I’m doing a fantastic job as the new Emperor of Wine. Fantastic. The wine business has never been more honest, folks. It’s not exactly a secret that wine reviewing is completely corrupt. I mean, there are publications giving scores to wine that don’t accept advertising! I’m not kidding. Not a single advertisement. Not for wine, not for cars, not for jewelry. Nothing. That’s not the America we want to live in. You can’t trust a magazine that doesn’t take advertising. I think that’s obvious. Ask yourself, where does a publication that doesn’t accept advertising get its money? Not from subscriptions, that’s crazy. You can’t make money from subscriptions. There’s no tax breaks for subscriptions, and that’s where the money is, believe me. I’ll tell you where they get the money, folks. The Saudis. Nobody wants to talk about it, but that’s the truth. The wine publications that don’t have advertising, they’re funded by the Saudis. It’s unbelievable. Muslims are deciding which wines you buy! I bet you didn’t know that. And they don’t even drink! They don’t even drink. It’s crazy, it’s nuts. You people need to demand that your wine reviewers accept advertising. Those are the only ones you can trust.
Now a lot of people, a lot of media people, have been asking me how I taste wine. They want to know how I decide what numbers I give to wines. Let me just say this. It’s none of your damn business. It’s not. The Emperor doesn’t have to explain himself to his subjects. I taste wines, I give them a rating. Boom! That’s it. It’s done. What’s the problem? How hard is that to understand? Do I have to explain how babies are made, too? Yeah, to the media I probably do have to explain how babies are made. Though I shouldn’t. We don’t need losers making more losers.
But, OK, I’ve got nothing to hide. There’s no Saudis giving Trump money. You don’t see me giving 98 points to that Australian wine, Osama Bin 707. I’m rich. I’m worth billions of dollars. You heard that right, folks. “Billions” with an “m.” Check my tax returns. Yeah, I’m kidding, I’m not showing you my tax returns. I will say this, though, I am a little obese. Dr Oz says I’m a little obese. That Dr. Oz guy, he’s not what I expected. I mean, I go there hoping to see those cute midgets, and there aren’t any. Not a single midget. I gotta tell ya, I was disappointed. But this Dr. Oz guy tells me I’m a little obese. So what? I’m a wine critic. We’re obese. What doesn’t this great and powerful Dr. Oz get about that? You know what they call a skinny wine critic? The Dearly Departed, that’s what they call him.
Look, people send me unbelievable amounts of wine. Most of it is crap. 99% of all the wine produced in the world today is crap. 99%! I’m not making that number up. I make a lot of numbers up, I’m a wine critic, but that 99%, that’s a real number. Who drinks all that crap? I’ll tell you who. People in Obamacare. People in Obamacare drink almost all of the crappy wine in the world. I don’t know why, folks, it’s just true.
I taste wines blind. That means when I put the wine in my mouth, I have no idea what wine it is I’m tasting. That’s what makes me the most powerful wine critic of all—I don’t ever really know what I’m tasting. What does it matter? This is how all professional people taste wines. Blind. Then, after I taste it, I give it a number. Usually 89. Then, just to make sure I got it right, I look at the label. Sometimes after looking at the label, I change the number. Look, there’s nothing wrong with that. Trust me, everybody who reviews wines does that, folks. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. It’s exactly like how they have replays in baseball now to make sure the umpires get it right. And they don’t get it right about half the time, though they are right about 90% of the time, which is pretty good, if you ask me. I admit it, I’m not perfect. I’m going to miss one once in a while, like give 89 to a big advertiser’s flagship wine. Upon further review, a quick replay and a glance at the label, it’s 92! Though this never happens, people. Never. Well, not in those publications the Saudis own. Wine is a business, and there’s a place for ethics in business. It’s called the Unemployment Office, that’s what that place is called.
People think that wine reviewers start at 50 points when they score wines, and then they go from there. That doesn’t make any sense. Where do people come up with this stuff? We start at 85 points and then we just see how we feel that day. Starting at 50 points is crazy, folks. I’m telling you, nobody does that. People think we give, oh, five points for color, and eight points for aroma, and fifteen points for the finish… Nobody does that! Nobody. Are you kidding? Show me somebody that does that. You taste the wine, you swirl it around in your mouth, you write down some adjectives, and then you write down, “94.” You don’t need any math. I know what 94 tastes like, just like I know what it’s like to be poor and black in this country. Because I say I do. It’s not that hard, believe me, it’s not that hard.
First of all, I never judge color. Color is completely unimportant to me. Believe me. What do you have to lose? And how do you give points for how something smells? That’s nuts. I don’t know how to do that. I’m 70 years old. Everything smells like urine to me. I put the wine in my mouth, I have no idea what I’m tasting, I’m tasting blind, I may as well have a red-tipped cane and one of those German shepherds—that Angela Merkel’s kind of a dog, don’t you think, not an attractive woman at all, what’s with her hair?—and then I give it a number, usually 89 or so. This is harder to do than you think. If you could do it, then you’d be the new Emperor of Wine. But you’re not. I am.
Look, the numbers don’t mean anything anyway. The numbers don’t mean anything. The numbers are for people who don’t know anything about wine and don’t ever want to know anything about wine. Believe me, everybody who follows me is someone who doesn’t want to know anything, so I know those people, those are my people. Read my descriptions of the wine. Look, I spend a lot of time writing those descriptions. Ignore the numbers, the numbers are for morons. Everybody’s numbers are for morons, folks. You go around buying expensive wines because they got high numbers, you’re a moron, simple as that. Read the descriptions. That’s how you learn about wine! Like this, here’s one of my recent notes on a wine.
“This wine is fantastic. It’s unbelievable. This might be the greatest wine in the history of wine, and you know why? It’s beautiful. Really. And it’s red. Can you believe that? It’s red and it’s fantastic. I’d buy it by the case, which is twelve bottles.”
See, that’s informative. OK, now guess what number it got. Ready? 89! Yeah, 89. I don’t know, it just tasted like an 89, but it was fantastic.
Finally, I have to say this, every wine critic is sworn to say this, there is no substitute for your own palate. Except a better palate. I’m the New Emperor of Wine. I have the greatest palate of all time, and it’s only going to get better, folks, once I get some experience. You know what, experience is completely overrated. I don’t need experience to be the Emperor of Wine. I give experience 86.
More articles from this author
The HoseMaster of Wine’s™ Cover Letter to The Wine Advocate
From Wine Journal
Straight from the desks of The Wine Advocate HQ.
CSW Like Me
From Wine Journal
m a CSW. There, I’ve said it. Certified Specialist of Wine. I am a member of a group that represents the most knowledgeable among us when it comes to wine. This isn’t bragging, mind you, this is simple fact. I took a test. My answers were found to be correct no less than 75% of the time. I have letters after my name now, and the great responsibility that comes with them.