(photo credit: MCT)
The wine critic is someone who is wine knowledgeable. His job is to taste
wine on our behalf and write about in a way that is informative and
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A critic will gain a guru-like following of people who follow
every word. He quantifies his opinions exactly, often with a score out of 100 or
20, depending on the points system used. His readers will know that the
difference of one point in a score is a precise statement, and the score
overrides any text or explanation about the wine.
The critic who tastes
wine for a living should be distinguished from the wine writer. The
writer is someone who is caught up with the magic of wine.
He is more
interested in all that surrounds a wine. He sees the romance in the people that
made the wine, the place where it comes from, the particular year it was made,
and all this is before getting to the wine itself. Wine is a subject that lends
itself to literature. It is a fact that people like to talk about wine and read
about it, as well as drink it.
Wine critics and wine writers are both
educators and translators. Their job is to absorb information, evaluate
it and present it in a way that is useful to their readers.
powerful, famous and influential wine critic in the world is an ex-lawyer from
Maryland called Robert Parker. His judgments can make or break any
winery. A score of 90+ points from Parker, and a wine will be sold out
immediately, whereas an 89 may scarcely cause a ripple. He has made the scoring
system out of 100 a new fashion in wine and here critics have copied him too.
His Wine Buyer’s Guide No. 7 is generous to Israel, giving us no fewer than nine
pages. His main medium for transmitting his message is the highly influential
newsletter, which publishes tastings of Israeli wines twice a
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Hugh Johnson would see himself as a wine writer rather than a wine
critic. He is from England and has written many of the standard books of wine
that are in every wine lover’s library. These include The World Atlas of Wine
The Story of Wine
and The Wine Companion
. His wonderful prose and sheer
enthusiasm for wine has nurtured many new wine lovers over the
years. Johnson does not believe in wine scores out of 100, believing that
one does not give scores in art, music or gastronomy. He instead gives
ratings to wineries. His Pocket Wine Book
lists no fewer than 30 Israeli
Though the wine trade is a very masculine environment, many
women are better tasters than men. Jancis Robinson is a Master of Wine from
England who ticks all the boxes. She has the ability to write for wine academics
but also for the person who does not yet know how to open a bottle. Her
pioneering television programs were classics in their own way. She writes for
the Financial Times
and has her own flourishing website. She is the editor of
The Oxford Companion To Wine
, the most comprehensive encyclopedia on wine that
there is, which features an explanation on Israel and kosher wines.
The main international expert on kosher wine is Howard Goldberg from New York. For years he worked as the wine correspondent of The New York Times
, and also writes for the Wine News
magazines. He was the first international wine writer to detect the wine revolution in Israel over 25 years ago.
Arguably the most up-to-date international expert on Israeli wines today is American Mark Squires, who works in Robert Parker’s elite wine-tasting team. He specializes in the wines of Portugal, Greece, Lebanon and Israel. He does two major tastings of Israeli wines a year which are published in the Wine Advocate
Apart from this there are wine magazines like the Wine Spectator
in the US, Decanter
from England and Wine, Gourmet & Alcohol
in Israel. They all offer scores and reviews and have earned credibility according to their reputations.
The main wine communicator in Israel is Daniel Rogov, who writes an annual guide on both Israeli and kosher wines, and there is much discussion in Rogov’s Wine Forum, which has an international following.
He tastes more Israeli and kosher wines than anyone in a year. The main Israeli wine website in English is www.wines-israel.com. It was created and is maintained by Israel Preker, and it remains a good way to keep in touch with Israeli wine. Adam Montefiore works for Carmel Winery and regularly writes about wine in both international and Israeli publications. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wine of the
Tabor Adama II Petite Sirah 2008
This is a 100% Petite Sirah grown in Kfar
Tavor and produced by the Tabor Winery. It is a very dark-colored, full-bodied
red wine which has an aroma of violets and black fruits with a backdrop of
mocha. Petite Sirah is a little-known variety which is perfect for our climate,
and it produces big wines suitable for meat dishes. Adama II is a new series of
special-edition wines primarily for restaurants. The attractive label has a
Japanese look – black brush strokes on a white background. – A.M.
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