South African wine writer Christian Eades damns wine criticism with faint praise:
When we’re not writing about each other and actually writing about wine, it’s no bad thing.
He then goes on to explain that wine criticism is different from nearly all other forms of criticism:
The average punter about to make a purchasing decision is quite happy to be influenced by endorsement from an expert in just about all fields of endeavour except wine…To some extent, the reason wine criticism is so easily dismissed is because there’s little at stake when it comes to buying a bottle of wine relative to just about anything else. Discover that you’ve chosen a style you don’t like, then simply chug it back and move on.
Which recalls Henry Kissinger’s remark about politics in the Harvard faculty lounge, where the former Secretary of States explained that the feuds were so vicious because the stakes were so low.