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04.15.2005

Taste Testing The Mondovino Premise

If you've been poking around here the last few weeks (or anywhere else in the wine writing world) you'll know that Mondovino has created a bit of a stir, and that its director, Jonathan Nossiter is catching all sorts of flack from lots of people, including yours truly.

Apparently the criticism has gotten to him lately, and prompted him to write quite the counter-attack in the public forum of Robert Parker's web site. It's a 4300 word venting spree that would make the Unabomber jealous.

Elsewhere in the world people are putting some of the claims that Nossiter makes in his film to the test, so to speak. Apparently a group of people in France recently put together a tasting of all the wines that he references in his film, spanning the gamut from wines he would consider to be homogenized, Parkerized monsters to the most romanticized small artisan wines.

These wines were then blind tasted by a panel of lots of people, including, I believe, Jancis Robinson, among other critics and non critics alike.

The result, as far as I can tell from the Google translated version of the French newspaper story (sorry, my French is atrocious) is the following:

1. People thought the wines tasted very different
2. A lot of people liked the wines that Nossiter worries over in his film
3. Nothing is really proven, and no one is really vindicated because at the end of the day, Nossiter is just putting forth his opinion. Which makes you wonder why he's so upset that people are disagreeing with him.

Well, it all makes for a pretty good story. Here's the overview of the tasting, and here's the scorecard for all the wines.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud