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Most of you probably don't follow Merlin Mann's blog, 43 Folders, but I encourage you to take 5 minutes and read On Thumbs, Stars, and Little Men with your Sunday coffee:
If every critic ala Ebert, in his way would disclose the yardstick by which he generates the stars, thumbs, or Little Man of his reviews, it would go a long way toward educating readers;
06:00 AM in Lazy Sunday | Permalink
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I agree, but it won't matter to most readers of the reviews. They'll say "Oh it didn't even score 90... " despite the fact that all of the major critics count the high 80s as a very good wine score.
But yes, if a someone is going to post a score of some sort they need a system for coming up with the score a list of caveats and conditions* and they really should put this somewhere on their site or publication so that if a reader IS interested, he or she can find out that information.
*By caveats and conditions I mean things like Parker's noting that he scores in peer groups so that you can't really compare a 94 point Australian Shiraz with a 92 point Left Bank Bordeaux since they're different groups. Of course where you draw lines like this is an interesting issue... can you compare Oz Shiraz to Cote Rotie? CA Syrah? Bordeaux to blends of those grapes from elsewhere? But you can still note all that.
February 02, 2009 at 01:00 AM
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