I had an interesting comment on my blog a few days ago, and I’ve been mulling it over. If anyone takes the trouble to comment at length like this, and offer opinions, then I should be listening. And I am. Here it is:
I have been mulling over this for a while… but I think you ought to hear this, and think about it. You actually have to be grateful that the Earth is round, and it has gravitiy, so you do not spin off into space in your high-intensity spinning-around the world. Today it is Australia, but the write-up is actually done in South Africa or Canada, and the write up of that is from … Godonlyknowswherefrom.
There is only so much spinning around the world before the “immersion” becomes discredited. For me as a reader, you are approaching this limit. Every now and then you show signs of thinking about various stuff, as if you stopped and started to think “what is it all about?” – but then you resume the high-speed flying-around-the-world. I am not sure this is good for you, and I am not sure this is good for the readers.
And another thing, about your write-ups and points: you bascially operate in the range of 85-95 – OK, theoretically 100). Most of your scores are around the 90s, give or take 1-2 points. (Please check, I have not, but this is my impression). This is bordering on the useless for the readers. It seems you do not want to be unkind to anyone, and I think this stems from your nature, not opportunism – but this is precisely what makes the advice less-than-useful.
I hoipe the situation is not unsalvageabble, but it calls for thinking and action.
This raises several points that I should probably address. I guess there’s a degree to which this can be seen as criticism, but it’s criticism of a constructive kind, done with what seems like good motivations. That is, it’s not a mean person being mean. It’s someone expressing concern. And it’s also quite humorous. So I’m not being defensive here.
1. Travel. Maybe a bit too much, I admit. I see a gap in the diary and then surrender it up. Leaving no more gaps. And a lot of airports, time zones and nights in strange places. I enjoy travel, but I admit that it is possible to do too much. I’m human and have to respect the fact that I’m not indestructible.
But, on the flip side, with all these new experiences, I’m learning a great deal. Since the beginning of the year I have upped my travel because changes in circumstances have left me much freer to travel all the time. I have had some amazing trips, and met some great people, and just soaked it all in like a sponge. So I need to address this: the commentator is correct – it’s probably a bit bonkers at the moment. I’ll settle down a bit in time, I’m. But in this job, a lot of travelling is called for if you want to be the best.
2. Scores. Yes, it’s a good point. My scores fall within a narrow range. At least, they do on this blog. There are many wines I rate far lower, but they never make it here or into my online write-ups. This is for two reasons. First, they aren’t that interesting to readers, and to feature them I’d have to squeeze good wines out. Second, because a false positive is better than a false negative. I’m pretty consistent and quite good at what I do, but I make mistakes. If I give a wine a low score and I’ve got it wrong, it could harm someone’s business. So I would rather not say anything about wines if I don’t like them.
I also need to say that the 100 point scale is very compressed at the top end. Especially in recent years. I didn’t invent it. I have to use it because it’s the standard, and if I didn’t give scores you wouldn’t be able to tell how much I really liked the wine. However good my descriptors, there’s something helpful about a score, even though it communicates a degree of precision that we can never really have in wine tasting. So it is with a degree of reluctance that I score wine, and use this scale that is becoming so bunched at the top end that it is nearing the end of its useful life. I simply can’t start using my own scale unilaterally. It would be daft.