License to Swill?
My latest Slate column is about the Master of Wine exam and whether some form of accreditation would be beneficial for wine journalism. Amid the proliferation of wannabe Parkers, it has been suggested that certification à la the MW might be a useful way of distinguishing the true mavens from the hacks. But as I point out in my piece, devising a fair test of wine-tasting aptitude would probably be impossible. More importantly, I think the market already does a pretty good job of identifying palates worth heeding. There are lots of activities that require formal training and sanctioning; wine appreciation ain’t one of them.
What’s your opinion? Do you think wine journalism would be well-served by accreditation of some sort? When you see “MW” next to a person’s name, do you feel an urge to genuflect?