Can Wine Spectator Be Bought?

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Can Wine Spectator Be Bought?

Postby Ilan T » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:41 am

It seems that all a restaurant has to do to get on Wine Spectator's awarded restaurant list is pay them a few hundred bucks. Check out this post from Dr. Vino. http://www.drvino.com/2008/08/19/fictit ... xcellence/

I think that the idea is hysterical and give major props to the guy who came up with it. And shame on Wine Spectator for not catching it. I'm sure they'll be hearing about this one for a while.
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Re: Can Wine Spectator Be Bought?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:25 am

Ilan, Hi...

Most interesting (!!!) and thanks for posting. A thread has already been started on this subject on the WLDG forums at viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17860 . In order to keep the discussion focused, perhaps we'll all do well to post any comments or reactions on that thread.

As for me, I'm chuckling but I think we should wait to find out if this restaurant listing was actually posted in the print edition of the Wine Spectator (it is not at this moment on the internet listings and might have been removed after this news broke). Or, on the other hand, if this is one of those urban myths in the making. As I do not subscribe to the Spectator cannot make a valid guess.

Oh yes….a discussion on this has started on the Spectator's own forum as well. Those curious enough curious can find that at http://forums.winespectator.com/eve/for ... /281100245
As of this moment (17:20) Tel Aviv time) no response from the editors of the Spectator.

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Re: Can Wine Spectator Be Bought?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:05 pm

Several of the senior writers and editors at the Wine Spectator have posted their reactions to this "event". In the larger sense, it is now up to individual readers to decide what they think of the affair..... Those comments can be found at http://forums.winespectator.com/eve/for ... /835102245


As for me:

(a) If I read about a restaurant and cannot contact them by phone, I simply do not go to dine there either as a critic or as a over of dining out.

(b) Honest errors do occur. The questions that may remain for some, however, is how honest the error might have been andif it could have been avoided.

(c) The whole "affair" simply reinforces to me my skepticism about the validity and value of competitions in general, especially of competitions that have both a panel decision-making process and are done for profit.

(d) And let us not forget one very important question...... was this, as the Spectator feels, "a scam" or was it in fact a valid and intelligent way of demonstrating the lack of validity of their "awards"?

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Re: Can Wine Spectator Be Bought?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:11 am

I am here neither to bury nor to praise either Goldstein or the Wine Spectator but to make one three-part point about which I feel strongly.


1. Many people have Ten Commandments and a few additional rules with which to guide their lives. Con-men have only one iron-clad rule: "You can only con someone who is himself looking to con you".

2. I concur that Mr Goldstein (whose name, until this bruhaha broke,was unknown to me) set up a scam and got away with it. I do not concur with the Wine Spectator editors and writers in that they were "victims" of that scam. The Spectator fell victim to nothing more than their own method of accepting information and giving awards without adequately checking the validity of that information.

3. The simple truth of the matter is that setting up a scam in cases of investigative reporting is a standard tool, meant to build a trap into which only the guilty will fall. As to the motives of Mr. Goldstein, the claim that he had "ulterior motives" carries no weight because what he did harms no-one but those who fell into the trap.

Open, of course, to disagreement.

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