Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April Promos, 2009: A Rant

I felt like all of the proverbial monkeys rolled into one: Hear no plonk, See no Plonk and Speak no plonk. In retrospect, after selecting blindly from LCBO’s April Promos, I should have left all my senses engaged. Of the fourteen wines tasted from Viva Vino and Spring at last!, my BH and I endured 11 bottles of what I would call marginally drinkable to downright plonk. This left 3 enjoyable wines. Not a good showing and an approach I won’t repeat nor do I recommend.

I was going to say there was a positive side to April’s events since most of the Promo wines were below $15. But plonk is plonk. In fact if you have a tasting panel, as the LCBO has, this much plonk should never be foisted on the Ontario public. You have to ask yourself ‘As a conscientious retailer, with an uncontested market, would you put plonk on your shelves?’ I wouldn’t!

Btw: Have you ever noticed wine columnists seldom if ever write up wines in the 70’s. I can think of a few reasons for a label not making it to print. The number one fact is there are just too many wines to be bothered with poor wines… Then the obvious, reporting in the 70’s doesn't sell wine, the primary role of most ‘critics‘. Also reporting poor wines is a death wish, if you’re the only one, in a business where invitations to events depend on expectations of positive reporting. They must have listened to my grandmother, ‘if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything!’ and most don‘t say anything about plonk. On this, I didn’t listen.
I think there’s a few points I've learned along the way:
  • A tasting note that’s not dated and/or without a source isn't worth reading.
  • A tasting note that’s older than a year for whites or two years for reds is no longer valid.
  • A tasting note included within an LCBO Promo (or other Ad) is just 'marketing'.
  • A tasting note by a critic local to a wine’s region is suspect.
I‘m going back to trusting my own instincts then crosschecking against my Favoured Critics tasting notes. At other times I’ll carry around my Favoured Wineries list and select from them. I’m betting I’ll do better than 3 in 14.

Just my opinion, Ww

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