About this Blog
his blog originated from a simple and common need to somehow maintain a centralized, accurate and detailed back-up of all the tasting notes, background information and bits of wine knowledge which any conscientious wine drinker inevitably accumulates in various notepads, digital apps, trip notes and just plain old random pieces of paper which were handy at the time of tasting / drinking.
Ultimately it was my brother Max Stetsenko’s friendly, but persistent push and initiative to create the site itself that caused me to surrender. He, an avid photography enthusiast, is also responsible for all the pictures on the site.
However, having started this experiment we also decided to take on a challenge of slightly expanding the original scope of the project. We plan to use it as a learning platform – to further expand and deepen our knowledge of the wine.
As a result, I believe a few disclaimers and guidelines are in order to help any visitor to better understand what information is presented here, how it is done and why.
This blog does NOT claim to present an expert opinion, but it will present an honest and personal one.
It will not be an objective opinion, as I feel that wine is subjective by its nature. Wine is a living substance with all the subsequent complications – variations from bottle to bottle, from day to day and from year to year, just to mention a few.
While a delicate balance must be maintained between the art and science aspects of the winemaking, and one is unlikely to yield its best results without the other, I tend to believe that most of the science (please remember that science is not limited to mechanization and chemistry) should be applied in the vineyard and not in the cellar.
This blog does NOT give scores to wines. I genuinely fail to understand the attempt (or, worse yet, claim) to provide precision in what is a subjective matter. Art critics wouldn’t dream of assigning “scores” to the masterpieces of Cezanne, Rothko or Hals, yet somehow wine is ubiquitously reduced to a number. However, I also admit and believe in that some form of relative scale of enjoyment obtained from a particular bottle could be helpful, provided the explicitly stated context and details of the scoring scale.
The 5-star scale I use in the blog is simply a reference point and can be attributed only to my impression of a particular bottle, on a particular day. Obviously this means that my impressions (stars) in the blog will be more useful to those who, by and large, have similar taste in wine and that is fine by me. Ultimately, the reader will have to decide how useful my references are.
My Wine Preferences
Focus on the vineyard, not the cellar
Quality over quantity
Individuality versus stability/sameness
Honesty over profit maximization
Old World over New World
Elegance over brawn
Nuance over brightness
Harmony versus volume
True philosophy over trend chasing
5 Star Rating Scale
I dislike the wine. Wouldn’t buy it. Wouldn’t drink it for enjoyment even if offered for free. Would try it to form an opinion and nothing more.
A forgettable wine. It evokes little emotion. Wouldn’t buy it. Might consider having it with food if offered for free or if it is cheap AND is best price/quality option for a non-special meal. A table wine, if you will. Would drink a few glasses with the meal.
A good wine. A work horse. Provides positive emotion, but lacks in complexity. Would buy it. A good every-day wine (well, maybe an every-other-day wine) depending on the price level. Would enjoy drinking a bottle.
A great wine. Would buy to drink and to keep. Inspirational. Would gladly drink more than I probably should.
A fantastic wine. Deeply emotional in its origin and in its impact. The best examples of the wine that might not typically be considered a “classic” or one of “the greats” – could also fall into this category if they do indeed sing true to the typicity, quality and emotion.
Half-stars help manage the grey zones, which are so common.
No stars rating mainly relates to the barrel tastings for wines, which haven’t made it to the market.