Ignoring the unnecessary vitriol and hissiness spread throughout, this thread raised a number of interesting questions with respect to wine drinkers/tasters who sole wine experience is with kosher wine that I think are worth addressing. I will state at the onset that I only drink/taste kosher wines so am somewhat biased but, contrary to what some folks seem to think, I don't think that prevents one from having a carefully thought out point of view on the topic, merely that it’s somewhat less than 100% objective (as if anyone responding here is doing so on a fully objective basis). While much was said in the thread, I believe the main points raised can be boiled down as follows:
(i) Are such drinkers limited in their palate calibration and ability to discern a good and/or balanced wine?
(ii) Are such drinkers stunted in their ability to provide rich descriptions of the wines they taste?
(iii) Are such drinkers limited in their cultural experiences?
My answer to all three of these questions is an unequivocal no and here is why:
(i) Obviously anyone with a limited palate is going to have less breadth of experience than those with more diversified palates. Someone with extensive experience with the wines of Burgundy will understand, likely appreciate and certainly be able to provide more information with respect to such wines that someone whose Burgundy experience is limited. However, that does not mean that someone cannot have an opinion on those limited wines of Burgundy he has tasted, a wealth of knowledge on the subject derived from books, blogs, interviews, touring the region and discussions Burgundian winemakers and other people in the know. Additionally, this should in no way prevent him from being able to provide a “good” (more on what that may mean in (ii) below) description of those limited Burgundy wines he has tasted (so long as they are reflective of the genre). Kosher is neither a region nor a wine making style. While those who only taste kosher wines are obviously self-limited to a much smaller world of wines than those who don't operate within those restrictions, this is no more a meaningful restriction in this regard that folks limited by geographic, financial (only tasting affordable wines) or accessibility (financial wherewithal asides, not many folks get to taste 50 year old Bordeaux unless they are in the business or are "close to it") limitations.
As evidenced by the fact that kosher quality wine being produced in regions around the world is garnering more and more attention from respected international critics the likes of Jancis Robinson, Hugh Johnson, Mark Squires and others who obviously taste non-kosher wines, kosher wine obviously no longer sucks and those who are limited to it, can develop good palates and both an understanding and appreciation of quality wines from around the world without ever tasting non-kosher wines. Are they missing something in their oenophilic experience - yes. Can they produce wine without non-kosher experience – possibly, but it’s obviously more substantially an issue in this regard). But I fail to see why people think that such drinkers are deemed less able to have a developed palate or ability to discern good balanced wine or even to detect minerality.
(ii) Writing is writing, regardless of whether it is a book, a screen play, a wine tasting note or a restaurant review. While each has its different objective that dictate the writing style, some people are better writers than others and wine tasting notes are no different than any other prose. While one relevant issue is the purpose of the tasting note (i.e. is it to express who you experience the wine, to promote the wine, to provide others with a useful note on the wine for their own drinking purposes, etc.), ones ability to provide a rich description of any wine you taste is ultimately based on your writing ability, creativity and ability to express yourself in a rich manner and has nothing to do with how extensive a tasting experience you have. On the contrary, sometimes a one-time, rich cultural experience yields substantially more enthusiasm and exuberance than may be elicited from a non-newbie who may have a more jaded view of the experience which will be reflected in the relevant note (even a more “professional” view will lead to a less rich note). This has nothing to do with kosher or religious observance, but rather how you view and live life and your writing abilities.
A big part of this issue is for whom are you writing. If you are writing notes for others who will be making wine buying choices based on your tasting notes, I believe it is your obligation to keep the subjective (which includes the context and personal experience) to a minimum. While obviously ones enjoyment of any particular wine is massively influenced by the context, environment, company and surrounding experience, these are not factors that will be replicated by anyone else, almost making such a TN misleading if (and it’s a big if), the TN is for others to use. While the note then becomes less enjoyable reading material, it is usable by others. As was noted, Rogov was a pro who professed to taste 40-100 wines a day, for whom extended verbiage would obviously not have been possible. That said, I think the grocery list type of TN can be helpful, is definitely appropriate and is just another style of writing. As with any critic, you try to find one whose palate is more or less calibrated with yours and whose writing style you like.
(iii) I'm not sure I understand the genesis of this point. Obviously keeping kosher has nothing to do with a limited cultural experience – why would it? People who keep kosher can be just as intellectual, appreciate art, history, music, philosophy and everything else the world has to offer just as much as the next one. Yes, they can’t enjoy bacon or mussels. Gastronomically unfortunate – perhaps, but culturally limiting – no (other than to the extent they have a limited option of dining experiences). If the point was that a percentage of kosher observant people are also ultra-orthodox people who believe that they are prohibited from enjoying much the cultural world has to offer, this would still have nothing to do with kosher.