“Could I get your opinion?”

Dear Readers,

As the year draws to a close, I’d first like to say that I’m thankful to all of you who regularly — or even sporadically, read this blog. Your traffic keeps me writing, and I appreciate very much your comments, “likes” and other feedback.

On that note, I’m considering a few changes to format next year, and I’m writing to ask your opinion. If you read this, please do comment on it to let me know what you think.

Presently, the format essentially involves a story, occasionally a lengthy one, followed by a tasting note. I abandoned the numbers game, the 100-point scale, back in 2016. It works for some people, but I got tired of trying to quantify art, and sick of trifling over a point here or there. I do still see merit in the system, especially if it incorporates value somehow, but at this time I’m not considering going back to that. I’ve had too many winemakers tell me, in essence, that if I give it 90, it helps, and if I give it 89, it hurts. Is wine really that much of a science? I tend to think not. I hate grading poetry.

What I am considering for next year, is one of more of the following, in addition to a brief anecdote or story:

  1. I may devote more time to a formal tasting profile. I’m now, gradually, studying for my Level III exam, and that will include some formal “The wine is…” notes. Would you like to see more formal tasting notes? They don’t have to be long. Let me know. That’s option one.
  2. Spending more time talking about pairings. I get a lot of feedback that people worry about this stuff and want help with it, and since I’m usually drinking wine while I cook and later while I eat, that seems like a good fit for me. Want more on pairings? Let me know. That’s option two.
  3. I’m also considering a rating scale that uses something other than numbers. It might go a little like the below:

a. I recommend this wine for a casual weeknight.

b. I recommend this wine for a formal gathering.

c. I recommend this wine for special occasions.

d. I recommend this wine as a gift for loved ones.

e. I recommend you buy and cellar as much of this wine as possible.

I’m really just spit-balling here, but what I’d like is a system with some gradual, not entirely quantifiable tiers that can somehow indicate my level of enthusiasm for the wine. I suppose at the very top would be “I don’t recommend this wine”. I dunno. Would that be useful? Again, I’d value your thoughts.

As I mentioned already, I could do all of these things, or I could do none of them. I could always just keep doing what I’m doing — the blog’s traffic increased by nearly 60% this year, so maybe I just shouldn’t mess with it. I’ll count on you to let me know. Please do comment on here, and together we’ll sort out the direction for ITheeWine in 2018.





6 responses to ““Could I get your opinion?”

  1. Good Morning Mark,

    Sorry about your Jeep…

    my 2cents on this question –

    love the true stories /

    Good luck on level 3!! /

    I say no to pairing info for two reasons 1. everyone’s tastes are different 2. if they can’t figure out white with light meat or reds with hearty and red meats or worse can’t figure out how to ask google Alexa siri etc… i fear they won’t take your advise either./

    i like idea behind a-e, but maybe : a.weeknight quaffer/b. special/c. cellar/d. do not buy

    KISS always works… almost

    remember what your friend said “…you’re kind of a big deal…”

    Go wherever you’re heart takes you!

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the stories, Mark. Authenticity = enjoyable. I too am trying to advance my wine knowledge (in a FWS course, currently) so I would go for more factual tasting notes. I understand about the numeric ratings, and tend to weight them myself based on value and the quality of the tasting notes, but I don’t think that a ‘casual’ v ‘special’ type of rating does it justice, although just saying ‘yuck’ or ‘don’t bother’ is fine by me…egotistical winemakers be warned…so I’m somewhat conflicted, obviously. Regardless what you choose, I’m sure I will continue to be a reader. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Guj! Love your blog, thanks for all your hard work. I would love to hear pairing notes. While I am enthusiastic about drinking wine I am by no means an expert and would like to know how to maximize the experience. I also don’t care for a numeric rating but enjoy a nice description of the flavor. Please don’t eliminate the personal stories, they help me keep up with your family and really set the tone for the whole blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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