Amateur wine scores are every bit as good as “professionals”?

Many professional critics, not surprisingly, have scoffed at the idea that mere amateurs understand, let alone have the ability to rate, wine. In a 2012 column for the website Wine Spectator, critic Matt Kramer described the wisdom of the crowd as a “pernicious delusion.” “One hundred people who don’t know much about, say, Auxey-Duresses,” he wrote, “adds up to 100 muddied, baffled and often duplicative conclusions.” Critic Steve Body concurred in a 2014 post titled “Crowd-Sourced Ratings and Why They Suck” on his website ThePourFool: “The readers and users of these sites are almost always slaves to their personal preferences and current trends.”

That’s the standard knock against amateur critics. Compared with the paid professionals — who very often evaluate wines blind — they are untrained, are subject to bias, and lack expertise.

But is that true? Link

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