Yesterday, I came across the French site Vindicateur, which basically allows users to search through a database of France’s “best” wines, which they’ve deemed to be “unanimously” loved by amateurs and professionals alike. With their “original scoring formula”, an “equation developed by a doctor in physics aided by an independent enologist”, Vindicateur has clearly gone for the rational approach: “it is understood that a slice of subjectivity necessarily enters into the appreciation of a wine: we have simply made it so that this slice remain as as thin as possible.”
Obviously, this statement places this site at the polar opposite of the Vimpressionniste philosophy: that subjectivity is the very core of wine appreciation, rather than an obstacle which must somehow be overcome. While they leave it to the site visitors to voice their own perspectives for the wine commentaries, I still feel a bit uncomfortable browsing through a list of wines featuring numbers. No matter how intricate an equation, can one really sum up a La Tâche as an 18,7*?
The Internet has the power to bridge the gap between wine lovers and should encourage discussion. Instead, our obsession with technicalities and buying guides seeks to end all conversations under the banner of clarity, and this saddens me to no end.