Wine experts’ rating: a matter of taste?
Jean-Marie Cardebat, Department of Economics, Bordeaux University, Pessac, France and;
Florine Livat Department of Finance and Economics, Kedge Business School, Talence, France
In case you missed my first post, in a short two weeks time I will be embarking on a life-changing, eye-opening, mind-blowing journey through France to experience the best of food and wine the country has to offer.
Before the fun starts, and to ensure that I am as well prepared and informed as humanly possible, I’ve started on some light-reading on France, Wine and the combination of the two; the French wine industry.
The article I have been assigned was written by Jean-Marie Cardebat and Florine Livat, both are French economists who have redirected their skills to their nation’s wine industry. They have collaborated on an article that was published in November 2015, Wine experts’ rating: a matter of taste to assess the relevance of professional wine critics in a day and age where consumer’s are more informed and self-aware than ever before.
It is undeniable that wine critics are experts in assessing the objective qualities in wine that are dictated by the regional and annual climatic appropriateness for the grape varietal. This judgment of oenological characteristics however, does not necessarily correspond with the consumers subjective preferences. This creates a disparity in what a wine “expert” will recommend as a quality wine versus the appetite of the average punter.
The economists ran a number of data assessments across 5 celebrated wine expert’s critiques and ratings however, I wasn’t able to digress from the question; where does the role of a wine “expert” fit within the global business?
Wine critics are the first validation for vineyards that their vintage is of a certain level of objective excellence, and that the vineyard’s procedural steps in creating the wine were appropriate for the grape variety and annual climate. However, if the consumer isn’t influenced by the wine expert’s advice, isn’t the vineyard’s key objective to sell their wine? Are wine experts then required to reassess a vintage to reflect the average consumers subjective preferences? If so, than can they still be called a “wine expert” or are they a “trend-forecaster”?
These questions are too complex to answer without a glass of wine, please excuse me.