The 94-point compliment.

Wow! It’s been a wild couple of months for me. Hence my absence from writing for THE BUZZ.

I haven’t been sleeping. I’ve been working on so many different things: new wines, new distributors, new markets, VinItaly (yes, already)… Planning new labels, sales trips, tastings and fairs…If only I could show this to people who think that I taste wine all day…Magari!*

Some really BIG news is that we have received our highest scores from the Wine Spectator EVER. We received 93 points for Vespa Bianco 2007 and 94 points for (Tocai) Plus 2007. 94 points is HUGE for an Italian white wine. According to a quick search in the Spectator’s Database, only ONE Italian white has ever scored higher, and only 4 others have ever scored a 94.

It’s a conundrum of sorts, when you toot your own horn, especially to the blogosphere, about scores. So many people are dead-set against scores. How do you handle it? I’d love to send every blogger out there a splashy press release with 94 POINTS in huge, bold letters, but I fear few would be impressed with that, and some might even be TURNED OFF by it.

Here’s how I feel: Why refuse a compliment? We know when our wines are great and when they’re just really good. We don’t need anyone to tell us that. We aim to produce the best possible wines that we can, given the constraints of nature and the wine business. When someone with a voice as powerful as James Suckling or Robert Parker says wonderful things about you, why argue? And when it boils down to it, that’s really all a review is, isn’t it? A big, loud, compliment.

The danger lies, same as it does with people, when we spend all of our energy seeking only the compliments. When we change ourselves, or our wines, for the express purpose of being adored. When we resort to tricks, plastic surgery, chemical manipulation, illegal blending, lies and deception solely for the sake of getting compliments, we risk losing ourselves, that which makes us who we are… and what makes wine what it is.

We see it in celebrities all the time. The ridiculous plastic surgeries, the outrageous outfits… all for the sake of continuing adoration.

But it’s not real.

It’s the honest beauties that truly fascinate and endure. The ones that are confident enough to be themselves, imperfectly. Wines and people audacious enough to concentrate more on character than appearance, without an unhealthy need for constant reassurance…

And gracious enough to accept a compliment when given.

What do you think?…


One thought on “The 94-point compliment.

  1. Thomas Matthews

    And when you know the “compliment” was the result of a blind tasting, you can have confidence that it was sincere.
    Thomas Matthews
    Executive editor
    Wine Spectator


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