Thursday, July 21, 2005

Robert Parker

Wine tasting can give you ideas...

The Hounorable Reader will have to bear this blogger of yours' self-indulgence now and then. I had recently an extremely enjoyable almost-full moon dinner - to be blogged about later - at the heart of the Dominio de Valdepusa, DOC and somehow the tasting and rating of wines and women got intermingled in my mischievous mind. The Host, a formidable enological figure has a lower-your-voice-when-you-speak-of-him evident respect for Mr Robert Parker Junior, the Pope/Guru/Imam/Rabbi of Wine Tasting worldwide. One can only understand too well those respectful winemakers, if Uncle Bob says "94" rather than "96" it's a large percentage chunk of their market value that suffers. What turned Parker's views so awesomely powerful was his comprehensive attempt to turn qualitative appraisal of wines into quantitative factoring. Not that he was a pioneer on that effort but his USA-born system surely became the standard against which all the English and French wine critics barked against in vain. I wonder if we could make the same quality to quantity quantum leap in what regards women? Not MissWorld stuff, I rush to add, not measurements or boob size, but something closer to Parker's system.

In his famous rating system, "general colour and appearance" gets up to 5 points, "aroma and bouquet" up to 15, "flavour and finish" up to 20 and "overall quality level of potential for further evolution and improvement-aging" up to 10 points. Parker starts by giving 50 points to each wine (so that the final scale looks like a 100 points scale). Let's assume we are "tasting" a woman: general appearance, allure, flavour and finish, overall potential in a process analogue to what Uncle Bob masterly performs.

In the end, we could get close to his own rating (to see more go to ) by judiciously replacing the word "wine" with the word "woman".

It would then be something like this:

  • 96-100 An extraordinary woman of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic woman of its variety. Women of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.

    90-95 An outstanding woman of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific women.

    80-89 A barely above average to very good woman displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.

    70-79 An average woman with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous woman.

    60-69 A below average woman containing noticeable deficiencies (...) (Parker goes on saying: such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.)

Wouldn't that change the way we look at "general appearance" , in the case of Miss Rachel Hurd-Wood incredible lips or Ms Nicole Kidman's near-perfect-white skin? At the "allure" displayed by Ms Katherine Hepburn? At the so-to-speak "flavour and finnish" of Ms. Liv Tyler? At the "overall potential for further evolution" of Ms. Juliette Binoche?

In the same way Parker allowed New World Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa to be properly compared to Old Worlds from the Bordeaux region, a system like that applied to women would liberate us all from the dictatorship of the modeling and film worlds. A Colombian "96" would smash all the eightysomething plus that invade Cannes every year around Festival times. A Andalusian "92" would embarrass Swedish "91s"..
The only point that remains to be answered is, of course, who would be the new Robert Parker?

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