Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

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Bill Klapp (deactivated)
 
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Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #1  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 2:27am

Please, somebody who knows him well needs to weigh in and tell me that this is a joke:

Richard Jennings ‏@RJonWine
Doing a tasting of pears--red D'Anjou, regular D'Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett and Asian--to sharpen my pear descriptors. http://fb.me/xvvpRXN4

If not, I hope that he doesn't invite any of his regular tasting group to the upcoming cat-pee smelling (various purebreds vs. alley cats from around the world). Or the camping trips, sleeping on the ground under piles of rotting leaves to sharpen his sous bois descriptors as discovered in a variety of forests, or perhaps in a pig sty, horse stall or chicken coop to sharpen his sense of that all-important barnyard smell. Or maybe I have this all wrong and all that he is really trying to do is single-handedly bring Harry & David back from bankruptcy during this holiday season.

If he is serious about this, he needs to seek professional help. Rumors abound that he does not drink much wine, that, for him, it is all about tasting, spitting,then slinging scores and handfuls of descriptors, often the same ones over and over in tasting notes that are sprayed like bullets from an Uzi (although now maybe he can serve up red d' Anjou vs. "regular" d' Anjou in the mix). I have no idea if that is true or not (I sincerely hope not), but the notion would be consistent with the ludicrous fetishism that "sharpening one's pear descriptors" represents. People, it is time to tear asunder what Parker and his progeny hath wrought. Forget about the "what would Jesus do?" test. The pear tasting, if for real, would fail the "what would Neal Martin do?" test of descriptor foolishness. Hopefully Richard will show up and tell me that he just wanted to see if I would take the bait, and, of course, he would not have a pear tasting for any reason other than his sheer enjoyment of pears. If so, Richard, God bless you, you got me!

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #2  Postby Marc Frontario » December 7th 2012, 3:27am

I'm sure in some way he must have a sense of humor...but this is someone who is pursuing the academic side...a bit further out of the box than the rest of us...my question is how soon do these exotic pear descriptors start showing up in his tasting notes that will be interesting to see.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #3  Postby Mike During » December 7th 2012, 3:41am

Why would you discourage " sleeping on the ground under piles of rotting leaves" ?
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #4  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 4:13am

I would not. I would definitely do it myself. If I were homeless. But not to get a better sense of "sous bois", which seems easy enough to find in old Barolo and Burgundy!
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #5  Postby Loren Sonkin » December 7th 2012, 5:06am

I was once at an Oregon farmer's market. They had a bunch of berries, black raspberries, boysenberries, marionberries, and others. I lined them all up (after buying) and made notes on their tastes. I don't remember much now, except boysenberries were more acidic and marionberries more bitter and dilute. Still, it was a useful exercise in helping to understand flavors. And, it gave me something to do as my wife and daughter shopped for jewelry.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #6  Postby Bill Moore » December 7th 2012, 5:23am

There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #7  Postby Paul H Galli » December 7th 2012, 5:27am

Hey Bill,

Lighten up.
He's the Tastinator!
He can't be stopped....

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #8  Postby John Morris » December 7th 2012, 5:38am

Bill Moore wrote:There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.


Me thinks both Richard and Bill have senses of humor.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #9  Postby D@vid Bu3ker » December 7th 2012, 5:41am

After the pear tasting we can line up Bill's posts and see if we can distinguish between the many different types of sanctimony. [wink.gif] [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #10  Postby Paul H Galli » December 7th 2012, 5:43am

John Morris wrote:
Bill Moore wrote:There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.


Me thinks both Richard and Bill have senses of humor.


Methinks Bill has a sense of reality on this matter!

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #11  Postby Neal.Mollen » December 7th 2012, 5:51am

David M. Bueker wrote:After the pear tasting we can line up Bill's posts and see if we can distinguish between the many different types of sanctimony. [wink.gif] [stirthepothal.gif]


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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #12  Postby Peter Chiu » December 7th 2012, 5:51am

John Morris wrote:
Bill Moore wrote:There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.


Me thinks both Richard and Bill have senses of humor.



96-97 % agree..
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #13  Postby Peter Chiu » December 7th 2012, 5:53am

Paul H Galli wrote:
John Morris wrote:
Bill Moore wrote:There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.


Me thinks both Richard and Bill have senses of humor.


Methinks Bill has a sense of reality on this matter!

TTT



Me....so far 65 % agree on sense of reality and 22-23 % on sense of humor. ....
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #14  Postby Mark Y » December 7th 2012, 6:04am

his coverage is lacking. .there's gotta be more than 5 pear.. varietals (varieties?)
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #15  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 6:23am

David M. Bueker wrote:After the pear tasting we can line up Bill's posts and see if we can distinguish between the many different types of sanctimony. [wink.gif] [stirthepothal.gif]


David, absolutely, but I cannot participate. If I object to another lining up the pears, I cannot in good faith line up examples of my own sanctimony. But by all means, establish a committee and have at it! My only concern would be that many might feel that my sanctimony only comes in one aroma and one flavor...
Last edited by Bill Klapp (deactivated) on December 7th 2012, 6:25am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #16  Postby John Morris » December 7th 2012, 6:25am

markye wrote:his coverage is lacking. .there's gotta be more than 5 pear.. varietals (varieties?)


And I worry that the points scale will be compressed and inflated.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #17  Postby M Champney » December 7th 2012, 6:30am

So, Bill, what pear of pairs do you think RJ should serve with your whine? Or, should he pare it down to just a pair of pears?

;-)
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #18  Postby Tom Blach » December 7th 2012, 6:32am

John Morris wrote:
Bill Moore wrote:There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.


Me thinks both Richard and Bill have senses of humor.



I suspect John is right.

I do think wine should be enjoyed as its creators intend. It is not, in my view, valid to line it up, taste, spit, evaluate and describe.I noted yesterday when reading about Soldera that he forbids spitting in his cellar and I sympathise greatly with that. If drinking a wine is going to make you too drunk then don't drink it at all. Spitting is rather disgusting, something we tend to forget!
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #19  Postby L e o F r o k i c » December 7th 2012, 6:33am

Me would like to know are this estate pears or purchased. Are they biodinamic or not? What is the yield per ha? Were they picked early to preserve freshness or where they late picked to cater to critics. Did they grower/estate used the consultant or not? Do they come from the side of the tree that got direct sunlight or were they shaded from the sun? Also, what was the density of tree planting?

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #20  Postby Keith Levenberg » December 7th 2012, 6:35am

Will there be backups of each pear variety to account for pear variation?
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #21  Postby Michel Abood » December 7th 2012, 6:39am

L e o F r o k i c wrote:Me would like to know are this estate pears or purchased. Are they biodinamic or not? What is the yield per ha? Were they picked early to preserve freshness or where they late picked to cater to critics. Did they grower/estate used the consultant or not? Do they come from the side of the tree that got direct sunlight or were they shaded from the sun? Also, what was the density of tree planting?

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #22  Postby GregT » December 7th 2012, 6:48am

Mark you're totally right. Seems like a lot were left out.

Seckels are an obvious miss. Those are all over the place. Small and sometimes tasty but usually hard, tart, and small - rather useless really. OK for cooking but they're a pain because they're so small. The Muscadet of the pear world.

French butter pears are another, rather sweet and when ripe they get soft pretty fast. Not worth seeking out. Kind of the CA Chardonnay of the pear world.

Starkrimson is probably the most unique in terms of flavor as it's almost floral so it would be a really great one for descriptions except that nobody would know what the hell it is. Gets soft too. A little goes a long way. Kind of like the Gwertz of the pear world.

Forelle is starting to get close to an apple, by analogy in the way a Russet apple is reminiscent of a pear (which is why I think they're some of the best apples). You don't see them all that often.

Red Bartlett is a little like the Green Bartlett but can be sweeter, or at least taste sweeter - I don't know the sugar content. Actually, I think several of the varieties have red versions, so you gotta go thru those too. The Merlot of the pear world.

Concorde isn't grown all that much and I suspect that's because it doesn't have as much flavor as some of the others. Maybe because of bruising or keeping qualities too - I don't really know. Looks a little like a Bosc with the skin of a Green Bartlett, but doesn't taste as good as either. Kind of like the Viognier of the pear world - the appeal fades fast and you're wondering why you didn't just make the choice and open a Semillon or a Muscat.

And of course, Bosc rules but he has those covered. Best for baking, for eating, for poaching, and we used to use them for pear Tatin because they're firm enough to hold their shape perfectly. Only problem is that they're hard to arrange on the tart because they're so pointy - we used to cut the ends off so they'd fill in better.

Those are the only ones I could think of off the top but I'm sure there are many others. Whether they'd make useful tasting notes by appearing in a list of other descriptors is a completely different story. I think not. For example, people use the description "rose petal". I have 48 of them growing in the back, most are fragrant, and each fragrance is different. There's no such thing as "rose petal". But I get the idea when someone says it. Would it be any good if I said it was reminiscent of Mons Tillier in the fall? Who would know what that meant?

I agree with John about the sense of humor. This is pretty hilarious! Later today I'm going to taste maybe 60-70 wines and then I'm going to dinner. Will be hunting for the Comice pear notes in each!
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #23  Postby D@vid Bu3ker » December 7th 2012, 6:57am

What happens if you taste pears on a root day?
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #24  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 7:22am

GregT wrote:Mark you're totally right. Seems like a lot were left out.

Seckels are an obvious miss. Those are all over the place. Small and sometimes tasty but usually hard, tart, and small - rather useless really. OK for cooking but they're a pain because they're so small. The Muscadet of the pear world.

French butter pears are another, rather sweet and when ripe they get soft pretty fast. Not worth seeking out. Kind of the CA Chardonnay of the pear world.

Starkrimson is probably the most unique in terms of flavor as it's almost floral so it would be a really great one for descriptions except that nobody would know what the hell it is. Gets soft too. A little goes a long way. Kind of like the Gwertz of the pear world.

Forelle is starting to get close to an apple, by analogy in the way a Russet apple is reminiscent of a pear (which is why I think they're some of the best apples). You don't see them all that often.

Red Bartlett is a little like the Green Bartlett but can be sweeter, or at least taste sweeter - I don't know the sugar content. Actually, I think several of the varieties have red versions, so you gotta go thru those too. The Merlot of the pear world.

Concorde isn't grown all that much and I suspect that's because it doesn't have as much flavor as some of the others. Maybe because of bruising or keeping qualities too - I don't really know. Looks a little like a Bosc with the skin of a Green Bartlett, but doesn't taste as good as either. Kind of like the Viognier of the pear world - the appeal fades fast and you're wondering why you didn't just make the choice and open a Semillon or a Muscat.

And of course, Bosc rules but he has those covered. Best for baking, for eating, for poaching, and we used to use them for pear Tatin because they're firm enough to hold their shape perfectly. Only problem is that they're hard to arrange on the tart because they're so pointy - we used to cut the ends off so they'd fill in better.

Those are the only ones I could think of off the top but I'm sure there are many others. Whether they'd make useful tasting notes by appearing in a list of other descriptors is a completely different story. I think not. For example, people use the description "rose petal". I have 48 of them growing in the back, most are fragrant, and each fragrance is different. There's no such thing as "rose petal". But I get the idea when someone says it. Would it be any good if I said it was reminiscent of Mons Tillier in the fall? Who would know what that meant?

I agree with John about the sense of humor. This is pretty hilarious! Later today I'm going to taste maybe 60-70 wines and then I'm going to dinner. Will be hunting for the Comice pear notes in each!


If you seek Comice but detect only supermarket Bartlett, it is a clear indication that you are not a "supertaster".

And as for the rest of you, please say what you will, except do NOT refer to "NATURAL" pears, or Parker will get drunk and make another video, in which he will tell us that (a) CdPs, not pears, are "natural", (b) only sodomites use the term "natural wine", and (c) all grand cru Burgundy is dosed with a lot worse shit than Megapurple, and should be avoided by his acolytes at all costs...
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #25  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 7:28am

Tom Blach wrote:
John Morris wrote:
Bill Moore wrote:There are myriad ways to enjoy wine and to write about it. Rather than try to understand and respect these different approaches to wine appreciation, you feel compelled to ridicule them publicly.

Moreover, most trolls are content just to let their comment do the work, but you even take the extra step of begging RJ to respond, after you've mocked him, said he might need therapy, and openly rumor-mongered about him. Unreal.


Me thinks both Richard and Bill have senses of humor.



I suspect John is right.

I do think wine should be enjoyed as its creators intend. It is not, in my view, valid to line it up, taste, spit, evaluate and describe.I noted yesterday when reading about Soldera that he forbids spitting in his cellar and I sympathise greatly with that. If drinking a wine is going to make you too drunk then don't drink it at all. Spitting is rather disgusting, something we tend to forget!


Great post, Tom, which I would augment only with the idea that "sitting with a wine" is the only way to make any rational assessment of it. (Actually, the only way to make a rational assessment of the particular BOTTLE before you, but I will leave that dilemma for another day.) Of course, if the price that one pays for that is having Suckling sitting in your cellar and sucking down your wine for 6 hours, well, I guess that you could make an exception and let him spit. And run.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #26  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 7:31am

And Greg, please do not leave out the tiny, beloved Madernassa pear of the greater Alba, Italy area. I suspect that it is the ONLY pear that one could detect in Nebbiolo-based wines...
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Well......

Post #27  Postby TomHill » December 7th 2012, 7:38am

Bill Klapp wrote:If he is serious about this, he needs to seek professional help. Rumors abound that he does not drink much wine, that, for him, it is all about tasting, spitting,then slinging scores and handfuls of descriptors, often the same ones over and over in tasting notes that are sprayed like bullets from an Uzi (although now maybe he can serve up red d' Anjou vs. "regular" d' Anjou in the mix). I have no idea if that is true or not (I sincerely hope not), but the notion would be consistent with the ludicrous fetishism that "sharpening one's pear descriptors" represents. People, it is time to tear asunder what Parker and his progeny hath wrought. Forget about the "what would Jesus do?" test. The pear tasting, if for real, would fail the "what would Neal Martin do?" test of descriptor foolishness. Hopefully Richard will show up and tell me that he just wanted to see if I would take the bait, and, of course, he would not have a pear tasting for any reason other than his sheer enjoyment of pears. If so, Richard, God bless you, you got me!


Well, Bill...I've been reading Asimov's new book and I think he does a pretty good job of this. In a dry/matter-of-fact way, he totally ridicules Molesworth for his repeated
use of "mandura tobacco"...whatever the heck that is.
I think Richard's idea of a pear tasting is a great one...I'd attend when he takes the PAP (Pear Advocates and Producers) show on the road to SantaFe. Not for sharpening
my pear descriptors in my long/boring TN's...but just to increase my appreciation of pears. You know...I have followed pears from the very start!!! neener
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #28  Postby Frank Smith » December 7th 2012, 7:43am

It seems to me that a more interesting exercise would be to taste wine grapes picked from various sites and at various stages of ripeness.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #29  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 7:52am

I did that during my walk every day this summer and fall, Frank, with Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and occasionally Arneis. I took no notes and I claim no superior knowledge from the experience, but it was fun. (As an aside, I find it hilarious that the dominant red eating grape in the Piemonte is the "uva americana", sometimes called the "uva fragolina", which is none other than your Welch's Concord grape!)
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #30  Postby John Morris » December 7th 2012, 8:00am

Bill Klapp wrote:If you seek Comice but detect only supermarket Bartlett, it is a clear indication that you are not a "supertaster".


Either that or the orchard owners have taken lessons from the folks in Montalcino and have substituted the primitivo of pears for the sangiovese grosso.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #31  Postby Neal.Mollen » December 7th 2012, 8:07am

You need an avatar, Bill. May I suggest:

Image
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #32  Postby Berry Crawford » December 7th 2012, 8:17am

This seems like an unessisarily mean spirited thread.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #33  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 7th 2012, 8:20am

I commend Richard for doing this tasting. There's a few times each year that I buy some various fruits for the sole purpose of "reminding myself" what they taste like.

For all the criticism that some folks like to throw around about people using specific descriptors in their TN's (implying the writer is full of shit), I'd think that a tasting like this would be widely applauded, if not at least appreciated/respected, in a community of wine geeks.

Of course, I suspect Bill's opening missive is closely related to his feelings about tasting notes, in general.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #34  Postby brigcampbell » December 7th 2012, 8:26am

Good for Richard
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #35  Postby P. Robert » December 7th 2012, 8:26am

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #36  Postby Brian Tuite » December 7th 2012, 8:35am

Neal.Mollen wrote:You need an avatar, Bill. May I suggest:

Image


Or perhaps this:

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #37  Postby Anthony Lombardi » December 7th 2012, 8:38am

Brian Tuite wrote:
Neal.Mollen wrote:You need an avatar, Bill. May I suggest:

Image


Or perhaps this:

image.jpg


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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #38  Postby K John Joseph » December 7th 2012, 8:38am

Berry Crawford wrote:This seems like an unessisarily mean spirited thread.


I couldn't agree more, Berry.

Klapp's OP was brutally condescending and laced with rumor mongering. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but the only humor I could read into his OP was his own laughter at what Richard does for a living, and Richard's pursuit of honing his skills so that he may provide the most accurate note he can so that readers may get a better picture of the flavor profile of the wines he's tasting. We can debate the necessity of specific descriptors, and even whether there is merit to tasting v. drinking. That said, it's what Richard does for a living, and he's trying to improve his craft. Belittling that effort is pure bully mentality, and blatantly condescending. In addition, if you think he's the only person that's done something like that in the wine industry, you're mistaken. Just about every MS or MW I've read or spoken with has gone out of their way to nail down specific notes, such as the difference between certain types of dates (Molesworth about a week ago), soil, berries, apples, oranges, oak barrels, leather, meats, and on and on. I understand that Klapp has little respect for wine writers, but as a professional, he ought to respect efforts to become the best at your profession. When your profession is describing wine, you ought to strive for the most accurate description possible.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #39  Postby Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 7th 2012, 9:11am

KJJ, you are SO right...I mean to be blantantly condescending. It comes with the territory when you pop the bubble of pretensiousness. I am flatly saying that the human nose and palate are NOT capable of detecting 5, or 10, or 20 varieties of pears in a frigging glass of wine. Period. Not Parker, not Tanzer, not Galloni, not Molesworth, not Leve, not Jennings. It is one thing to use generally understood and useful terms to describe a wine. "Tannic". "Acidic". "Light ruby in color". And, yes, a hint of pear, lemon, citrus, cedar, truffle, cigar, rock. And even there, my tolerance of tannins may be far greater than yours, so maybe me deeming something to be "mildly tannic" makes it completely undrinkable for you.

I am not the arbiter of where you draw the line on descriptors, but for damn sure a line can and should be drawn. "Linden flower" and "Kaffir lime" are two that I had to call BS on. Five or more types of pears gets me there, too. There was no laughter at what Richard does for a living because, the last time he commented on the subject, it was NOT tasting wines and spitting out tasting notes. I am belittling an activity that is radically unlikely to improve the craft of Mr. Jennings' hobby (or perhaps profession-in-waiting). If he has any common sense, he will learn from the mistakes of the alleged professionals that have come before him and burnt out their palates with the seriatim run, sip and spit exercise for thousands of wines each year, followed by the endless generation of meaningless scores and tasting notes. It does not work. The whole deal is the emperor's new clothes. We have all been snookered by a bunch of fellow amateurs who hold themselves out as superior to all others. We have wasted a lot of time reading their garbage instead of tasting wine for ourselves. And at the end of the day, it still comes down to that anyway. We read the garbage, bought the wine, drank it, and accepted it or rejected it, didn't we? And if that is the case, have the tasting-note middlemen done us such yeoman service after all?

It is a free country. Richard is free to keep on keeping on, as are all who loves themselves some tasting notes. But I am just as free to lay waste to what I see as an exercise of questionable utility on its best day. What do I recommend for those who enjoy the tasting and writing more than the drinking? Hone your writing skills, not your descriptors. Taste fewer wines on multiple occasions over extended periods of time. Notice how the color, aromas and flavors of each changes over time and differs from bottle to bottle. Maybe pick a specific wine region and develop true expertise in its limited number of wines. Then put pen to paper and write something that intelligent people can read and rely upon, even if only as a buoy arounsd which to navigate their own wine ships (since we seem to have a nautical theme going above). And Brian, while I appreciate the flattering photo, I must admit that I am not packing a weapon like the one pictured. The sword, I mean...
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #40  Postby Bill Moore » December 7th 2012, 9:24am

K John Joseph wrote:
Berry Crawford wrote:This seems like an unessisarily mean spirited thread.


I couldn't agree more, Berry.

Klapp's OP was brutally condescending and laced with rumor mongering. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but the only humor I could read into his OP was his own laughter at what Richard does for a living, and Richard's pursuit of honing his skills so that he may provide the most accurate note he can so that readers may get a better picture of the flavor profile of the wines he's tasting. We can debate the necessity of specific descriptors, and even whether there is merit to tasting v. drinking. That said, it's what Richard does for a living, and he's trying to improve his craft. Belittling that effort is pure bully mentality, and blatantly condescending. In addition, if you think he's the only person that's done something like that in the wine industry, you're mistaken. Just about every MS or MW I've read or spoken with has gone out of their way to nail down specific notes, such as the difference between certain types of dates (Molesworth about a week ago), soil, berries, apples, oranges, oak barrels, leather, meats, and on and on. I understand that Klapp has little respect for wine writers, but as a professional, he ought to respect efforts to become the best at your profession. When your profession is describing wine, you ought to strive for the most accurate description possible.


+1 Richard's pear tasting is entirely consistent with his approach to wine appreciation. It's a reductive approach I don't embrace, and clearly most folks here don't either, but is it really worth this kind of derision, anymore than anyone else's approach to understanding and writing about wine? I've slammed Parker plenty of times before (right alongside Mr. Klapp), but my beef is with the bogus code of ethics, not with his clinical style. Richard may share elements of Parker's approach, but he's nothing if not an earnest and enthusiastic student of wine, like most all of us here. Trolling him like this (and the OP is definitely more derisive than funny by any measure) is just uncool.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #41  Postby Russell Faulkner » December 7th 2012, 9:33am

I don't know Mr Jennings, is he a professional writer? I remember he used to post here, and has the most notes posted on CT, but no more.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #42  Postby Tom Blach » December 7th 2012, 9:41am

I don't know the ins and outs of Bill's relationship with Richard and hope he isn't being unkind, but I simply couldn't agree more with his last post.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #43  Postby brigcampbell » December 7th 2012, 9:43am

He still uses CT but stopped publishing public TN, I guess, nothing for a month.

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #44  Postby Al Osterheld » December 7th 2012, 9:46am

He has a day job. He has recently started to get paid for some writing, has been developing ideas for a book, and I believe he plans to write full-time when he retires from the day job.

Not sure whether he still puts his notes on CT. He has a blog at rjonwine.com

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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #45  Postby Paul H Galli » December 7th 2012, 9:47am

Bill Klapp wrote:KJJ, you are SO right...I mean to be blantantly condescending. It comes with the territory when you pop the bubble of pretensiousness. I am flatly saying that the human nose and palate are NOT capable of detecting 5, or 10, or 20 varieties of pears in a frigging glass of wine. Period. Not Parker, not Tanzer, not Galloni, not Molesworth, not Leve, not Jennings. It is one thing to use generally understood and useful terms to describe a wine. "Tannic". "Acidic". "Light ruby in color". And, yes, a hint of pear, lemon, citrus, cedar, truffle, cigar, rock. And even there, my tolerance of tannins may be far greater than yours, so maybe me deeming something to be "mildly tannic" makes it completely undrinkable for you.

I am not the arbiter of where you draw the line on descriptors, but for damn sure a line can and should be drawn. "Linden flower" and "Kaffir lime" are two that I had to call BS on. Five or more types of pears gets me there, too. There was no laughter at what Richard does for a living because, the last time he commented on the subject, it was NOT tasting wines and spitting out tasting notes. I am belittling an activity that is radically unlikely to improve the craft of Mr. Jennings' hobby (or perhaps profession-in-waiting). If he has any common sense, he will learn from the mistakes of the alleged professionals that have come before him and burnt out their palates with the seriatim run, sip and spit exercise for thousands of wines each year, followed by the endless generation of meaningless scores and tasting notes. It does not work. The whole deal is the emperor's new clothes. We have all been snookered by a bunch of fellow amateurs who hold themselves out as superior to all others. We have wasted a lot of time reading their garbage instead of tasting wine for ourselves. And at the end of the day, it still comes down to that anyway. We read the garbage, bought the wine, drank it, and accepted it or rejected it, didn't we? And if that is the case, have the tasting-note middlemen done us such yeoman service after all?

It is a free country. Richard is free to keep on keeping on, as are all who loves themselves some tasting notes. But I am just as free to lay waste to what I see as an exercise of questionable utility on its best day. What do I recommend for those who enjoy the tasting and writing more than the drinking? Hone your writing skills, not your descriptors. Taste fewer wines on multiple occasions over extended periods of time. Notice how the color, aromas and flavors of each changes over time and differs from bottle to bottle. Maybe pick a specific wine region and develop true expertise in its limited number of wines. Then put pen to paper and write something that intelligent people can read and rely upon, even if only as a buoy arounsd which to navigate their own wine ships (since we seem to have a nautical theme going above). And Brian, while I appreciate the flattering photo, I must admit that I am not packing a weapon like the one pictured. The sword, I mean...


FTR,Richard has a full-time "Non Wine" type job.
At the moment, this is his "Hobby".
There's no question, he's a driven man in his pursuit of refining tasting notes.
Much like you being a driven man in pursuit of being a Blowhard.....

TTT
Opinot, not Oporto...
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #46  Postby bob poirier » December 7th 2012, 9:50am

Paul H Galli wrote:
Bill Klapp wrote:KJJ, you are SO right...I mean to be blantantly condescending. It comes with the territory when you pop the bubble of pretensiousness. I am flatly saying that the human nose and palate are NOT capable of detecting 5, or 10, or 20 varieties of pears in a frigging glass of wine. Period. Not Parker, not Tanzer, not Galloni, not Molesworth, not Leve, not Jennings. It is one thing to use generally understood and useful terms to describe a wine. "Tannic". "Acidic". "Light ruby in color". And, yes, a hint of pear, lemon, citrus, cedar, truffle, cigar, rock. And even there, my tolerance of tannins may be far greater than yours, so maybe me deeming something to be "mildly tannic" makes it completely undrinkable for you.

I am not the arbiter of where you draw the line on descriptors, but for damn sure a line can and should be drawn. "Linden flower" and "Kaffir lime" are two that I had to call BS on. Five or more types of pears gets me there, too. There was no laughter at what Richard does for a living because, the last time he commented on the subject, it was NOT tasting wines and spitting out tasting notes. I am belittling an activity that is radically unlikely to improve the craft of Mr. Jennings' hobby (or perhaps profession-in-waiting). If he has any common sense, he will learn from the mistakes of the alleged professionals that have come before him and burnt out their palates with the seriatim run, sip and spit exercise for thousands of wines each year, followed by the endless generation of meaningless scores and tasting notes. It does not work. The whole deal is the emperor's new clothes. We have all been snookered by a bunch of fellow amateurs who hold themselves out as superior to all others. We have wasted a lot of time reading their garbage instead of tasting wine for ourselves. And at the end of the day, it still comes down to that anyway. We read the garbage, bought the wine, drank it, and accepted it or rejected it, didn't we? And if that is the case, have the tasting-note middlemen done us such yeoman service after all?

It is a free country. Richard is free to keep on keeping on, as are all who loves themselves some tasting notes. But I am just as free to lay waste to what I see as an exercise of questionable utility on its best day. What do I recommend for those who enjoy the tasting and writing more than the drinking? Hone your writing skills, not your descriptors. Taste fewer wines on multiple occasions over extended periods of time. Notice how the color, aromas and flavors of each changes over time and differs from bottle to bottle. Maybe pick a specific wine region and develop true expertise in its limited number of wines. Then put pen to paper and write something that intelligent people can read and rely upon, even if only as a buoy arounsd which to navigate their own wine ships (since we seem to have a nautical theme going above). And Brian, while I appreciate the flattering photo, I must admit that I am not packing a weapon like the one pictured. The sword, I mean...


FTR,Richard has a full-time "Non Wine" type job.
At the moment, this is his "Hobby".
There's no question, he's a driven man in his pursuit of refining tasting notes.
Much like you being a driven man in pursuit of being a Blowhard.....

TTT


+1
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #47  Postby Neal.Mollen » December 7th 2012, 10:07am

Tom Blach wrote:I don't know the ins and outs of Bill's relationship with Richard and hope he isn't being unkind, but I simply couldn't agree more with his last post.


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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #48  Postby Eric Lundblad » December 7th 2012, 10:16am

Reading this thread makes me feel like I'm in Jr High again.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #49  Postby Corey N. » December 7th 2012, 10:17am

Eric Lundblad wrote:Reading this thread makes me feel like I'm in Jr High again.


Reading this thread makes me feel like I'm in the Politics forum again.
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Re: Richard Jennings' Sense of Humor?

Post #50  Postby M Champney » December 7th 2012, 10:24am

Neal -

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored!

[cheers.gif]

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