Saturday, August 23, 2008

Did the Wine Spectator Eat Crow Paired with a Glass of Blush from the Osteria L'Intrepido Menu?

In Portland, Oregon last week at the meeting of the American Society for Wine Economists, a presentation was given by wine writer, Robin Goldstein. Apparently, he performed a "sting operation" on the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards. In summary:

1. A fake restaurant was created - Osteria L'Intrepido.
2. Location of fake restaurant was in Milan, Italy.
3. A website for fake restaurant - Osteria L’Intrepido was designed.
4. A wine list was built using the lowest scoring Italian wines from the Wine Spectator magazine.
5. Fake restaurant enters Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards.
6.TA-DAAAA!!! Fake restaurant wins "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence!"

At this time the Wine Spectator hasn't said much other than it was an elaborate hoax. They have only acknowledged this on their WS Forum, their chat-message board - nothing front page at this time. However, I have to rebuke a comment on the forum from James Molesworth, Senior Editor of the WS. "This is the problem with the 'blogosphere'. It's a lazy person's journalism. No one does any real research, but rather they just slap some hyperlinks up and throw a little conjecture at the wall, and presto! you get some hits and traffic..."

James, I would like to give the Wine Spectator the benefit of the doubt until all of the facts are in. In the mean time, don't bottle all of the blogosphere together with one cork. That kind of defensive response is often typical if guilt is involved. So, let's not shift blame on everybody else and let's keep with the topic at hand, shall we? Besides, if blogging is a lazy person's journalism, then why does the WS participate in the blogosphere and why is the 89 Project blogging for free?

And my point and exactly does all of the above have to do with the 89 Project? If Goldstein's "research" proves to be with merit, then wineries and winemakers may ponder the credibility of their scores from the Wine Spectator and especially those scores below 90 points that have influenced and turned away wine sales from the high-point driven wine consumer.

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