September 21, 2023

Episode #703 – Spit, Don’t Swallow! How to Avoid Wine Reviews with a Bad Aftertaste!

On this NO BS episode of Grape Encounters Radio, host David Wilson really turns up the heat on wine writers and reviewers, urging wine enthusiasts to hold them accountable. Witty, edgy, and engaging, David encourages listeners to think seriously about the motives behind the wine reviews they read (and listen to) and to be sure they are genuinely comfortable with the qualifications of the person dishing out advice.  David also challenges writers to be accountable for their recommendations.  After all, if someone is going to spend time, energy, and money taking a reviewer’s advice, they should feel confident that it’s well-researched and comes from a place of expertise.

The episode also focuses on how to decide which pairings and reviews to trust, given that everyone has different tastes. It’s important to follow writers with a palate similar to you when seeking out ideal wine and food pairing experiences. David challenges wine writers to be accountable when making recommendations. He said: “Are you willing to take responsibility for your recommendation? Let’s assume we take your advice and end up spending $75 on groceries, $60 on wine. We also spend two hours shopping and three hours in the kitchen. Do you realize that if you’re not spot on within reason, it’s going to be costly to those of us who trusted your words?  I’m not asking for somebody to refund our expenses; I’m just saying, remember, it costs us money to take your recommendations”.

David shares his concern that far too many people are putting their opinion out there, which may send people down a very unpleasant rabbit hole. He says it’s incredible how few people even think about the qualifications of the person whose article they’re reading or whose podcast they’re listening to. He says, “I’m happy to share my background with my listeners. If they don’t feel comfortable with me, I need to do a better job. But one thing’s for sure… I’m an open book, and all wine journalists should be.”

David points out that someone doesn’t have to be a wine expert, but if they had a fabulous experience, they should be able to successfully articulate their delight into words. He said: “You don’t have to be a wine expert. In fact, this could be your very first wine pairing review for all I care. But what matters is that you had an objectively wonderful experience and can transfer your delight to us.”

The conversation also touches on how difficult it can be to trust someone else’s opinion when it comes to food and wine pairings since everyone has different tastes. David stresses the importance of asking questions to decide which advice or recommendations should be taken seriously: What was the occasion the writer is sharing? Was it a blind tasting or did everybody know what they were drinking? He also suggested including as many details as possible such as vintage, region of origin, and price point, when giving recommendations.

The latest installment of Grape Encounters Radio has something for everyone who loves wine. From insights on choosing pairings you can trust to practical advice on finding champion wine mentors, this show is full of wisdom and wit! Download now and tune in for a fun and informative experience!

This edition of Grape Encounters has been brought to you by Total Wine & More. Absolutely nobody makes great wines, spirits, and beer from around the globe more accessible and affordable than Total Wine & More. Whether you’re an expert, a sommelier in training, or just a wine-loving consumer that could do without all the jargon, Total Wine & More speaks your language. Find what you love. Love what you find at Total Wine & More, or visit Total And please, be 21!

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