Every so often I ignore economic rationality and purchase, a little furtively at $45 an edition, a copy of The World of Fine Wine.  Several articles in the edition shown in the picture still have me thinking, so I think that can be taken as a commendation.  One of them was a generally glowing book review of local author Tyson Steltzer’s The Champagne Guide 2014-2015.  I haven’t yet read the guide, so that’s not what caught my eye.  What did was the comment that “my only criticism of this guide, as I say, is the scoring system which is profligate and overgenerous, a sad tendency now among pundits wanting to make a splash”.  

I thought this statement interesting given the prevalence in Australia of what might be termed in polite company a generous ethos, where a score in the low 90s practically might be regarded with slight caution rather than admiration.  It is possible therefore Tyson’s scoring could be a product of the system as applied in Australia, rather than offered up as an outlier.  This is not an excuse though.  For numerical scores to have more meaning, a lower starting point may be useful, albeit unpalatable and perhaps difficult to adopt once the above path has been taken.  Then there’s the matter of whether scores are sensible anyway.  I rather sidestepped the issue and gave up on the whole concept, finding its usefulness waning.

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