One wine, two opinions. What will your’s be?


This week at The Tasting Room I will be pouring two wines from Australia and two wines from Argentina, a Southern Hemisphere Tasting. I believe you will enjoy all the wines, maybe. There is one wine that will be very interesting to taste with you all. The wine is called Mollydooker Carnival of Love 2014.  It is a shiraz from the McLaren Vale region in Australia. This wine interests me because two reputable wine magazines have tasted and reviewed this wine with one critic – MaryAnn Worobiec of Wine Spectator – giving it a highly recommended designation. The other critic –  Josh Raynolds of Vinous – found it horrific!

Here are the reviews in their entirety.

“Bold, expressive, velvety and generous, with ripe cherry and plum flavors at the core. Complex details of vanilla bean, licorice, Earl Grey tea and gingerbread explode on the long finish. Drink now through 2030. 1,467 cases made.”  Wine Spectator – 95 Points Highly Recommended, #30 of Top 100 Wines of 2016.

“Similar in character to the Boxer, but richer and with an amplified oak component. It was almost impossible for me to write notes, much less rate, these jaw-droppingly horrific affronts to Australian wine in a way that didn’t sound completely insulting to the people who made and actually enjoy them.  I simply find the entire 2014 Mollydooker range of grape-derived beverages somewhere between simply undrinkable and completely but fascinatingly repulsive.  As usual, I actually drank, rather than just tasted, the wines over a couple of days to give them every opportunity to reveal even a glimmer of redeeming value, but, as the old saying goes: live in hope, die in despair.  To me these bottlings taste as if they could be made from anything and come from anywhere, so completely untethered as they are from my concept of wine reality.” Vinous – 70 Points

Wow! Josh Raynolds of Vinous doesn’t mince words!  Instead of calling it wine, he calls it “grape-derived beverages”  Is that another word for PLONK? The definition of plonk is cheap wine of inferior quality.  However, the Carnival of Love ain’t cheap at $79.99.  So, how do two reputable critics come to such opposite opinions?  As the saying goes – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Just as I think Salma Hayek is gorgeous while I’m not that into Jennifer Aniston, we all have opinions about various subjects.  I think Stephen Colbert is hilarious while my sister doesn’t think he’s funny at all. My girlfriend and her friend think the movie Top Gun is a movie that shouldn’t be missed while I am glad I’ve missed it after watching just a few minutes of it over the years.

Wine can be viewed in the same way. Some people have strong feelings for certain wines while their friends might not have the same positive feeling. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t agree. That’s the beauty of drinking wine.  No one is right, no one is wrong, we like what we like and the beauty is that we can sit down with friends and share bottles of wine that everyone can enjoy, or at least try to enjoy!  Have a wine and movie night with friends soon and be glad that you can all enjoy each other’s company while not necessarily thinking the wine or movie is “can’t miss!”


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