What’s With All These Top 100s?

It’s that time of year…and no I do not mean the holiday season. It’s the time of year where we are bombarded with Top 100 lists of wines and beers from 2011. First there was Wine Spectator, then Wine Enthusiast, then a million wine bloggers….what’s next will Letterman come up with a top wine list?

In all honesty, I do read most of the Top 10/100 (pick a number) lists that come out every December. I’m interested to know what other industry members and journalists enjoyed over the last year, however I think the reason for producing these lists has become a bit misunderstood in the public the last few years.

What these lists are (on a very basic level) is a guide to what individual journalists and magazines felt was a well produced and appropriately priced wine. What they are not is buying guides. Wine is a product that is ever evolving and changing, and fortunately  (or unfortunately however you look at it) a Cabernet made from the To Kalon vineyard in 2007 may taste completely different in 2008. But that’s what makes this product so unique. These lists, produced at the end of a year often represent a summation of what was available for the previous eleven months. Most wines on the list (by the time its released) have been sold and moved on to the next vintage.

So what do I do with these top lists? I read them, looking for new wineries or up and coming regions that I may not have thought of. I try to pick out trends in the market and predict what regions are going to produce good quality wines in the next year. For example, if I notice that a lot of Spanish wines made the 2011 list I may search out those wines or regions in the next vintage.

What do you use the Top 100 Wine lists for? Is there one that you particularly prefer over another?


Posted on December 6, 2011, in Wine and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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