Well that’s a loaded question. It depends on whom you ask. Consumers would say pricing is out of alignment with quality. Winemakers might say there’s an oversupply (or undersupply) of grapes. Someone with a focus on demographics might mention a lack of diversity. Producers worry about an inability to sell to younger people. And everyone would rightfully point the finger at Covid-19 and its devastating effects on the hospitality industry.
I’m going to answer this question from my own perspective as a philosopher interested in wine aesthetics.
- Wine is too bound up in its commodity form in which marketing is often prioritized over aesthetics.
- The system of cult wines that serve as benchmarks of quality is hollow and unsustainable.
- The practice of evaluating wines by taking small sips of dozens of wines in a day is an abomination except in certain contexts.
- There are pockets in the wine community that put too much emphasis on conventions and typicity and approach wine as a set of rules to follow while looking askance at any deviation from tradition.
- In some circles, objectivity is worshiped without recognizing its limitations in aesthetic appreciation.
- In other circles, subjectivity is worshiped without recognizing that it makes judgments of quality incoherent.
- A reductionist approach to understanding the nature of science is far too prominent and influential.
- We often are too quick to judge wine quality while devoting too little attention to exploration and appreciation.
What’s on your list?