Bad wine – what to say (or not say)?

We live at a time when there is lots of good wine on the market.  Modern technology and competition have respectively both enabled and forced wineries to make wines of high quality.  Even the cheap (budget) wines out there are drinkable.  But what about those are just plain bad?  As a wine writer and aspiring wine V-logger how do I handle the issue of reviewing a bad wine?  How do the PAID wine critics face themselves after announcing to their readers that someone’s hard work is crap?

For the most part, I have tried to follow the old adage; “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  If I thought a wine was bad, I would simply say NOTHING.  Don’t write about it.  And even if I thought a wine was mediocre, I might write the positives about the wine, and skip the mediocre parts.  But does this hurt my credibility?  Can I be taken seriously if I only have nice things to say?  What of the controversial wine panning?  Dare I potentially burn bridges out there?  Will I piss people off if I say that I think their wine sucks?

An argument can be made for both sides.  But I think the reality is that I can not play both sides of the fence.  And things have gotten even murkier…I am now working within the industry for an importer/manufacturer/producer of wine.  Even if I managed to somehow remain unbiased, I think my employer would be pretty pissed if I had anything bad to say about their wines.  And they would have every right to feel the way they did.

Moving forward, as I figure out how to VLOG (uploading & editing video can’t be THAT hard, can it?), I will start regularly popping corks (twisting caps) on bottles that have been sent to me over the past few months.  Though I am sure these people aren’t gonna thank me if I have less than complimentary things to say, it will be hard to hide my expression on video.  So I guess that will keep things REAL.

And as to the wines I work with, well, I’ll try to include a disclosure of sorts as the industry is attempting to move to greater transparency & I believe I must play by the rules if I want to maintain professional credibility.

On an only somewhat related note, I would be remiss if I did not mention a big event taking place tomorrow night.  I have helped out a bit in the planning of this event.  It is the big KOSHER RESTAURANT & WINE EXPERIENCE.  This is the 4th year this annual event is taking place.  This year there will be about 20 food purveyors to go along with the 40+ wineries.  The response has been tremendous.  Looks like another sellout.  Shoot me a message and introduce yourself if you will be there.  We’ll have a drink…on me;)

Happy Wine Critic free wine tasting!


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