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The topic of wine is very democratic as all manner of drinkers pile in with opinions. If I have any expertise, it’s to do with an ability to read between the lines. I receive a variety of emails about wine each week and can gauge well the involvement or knowledge of the writer. This also applies to articles though the recent opinion by the food critic for The Australian, John Lethlean, ‘Don’t bring terrible wine round to my place’, left me confused.

I decided that readership must have dropped off in an alarming way, so he decided to be as provocative as possible to regain attention.

He begins, ‘I’m not sure what would happen if a little notice was posted above my front door: “Only wines with a decent Halliday score (or a thumbs-up from the lads at Wine Front) allowed past this point, thanks.”

Continues; ‘Whoa, I hear you say. How can Australia still be making its fair share of poor wine? I don’t really know, but I figure there must be a lot of wealthy people out there needing tax deductible rural businesses, because I have a fridge full of stuff from wine producers who evidently don’t make it out of passion.

And more; ‘And yet there are dozens of wine brands out there, right across the continent, cranking out mediocre – no, bad – wine. The evidence is lined up in my wine fridge, the bottles opened, one glass poured, tasted and chucked. And my standards aren’t that high.

People arrive with a bottle of chilled Chateau Obscura and you try not to roll the eyes. But what to do? Open it on the spot and try to disguise your reaction?’

And the rant goes on. Yet what if this is what he believes as then he has revealed himself as a wine snob which is not a good position for a food writer of repute.

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