Wine Critics’ History

Apr 16, 2023 | ABC

As the #enprimeur releases in #bordeaux are underway, wine professionals around the world eagerly await the latest critic scores and reviews that will influence the release prices of the region’s most sought-after wines.

But did you know that the history of wine criticism dates back to ancient Rome, where one of the first known wine critics was Pliny the Elder?

Pliny was a Roman writer, naturalist, and philosopher who lived in the 1st century AD. He wrote extensively about the wines of his time and was one of the first to recognize the importance of terroir in wine production. His evaluations of the quality of wines from certain regions represent some of the earliest known examples of critical wine evaluations.

Fast forward to modern society, and wine critic scores and reviews have become a major factor in the wine industry. High scores from respected critics such as Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson, and James Suckling can increase demand for certain wines and drive up their prices. Wine auctions, retailers, and restaurants often use these scores and reviews as a marketing tool to attract buyers.

The impact of wine critics on prices and demand has become a controversial topic in the wine industry, with some arguing that it leads to a homogenization of wine styles and favors certain regions and producers over others.

However, there’s no denying that wine critic scores and reviews have a significant impact on the market.

Cheers to Pliny the Elder 🥂 🍇 !