What is quality? And why should we care?

Picture of Björnstierne Antonsson

Björnstierne Antonsson

During my holiday week in the cottage in the mountains, I have reflected on how to assess quality. This chronicle will deal with how we experience quality in wine. Like Socrates, I am a great friend of the path to enlightenment by asking questions, and then trying to answer them myself.

I ask four direct questions, and thus try to answer them:

What is quality?

What is the opposite of quality?

Who is the consumer?

Why is quality important?

I will mainly relate to wine, but I would like to say that I also have a passionate approach to beer, digestives (after dinner booz). And by the way, this also relates to high quality tea and coffee. Well, why not everything that can be graded and subjected to comparative tests.


If you type in the Swedish Academy’s dictionary, you get the following explanation: intrinsic value; property; variety; nature; good condition. In the summer of ’06, I spent a week in July in Germany tasting 297 wines. Why this precision in the number of wines tasted? The event was called ‘best of Riesling 2006’ and had collected over 1,800 Riesling wines from all over the world and I was chosen as a Swedish participant in their ‘master jury’. During the three days I tasted wine with three German winemakers, an author of a wine book, two wine journalists and three sommeliers.

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