Run don’t walk…?

New readers are constantly joining the Winesights Reader followership so it may be timely to explain a term used in my post earlier today: Run don’t walk (RDW).

I don’t think I have explained RDW previously so hopefully the following will clarify what I mean when I append this label to a tasting note.

First, consider I don’t like to score wines as scores don’t communicate the character of a wine and make something that is highly subjective, appear to be objectively precise. I believe there is nuance that can never be translated into a score and scores only make sense if the reader understands the palate, and preferences of the scorer (and if the reader also reads the tasting note – most score fans stop at the number…).

I recommend only those wines that meet my standards for the best quality at an attractive price.  I don’t write about, let alone recommend, any wines that don’t deliver the best value.

I do apply some personal bias when making my selections. I prefer wines that reflect the place they come from, wines that are made in a generally non-interventionist style and wines that are elegant, balanced and food-friendly.

My recommendations are supported by notes that provide some context about the wine along with plain-English tasting comments to help readers assess whether the wine might be of personal interest.

I write only about a handful of wines because often there aren’t any more wines in a release worthy of consideration. Of greater importance, I write about a small number of wines because otherwise my recommendations become another jumble similar to the wall of wine which greats every visitor to the local LCBO store. My goal is to make the complex world of wine simple to the casual enthusiast – without dumbing down the subject and without insulting the serious buyer.

In this context RDW is a descriptor I have adopted that’s akin to a Parker 95, a John Szabo *** Value Rating, a John Livingstone-Learmonth WOW (i.e. What One Wants), etc. Another way of expressing this thought: an RDW wine is one that warrants we pay our full attention.

I use this label for the rare wine that stands head and shoulders above everything else I recommend. I use RDW sparingly and when it is applied you should be confident the wine will transcend personal palate preferences.

An RDW wine will represent the best demonstration of its origin and appellation, at the best price imaginable.

So, Run don’t walk when you see one of these wines…

à bientôt…

Copyright© W. John Switzer 2003 – 2014.


Author: John Switzer

I am wine writer, educator and tour guide. From 2005 to June 2014 I published a bi-weekly newsletter, the Winesights Vintages Newsletter (WVN). This Newsletter was closed in July 2014 when the Government of Canada put in place the onerous administrative requirements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation. The legacy of WVN continues on this blog spot where I post wine-related articles as well as reviews of a small selection of best-value wines from each bi-weekly LCBO Vintages release. I hold the WSET Diploma, I am a WSET Certified Educator, I teach in the WSET program at the Independent Wine Education Guild in Toronto where I am the past Director of the WSET Diploma program. Since 2010 I have been a judge at Decanter World Wine Awards on the Rhône panel and I am a member of the Society of Wine Educators.

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