The "M" Word Has Got To Go

In my 2013 keynote address, I told the European Digital Wine Communicators Conference that accusing a winemaker of manipulation is like calling your wife a whore because she’s sleeping with you.  What, she’s supposed to do her duty and then feel bad about herself?  To place winemakers in this moral dilemma is to inhibit the acquisition of the necessary skill set which leads to invisibility of artifice and proper presentation of terroir.  Thus the accusation itself fosters poor practice, the real source of clumsy winemaking.

To dishonor our craft is both insulting and naïve.  Winemaking is, after all, just a form of food preparation – the ultimate slow food.  Chefs are supposed to manipulate things.  It’s what we do.  What were they thinking?

For the full article and a few public comments, see my column in  Then check out the ensuing 475+ comments at