Hugh Johnson: ‘I do not score wines’
In the rare down time available during the grape harvest, I find my attention called toward the more-learned voices in the wine business. I’m not a wine maker, but still I try to pick up a clue here and there to improve my ability to communicate about the world of wine.
Some (much) of my time is reading but the Internet allows listening to the voices of people pondering their life choices in this world which in the few busy months of pick, press and ferment seems more vocation and less avocation.
I listen often to Levi Dalton’s “I’ll Drink to That” podcast, which I first found through Alder Yarrow’s “Vinography” blog. Most recently, it’s been fascinating to hear British author Hugh Johnson discuss his wine-writing career and the genesis of the extraordinary “World Atlas of Wine.”
In his conversation with Dalton, Johnson takes a shot at wine scoring, which he calls “a shortcut” and of use mostly for wine investors. Here is a brief excerpt (some of which ended up in my Twitter feed) and you can hear the rest here.
“I do not score wines, I don’t see the point of scoring wines. OK, it’s instant opinion and its a shortcut but its particularly useful to wine investors. and I’m not a fan of wine investors. … I deplore it. Because I don’t buy wine to sell, I buy it to drink, if I can afford it.”
He quotes a friend who once told him,”Hugh, fine wine used to be for the worthy and now it’s for the wealthy.”