Excuse me, Guvnor, but what’s a Fine Wine?

To Be Or Not To Be, That Is The Question. I know, this one’s been used a lot, but it really is about a crucial question – if you care about wine, that is. To be more precise, what we want to know is how we can define the term fine wine. Not more, not less. Together with members of Geisenheim University, I’m lucky enough to investigate this little conundrum. In a series of articles for Meininger’s Wine Business International, we seek to establish what contributes to a wine’s classification as a fine wine and what not. Plus, a little more on that peculiar subject since we’re at it.

To begin with, we need to figure out the criteria that matter and what happens next. Is it a wine’s quality that is the decisive factor and if so, how do you define quality in wine? That is an almost bigger problem if you’ve been following my journey and the answer to that particular challenge. Should it be based on Parker-points, the number of gold medals a wine has won or rather its overall reputation or popularity? Yes? But which one? And if so, on we are for another little riddle because exactly how many points or medals does a wine need then?

Should we rather base it on a bottle’s price? Again, we open the box of the Pandora since we also need to define the minimum price, which might be very different from one jurisdiction to another, all depending on location and spending power.

Is important whether a wine has a secondary market or is sought after by collectors? Again, that wouldn’t strike me as a very precise approach right away and useful to solve initial question.

Without giving away much, I can tell you that over the coming weeks, we will regardless of the obstacles described above try the impossible: find objective criteria that can be used to determine once and for all whether a wine is fine or not. I’ll be honest with you, it looks like an uphill battle, but at the same time like a lot of fun.

You can read more about the task ahead and what we already figured out following this link to WBI. There you will also find our call-to-action for you: complete a short survey and tell us what you think! Just so we can get this thing sorted out – it’s about time, isn’t it?

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