Classification of 1855  
                                                                            Bordeaux to Austin

tout simplement, pour l'amour du vin

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The Classification of 1855 is today, a very controversial assessment of wines from the Bordeaux region that originally rated 73 wine estates in order of quality (from 1st Growth to 5th Growth). Understandably, many opponents of this rating system emphatically state that the doctrine is outdated and therefore irrelevant, that it was a popularity contest and did not necessarily judge the quality of an estate, and that many châteaux have either declined or improved over the years and thus deserve to be reshuffled in the grand scheme of the wine universe. Without doubt, there is some truth to these statements.

However, there is not a single château classified as a 1st Growth that does not deserve to be where it is. Are there other
châteaux with lower classifications that deserve to be elevated? Perhaps. But would they then decline after being elevated, making the updated Classification useless as a guide to quality? Since at least 1855, and almost certainly for a substantial time before, the 1st Growth estates had been producing what was considered the finest wine in the world consistently.

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Why Wine Critics Are Important

There may be a big backlash about this subject but I’m ready to take it on. Unless you have the time and financial resources to taste wine from 5000 to 15,000 bottles each year (who wouldn't love that?), you need to read this. If you do have those resources I want to be your best friend and you don’t have to read this!

The real issue is that few of us have the ability (in any way conceivable) to get through that many wines to discover what’s worthy of our attention and money, and what’s not. It’s easy to knock critics, especially those of food, music and film, and quite honestly many of this ilk have unverifiable credentials in their given field or none at all, which then just comes down to opinion. Opinions are not  necessarily worthless - just perhaps worth less.

The thing about wine critics is that the ‘big’ ones (we’ll discuss the meaning of ‘big’ in a moment) are very knowledgeable about wine. And if you can find someone that gets even close to agreeing with your palate you have an enormous advantage when it comes to buying wine you love, rather than trying to buy wine you love.

Think about the dizzying array of wines in the last decent-sized wine retailer you visited. At least hundreds, if not thousands of bottles are there for your selection pleasure. If you know the people that work there and love most of their recommendations, then you're golden.

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Find Local Wine Events

Expanding your wine knowledge requires experiencing a lot of different wines. A very good way to do this is to attend wine events where you'll not only taste a number of wines in one setting, but you'll get to ask questions and meet people with similar interests in wine. 

Receive free information about wine events in your area. Click on the link:

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