinner at the supermarket—is not aware of what might be called “the injustice of the wine world.” This injustice is really a matter of recognizing that, often for reasons not first apparent, some really good wines get short shrift. They are, in a word, “underrated.”
Before we go any further, let’s consider this potent word. At first glance, you would think that “underrated” involves—brace yourself—scores. In the modern McCarthyism of those who accuse wine critics of having distorted the world of wine by the use of scoring systems, allow me to suggest that the concept of underrated has little to do with scores.
Oh sure, if a wine gets, say, 100 points, everyone will sit up and take notice. But that has less to do with the score per se than it does with the idea that someone, somewhere, found a particular wine to be perfect. By definition, such event is so rare as to be intrinsically attention-worthy.
Instead, the notion of underrated is better expressed and understood through the lens of what is indisputably the world’s most powerful scoring system: money.
If I’ve learned anything in my life so far, it’s this: Money is the sincerest form of flattery. You can examine all the high scores for wines you care to, but if the wine in question does not appeal to the popular palate, then people will not vote with their wallets. Scores are—forgive me—overrated.