I have been following the wine world for several years, recently observing more attentively its market envelope, so I am increasingly sure that, when pouring every evening into my mouth a sip of liquid formed from fermented grapes, it has almost nothing in common with what we discuss trying to place the bottle on the market. Well, there are two aspects of the issue. The first is a purely material phenomenon and, in principle, from a sommelier point of view, the whole thing should be exhausted here. The second is this rest because of which the world has been killing itself for centuries, and which concerns ideas, and these are in our heads, and the Platonic cave, eventually.
We drink some liquid, we get impressions (although the description of these impressions goes beyond the material sphere) and the issue ends here. The bottle is finished, the liquid is gone, it is frankly difficult to prove that the next bottle with the same label will cause similar impressions. Wine bottles are like humans. Everyone is different because everyone feels the taste differently. Only purely material aspects can be objective because we will all agree that there is some liquid in the bottle and that the bottle is made of glass. Is this liquid sweet or salty? This already applies to the configuration of many factors, mostly subjective.
It is clear that, for the manufacturer and even more, for the seller, there should not be any subjectivity. The buyer will not be willing to invest in something that the sommelier has only a subjective impression about. Hence, the struggle, even at the Parker’s, for the world to recognize its scale as an objective mirror of a real value, which, after all, materially does not exist, arose in the head of a variable man, differing not only from others but also from himself and it’s in time because every moment is different.
Opinions, value, advertising campaigns, and therefore all what I symbolically call the winey envelope, is a matter of culture, as anyone prefers superstructure, that is, it is an ever-changing mirage, also historically dependent on certain canons, which do not have at all the materiality of stone or liquid.
It seems that a certain Zhen Wang Huang, more in the world known as Rudi Kurniawan, was aware of this and acted with such an illusion exactly as he had to deal with it. While acting, he created more elusive aspects and earned because of the stupidity of all those who from the material label conclude an objective value.
This is exactly our world. Those who were fooled by Kurniawan, deserved it because of the snobbery and thoughtlessness; well, because in the end the liquid in the bottle of Château Lafleur is objectively worth as much as the liquid in the bottle from any supermarket, and the existing difference in price is, in fact, an intangible difference, although measurable specifically. The superstructure besides this, that is, all these kind of eternal canons and imponderabilia, exists subjectively in each of us, and so disappears when each of us passes away.