…spontaneously fermenting

Judging wine on its own, or with food?

Should a wine be tasted and judged on its own or with food?
I was out with a friend last night. A friend who happens to also be a wine importer of mainly US wines into Norway.
He had given me a bottle of wine to taste a few days earlier. A wine which some critics, outside Norway, give high marks to. I tasted it, and didn’t like it.  My feedback to him was that it smelled too much of yeast (as if the wine had too much stirring of the lees) and lacked that freshness I came to expect from the varietal in question.

On the palate, I also found the wine to be too thin and lacking acidity. Overall, a boring wine which I could not force myself to consume the entire bottle of.

His goal was to figure out what it was about the wine that i didn’t like.  He went on to say that I was supposed to enjoy the wine with Scallops. This got me thinking.
I am a firm believer that wine should be enjoyed with food. This being said, is it wrong to judge a wine solely on its own merits?
Personally, I feel that wine is best judged on its own, then paired with the proper food. Any good quality wine will work with food if the right dish is chosen. But a wine which I find to be of inferior quality, or that I just don’t like, that happens to work well with lets say scallops, isn’t a wine for me- even if the critics don’t always agree.

Category: 1 WINE, 8 FOOD, 9 WINE THOUGHTS, Judging wine on its own, or with food?




Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

Get in touch

Joseph would love to hear from you! You can contact him by email at