A recent exchange in the commentary section of this blog got me thinking about the concept of Greatness in wine. It seems to me that many disagreements about wine might be reduced to differing ideas about Greatness.
In the exchange I mention, the owner of O Château Wine Bar, Olivier Magny, responded to my critique of his establishment by citing the Greatness of the wine on offer there:
If people want a non distinct glass of wine for less than 5€, and a big crowd of arrogant bobos then yes, I'm not afraid to say that our bar is the wrong place...
...Maybe Paris is not ready for [O Château Wine Bar], maybe in a few weeks, we'll realize that the project of a wine bar that serves only great wines is too ambitious and that we should do what Everybody else does: serving glasses of average wines in average environments for 4 to 9€ and make it sound like Good value because it's inexpensive.
Setting aside, for the moment, Magny's hilarious and completely unwarranted martyr syndrome, there are two substantial flaws in this argument, which was intended to counter, or deflect attention from, my assertion that wine at O Château is rapaciously overpriced. Both involve, I think, misunderstandings about Greatness.