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critics on Grape Thinking

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Roving on Wine

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Karl Rove, in his time spent as a political strategist for the Bush Administration is undeniably guilty of the most harmful form of politics: divide and rule tactics. Through the aggressive use of overblown rhetoric and doggedly focussing on contentious issues, the American public was made to feel more divided than they are in reality. In my time travelling from state to state I found that in character and personality the majority of people I met were all embracing, warm and friendly, irrespective of their political view points. FDR was a unifier and his legacy is testament to the power of unity amongst the most adverse conditions. Through unity, Americans went from being bankrupt to being the world’s most successful and powerful country, which is why Rove’s legacy of an American people at odds with each other is something that the next administration should fight against. The next president needs to be a unifier.

Unfortunately, every sphere has its Karl Rove, and I’m going to be bold and say that Robert Parker is the Karl Rove of the industry. It is precisely because of Parker’s ridiculous 100 point system that there is so much tension in the wine industry. Because there is indeed little to be gained from calling one wine a 91 pointer, and another a 93, and when one starts placing such arbitrary divides by privileging one style over the next, more harm is done than good. The perfect example of this is the wine ‘Barefoot’ which came out and had a gold sticker reading ’93 Points, Gold Medal’ emblazoned across the front, just below the $5.99 price point. If anyone were to take a closer look at the little sticker, it would seem that this award was given by the Kentucky State Fair, and in a shameless display of consumer-deception, the marketers slapped 93 Points on the wine and sent it out to market. Of course, for not much more money, one could have bought a wine other than Barefoot, from Spain or Israel or South Africa, and though there would have been no score across the bottle, you would have gotten far more bang for your buck. (more…)

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