Friday, October 7, 2011

What is taste? (Steve Heimoff has no clue)

This morning, Steve Heimoff blew my mind. He wrote the following statement: "Younger drinkers, having bad taste, would naturally gravitate toward sweet wines." I expressed my disbelief to which he followed up by saying, "Colorado, you're on a slippery slope if you're arguing that there's no such thing as taste - that everybody's preferences are equal, so that no judgments can be made." This got me thinking about what is "taste."

While I fully believe that there are good wines and bad wines, such judgement should be left to each individual's taste. This is also one of my arguments against the 100-pt system, that that is neither here nor there. Taste is how something is perceived and relished. Just as lover of Monet may think Dalí's works are utter crap, both have a place in the world of Art. Just because someone prefers burgers and fries to caviar and foie gras doesn't mean they have bad taste. I may not agree with my mother-in-law for drinking Franzia chilled with an ice cube, but that is what she enjoys drinking. In each case, the perception of quality is very subjective and personal. Who am I, or Steve Heimoff, to say that someone else has bad taste?

Of course not everyone's preferences are equal. If they were, the world would be a very boring place. I give more weight to my preferences that I do to Old Man Heimoff's. My mother-in-law's preferences are superior to mine when it comes to drinking enjoyment. That is the way it should be.

What do you think about taste preferences? Is it acceptable for younger (or older) wine drinkers to enjoy inexpensive sweet wines as opposed to inexpensive dry wines, or does this indicate that "the country is dumbing down," as Mr. Heimoff claims?


  1. The whole point of wine, in my opinion, is to be enjoyed. Ultimately, the only "taste" that matters is your own. Do you really care if the "wine experts" like the wine? What matters is if you like the wine. If you like it, drink it. If you don't, drink something else.

  2. I appreciate your in the face attitude with Charlier and Steve over at Steve's blog. I love the fact that Steve is willing to say whatever crazy thing comes to his mind, that's why I check it out rather frequently. The definition of taste and it's role in society fascinate me. One one hand you have the very personal nature of what someone enjoys. On the other hand you have taste makers who have great influence upon what we are subjected to. If some important taste maker never gave Monet or Dali initial credibility , their work would never have been so widely viewed for people like you and me to make judgements about in the first place.
    I highly recommend a movie that came out a couple years ago called "An Education". The underlying premise is about the developing role of taste in determining social status in modern society. I guess this the part of my post where I'm supposed to give it a certain number of stars to show how much I truly like it right?
    Anyway, keep up the good work here and in various comment sections.