Per­fec­tion is over­rated

Decanter - - LETTERS -

the per­feCt Wine, like na­tion­al­ity and money, is a fic­tion cre­ated by hu­mans. if you be­lieve ‘there are no great wines, only great bot­tles’, the fic­tive, elu­sive idea of the per­fect wine evap­o­rates: it’s ul­laged. the adage may be less true now than it was 20 years ago, but it’s still true. the mul­ti­verse of vari­ables in­flu­enc­ing a tast­ing at any one time means that ab­so­lutism is daft at best. and one taster’s flaw­less is another’s 12/20: just ask robert parker and Jan­cis robin­son over a glass of pavie.

i find the idea of ‘po­ten­tial’ scores far more com­pelling, com­ing from a real world of hu­man frailty and vari­a­tion. isn’t a 99% wine more in­trigu­ing any­way? top marks out of 20 or 100 are for spell­ing and times-ta­ble tests, not for some­thing as mer­cu­rial as wine. Come back, Broad­bent, and your el­e­gantly sim­ple five stars. Tim Frances, Lon­don UK

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