I was reading Steve Heimoff’s blog this morning and he had an interesting question about revieweing wines: should the wine be reviewed with the winemaker or should it be reviewed blind with no context. I have, as usual, an opinion. The more time I spend in our wine industry, the more I think that it is difficult to separate the winemaker (I use winemaker as a broad term, not the individual, but the set of circumstances that leads to make a particular bottle of wine) and the wine itself. Of course one can try to be very analytical and cold about wine reviews and that is a viable way to test a wine no question. But there is so much more in a bottle of wine than just the taste – how was it made (what techniques were used), where are the grapes from, what was the intent behind this wine. The value of knowing the tid bits are as important to me as the wine itself. I relate wine to Classical music; some folks just like to listen to a piece and give it a thumb up or down while others want to know how was this written, why was the composer pushed to write this – sometimes a not so good sounding piece of music becomes interesting once one knows the reason for its being. The details are not for everyone, many people just want to know the score and that’s it and we should respect that. For the few for whom the context matters, wine should be reviewed with some emotional background and I would love for us to keep some of that.