What is "QPR," you might ask. The acronym stands for "quality-price ratio." As far as I can tell, this lingo probably came out of the eRobertParker chatroom (wanna see?), a major vehicle for wine sales success and disaster. Again, the Internet is alive and well in terms of information sharing, buzz and hype. The arbiters of taste are thriving here, often to themselves and all the "lurkers" who sit on the sidelines and observe with itchy anticipation looking for the next hot wine.
The wine/internet phenomenon is a wonderful thing, really, because the print media that dominated the scene up until a few years ago has limited range, to be sure. I often wonder if the multitude of wine brands has anything to do with the multitude of media outlets available online. Niche marketing has never been better. This might be a good place to mention a new site that really seems to have a nice touch with information and presentation, calwineries.com. I really like what they are doing.
QPR. How much is a bottle of wine worth to you? How do the scores add up in relation to the price? Is there any added value to you if you dislike the wine but it makes someone in your dinner party happy? I guess, in a real sense, we all get points for our wine buying decisions just like the wines we purchase unless we drink them alone (sigh). QPR is really just a fresh way of saying "value." Why does "value" generate so little excitement? It's a word that is almost as unexciting in the marketplace as saying "elegant wine." QPR is a little more descriptive, I suppose, and acronyms are hot as ever.
In my view, the gaping hole remains and there needs to be a category system. If there is truly a Quality-Price "Ratio," then a $5 80-point wine may outshine that $85 90-point wine and THAT should be the number that is bandied about in chatrooms, store shelves and everywhere else. Assigning points is fine in a context. In movies and music they have categories. How many points would a hip-hop judge assign the country megahit "Crazy" by Willie Nelson? How many points would Mondovino garner at the Star Wars convention? The Grammys have categories. The Oscars have categories. Heck, salsa has categories!
So my QPR for the day is 100:1 for categories, 80 points for the word "value" and 2 thumbs up for medium salsa with Beck's "Beautiful Way" playing in the backgound.