The best wine is, quite simply, the wine that you like the best. Since we all have preferences for particular books and breads, clothes and cuisines, films and foods it would be very surprising if there was universal agreement about the best examples and styles of wine. Surprising, and also very limiting, since one of the great joys of drinking wine at the moment is the sheer range of wine characteristics delivered to us by dedicated producers from different terroirs of the old and new worlds.
Nor is wine tasting an exact science, however much certain wine professionals or institutions might have us believe otherwise. We experience wine differently when alone or with friends; at home, at the winery or at a trade tasting; with food or without. These and many other environmental factors, sometimes including palate fatigue, inevitably influence our enjoyment and assessment of a particular wine.
In a world where new wines appear on a daily basis, there is a role for wine critics to attempt to make some sense of the plethora of choices with which the consumer is now confronted. Our language and vocabulary for describing how we experience tastes and aromas is highly limited, in much the same way that words cannot adequately convey the beauty of a fine artwork or a perfectly executed cover drive. So in producing a tasting note the wine critic is reduced to using analogies. Flavours and aromas might be described as being similar to those of particular fruits, or tannic structures might be compared to particular materials. It’s all too tempting to wax lyrical as to the feelings a wine might evoke: a Nashik Cabernet with the power of Chris Gayle, perhaps?
Wine tasting notes are not for everyone and may even put off some consumers. What does seem to be sought after, not least evidenced by the queries received at IndianWines.info, are wine scores. So over the next few months tasting notes and scores for wines from a number of producers’ wines will be uploaded. Scores are based on a 100 point scale described in more detail here. Do bear in mind that these scores are in part subjective; no right or wrong numerical values can be assigned to a glass of wine.