On beauty, and wine

Is beauty intrinsic to a wine. Or is it a quality that is conferred upon the wine by the taster?

Think of people. What makes someone special, someone beautiful?

Isn’t it that the person is loved and cherished by someone else?

As long as one person:

– finds you beautiful,
– is prepared to cherish you,
– is devoted to you,

then aren’t you truly beautiful?

Is beauty a popularity contest? A majority vote?

When it comes to a wine, isn’t it sufficient that one person should find a wine compelling and beautiful for it to be of significance?

Consensus is deadly when it comes to wine judging. There’s a very real danger that average score approaches will miss the really interesting wines that have a story to tell.

If I’m judging, I like the discussion approach. For example, if you are awarding medals, and two out of four judges have scored a wine Gold, and the other two Bronze, it isn’t necessarily a Silver medal wine. It could well be a Gold medal wine, and if I am chairing a panel I listen very carefully if two of the judges in the team love a wine enough to score it Gold, even if I don’t really like it.

I don’t care how many letters people have after their names. Great wines will not always be recognized by even the most expertly trained and accredited tasters. We all have blind spots. We all have preferences.

I love the idea that a wine is beautiful, not because of a majority verdict or consensus, but simply because it is deeply loved and cherished by at least one person.


9 comments to On beauty, and wine

  • Beautiful post! Love it, Jamie.

  • Beautiful Jamie. No silver medal for your words!

  • As with people, symmetry and balanced features are real factors of attraction to those things that are lovely on the surface. Awareness, sensitivity, and openness allow us to apprehend hidden depths and connect with the kind of beauty that not everyone can see.

  • Alex lake

    Yes, but is the purpose of Gold medals to recognise beauty?

  • Damien

    You’re writing a load of gumph far too regularly these days, especially with someone with a scientific background. “Beauty” and wine for God’s sake?! Delving into these realms is way beyond you’re capabilities Jamie! (it’s “arts” not “science”; you need to go back to school to cover these topics)

  • Keith prothero

    beauty is not a word I would use in describing a wine!! think I know what you mean though,and appreciate the sentiment.

  • nice and interesting post

  • Rod Smith

    I won second prize in a beauty contest once, so anything can be beautiful.

    I collected ten pounds, too.
    All the more surprising since I was an old boot at the time.

  • Uri hetz

    I find it comforting to see that low brow commentary is a world wide phenomenon.
    To the subject – i agree it is definitly beauty we are dealing with here.
    I think the whole “quality” nerrative was introduced by people who are frustrated by the complex and subjective nature of beauty.
    When we think about beauty I think we should also pay heed to the different way in which we judge the beauty of man-made objects and that of ones that were not made by men. Where does wine belong in that sense? I think it is a little bit of both which really complicates things further.

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