I know the last thing we need is another “should we rate wine article”, but we’ve had a change of heart. Here’s Ryan’s explanation, hope you enjoy it.
We don’t, at least not anymore. Instead we’ve decided to go to a straight recommendation model and here’s the reason why. When I sold wine in Minnesota, I used to take a large amount of my time getting to know my customers. Not only their names, but their likes dislikes, favorite foods, extended families health and much more. I really loved this part of the job. In fact in many ways this was the reason I continued to sell wine. Everyday I had the chance to connect with people in a more human and emotional way. To this day some of my best friends are ex-customers. I bring this up because I sold these people a lot of wines, but I never sold them a wine based on my personal “rating” of it. Rather I sold them the wine based on my recommendation of it. Because of the trust that I built with my customers they knew that I would never recommend a wine to them that I didn’t think was worth it. I knew that if I did try to pawn off some wine on a customer of mine that that I personally couldn’t stand behind, well, most likely I would have lost a customer.
So from now on Catavino will only recommend wines that we stand behind. Wines that we think you should taste. Wines that we think are worth the time to check out. Going forward our notes will no longer have a silly purple dot(s), or number or rating by them. Instead if a full note shows up on our site it will be considered “Recommended”, and in special cases we’ll include notes that state, “Seek this wine out” or “Exceptional”. This way you will know that we won’t pass a wine onto you that isn’t worth tasting. We want you to trust us when we say that a wine is good, special or otherwise. From time to time, we’ll include notes on wines that are “interesting” but not really worth seeking out. In these cases, the wines will have a reason to be mentioned. Either that they are made from a “lost grape variety” or fit a “unique style”. Notes will be made and we hope that you learn from the inclusion of these. Other exceptions could be for wines that are tasted for online events such as WBW. In addition, for the sake of clarity, those of you who follow our notes on Social Tasting Note sites, many of these wines WILL NOT be recommended on Catavino. For our personal growth, we attempt to take notes on every wine we try, and we use these sites for recording my tasting history. Therefore, we will continue include the bad and the good.
As to wineries sending us wines, a practice that is becoming more frequent, we do hope to include all the wines in fairness to the winery. But when reviewing a wineries entire line up, we may only list wines tasted, but if there are no notes included, we DO NOT recommend the wine. We will try our best to note this when it is important. Another important thing to note, there are times when we only taste a small portion of a winery’s portfolio. In these cases, we’ll make a note as to “wines made” and “wines tasted”. Note too, Gabriella and I have different tastes. There are times when we cannot come to a conclusion on a wine and find we both have differing opinions, we will make note of this. Another way to know who recommends a wine is by who authored the article, we will not write on wines we did not like. Notes will also include from here forward the initials of the taster at the bottom of the note.
We hope that this new model will be better suited to helping you find new things to try. One last thing before I go, just because we “recommend” a wine, does not mean you will automatically like the wine, nor does it mean we like it! Wine is subjective. Therefore we will try our best to recommend wines that both interesting and worth the money you pay for them. Our goal is to let you know which wines are worth you tasting/exploring. Wine for Gabriella and I is about the journey and the discovery. Our motto when we enter a wine shop is not, “What can I find that I know I like”, but rather, “What is there that I don’t know or haven’t experienced yet”!
Now back to our tastings. If you’re a winery reading this, please feel free to contact us to find out how you can have you wines tasted at Catavino.net.