Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

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Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:20 am

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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:14 am

Dale Williams wrote:Apparently so!
http://palatepress.com/2012/12/wine/content-theft/


Funny that I was complaining last week about being spammed by her a few years ago. Once a scumbag, always a scumbag, apparently.

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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:45 am

Seems that she charges for sample submissions. No submission no write-up.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby James Roscoe » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:56 pm

The best part is that the WLDG's Sue Courtney is caught up in this too! What saith Sue?
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:45 pm

James Roscoe wrote:The best part is that the WLDG's Sue Courtney is caught up in this too! What saith Sue?

... and how long before Sue's words are appropriated for publication on McLean's site :mrgreen: :roll:
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Sue Courtney » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:42 am

Evidently Natalie has used some of my words. David Honig contacted me and gave me some links. The review was attributed to some publication I have never heard of.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Neil Courtney » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:29 am

Not wishing to give an opinion on the current discussion, I went to Nat's website to see what it looked like. It was an interesting ride.
http://www.nataliemaclean.com/#&panel1-4

On the "Wine" page, I see a link "Discover the best wines in New Zealand liquor stores". I click to see what Nat thinks of NZ wine stores. There is a scrolling list of bottle shots, so I browse these and find 29 bottles. The three Australian wines MIGHT be found in a NZ wine shop, but the Canadian, French and Italian wines shown are highly unlikely to be seen. No NZ wines here.

Under Best Reds I find one NZ wine, the Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2011 at $19.95. Probably a good price. I find it on two retail websites for about $23, but vinatge is not mentioned. What? The Oyster Bay website does not mention prices at all. Countdown Supermarket lists Oyster Bay at $19.99 ("was $31.99" - WHEN was it ever that price, I wonder). I wonder why some supermarkest/wine store think that vintage is not important.

I look at the Top Rated Pinot Noir and find it is Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Speck Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2007. VQA, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario, Canada. $40. Canadian dollars, presumably. Anyone know this wine?

The other Best Value/Top Rated tabs go into the subscription only section and I decide not to sign up for a trial period to see what is there.

I click on Wine Reviewers Hall of Fame and find 1647 reviewers mentioned! Wow. I select one of the last reviwers, David, who has reviewed Auntsfield Long Cow Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Marlborough, New Zealand). His note: "Light with grass taste. Dry. Excellant choice". And I thought MY tasting notes were short. :D

My opinion: Nice website that seems to work well. A lot of reviewers listed but it would be a mission to look at each one. It must cost a lot for someone to update it, but with 145,869 members at $2 per month (assuming current members only in this count) Nat is doing allright for herself. :lol:

Lastly: I can't believe I spent all this time to look at Nat's website and post this comment! :shock:
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Peter May » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:19 am

Neil Courtney wrote: On the "Wine" page, I see a link "Discover the best wines in New Zealand liquor stores".


Did it actually say New Zealand, or NZ?

I think there's some code on the site that gets the browsers location, intended for Canadian province (or does she also operate in the USA?)

anyway, I reckon she gets NZ for you and for me I get UK
natalie.PNG
natalie.PNG (90.38 KiB) Viewed 1908 times

And the list of wines shown has 3 Ontario wines and two Oz wines. Wines from Canada are scarce in UK, and as the prices given are in $ I think we're just getting a default list.

Clicking on Natalies tasting note link gets me an invitation to join here paid for service. I reckong if I want to read Jancis Robinsons notes I'd rather pay Jancis for her Purple Pages.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Dale Williams » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:40 am

Neil Courtney wrote:. It must cost a lot for someone to update it, but with 145,869 members at $2 per month (assuming current members only in this count) Nat is doing allright for herself


I'd be surprised if she had even 10,000 paying subscribers. I know she's primarily Canadian but I've never heard of anyone citing her reviews. She's a notorious spammer (see Mark's comments above) - I also ended up on her list w/o subscribing (though to be fair it was a clean unsubscribe). I'm sure she does that to inflate impressions of her influence. Then, for her to review your wine (afterall, 145K subscribers!) winery must submit wines. But wait, you can only submit if you are a paying member! What a scam.

Maybe NZ is the Canadian province Nova Zotia? :)
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Hoke » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:39 pm

Like so many, I was most efficiently spammed by the efficient and rapacious self promotion of good old Natalie.

She's only the last example of (although a particularly good example of) someone with a modest knack for colorful phrasing parlaying that into a very profitable business enterprise on the average gullibility of wine geeks, focusing on that subset of people who need some sort of authority figure to tell them what they're supposed to like.

She's a very cool, pragmatic, savvy and calculating woman who knows a good schtick when she sees one and is working very hard at milking it for all its worth (to her.)
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Craig Winchell » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:01 pm

I never had a problem with her. Like most things I don't request, her email address went into my junk file.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Neil Courtney » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:24 pm

Peter May wrote:
Neil Courtney wrote: On the "Wine" page, I see a link "Discover the best wines in New Zealand liquor stores".


Did it actually say New Zealand, or NZ?

I think there's some code on the site that gets the browsers location, intended for Canadian province (or does she also operate in the USA?)

anyway, I reckon she gets NZ for you and for me I get UK


It says New Zealand. I suspect you are right Peter, but Share Location was blocked (in Firefox) for this page so not sure where it comes from. Must be another setting I don't know about. The HTML/Javascript has "location" coded in it, but have not delved into it to see what it does.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:12 am

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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Steve Slatcher » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:13 pm

The reference to "<insert_a_country> liquor stores" is a pretty pathetic attempt to localise content. Perhaps more obvious for the UK as we have wine merchants, not liquor stores, and we do not use dollars of any type. And any remaining illusion of providing useful information for shopping in the UK is blown away when you see the wine available.

It is pretty easy to guess country from IP address. I presume the information that Firefox may or may not send gives a more precise location - based on mobile cells for example.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Jenise » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:14 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Seems that she charges for sample submissions. No submission no write-up.


And then if you pay it might be someone else's write-up. What a witch!
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Hoke » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:26 pm

Jenise wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Seems that she charges for sample submissions. No submission no write-up.


And then if you pay it might be someone else's write-up. What a witch!


Or savvy businesswoman? If her intent was primarily to make as much money as possible, I'd say instead she was being your standard entrpreneur capitalist with a business plan that up until now has been impressively successful.

You're approaching this as if her prmary goal was to write wine reviews. She's approaching it as an opportunity to make as much money as possible by providing a commodity to customers (said commodity not necessarily hers, but to her that's not the important part.) The important part is playing the angles to make the money.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:16 pm

Hoke wrote:You're approaching this as if her prmary goal was to write wine reviews. She's approaching it as an opportunity to make as much money as possible by providing a commodity to customers (said commodity not necessarily hers, but to her that's not the important part.) The important part is playing the angles to make the money.

Same could be said of burglars and fences :lol:
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Hoke » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:25 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
Hoke wrote:You're approaching this as if her prmary goal was to write wine reviews. She's approaching it as an opportunity to make as much money as possible by providing a commodity to customers (said commodity not necessarily hers, but to her that's not the important part.) The important part is playing the angles to make the money.

Same could be said of burglars and fences :lol:


Ayup!

Medieval nobility was nothing but line of descendants from the most efficient and rapacious of armed thugs, extortionists, and murderers, Ian. :twisted:
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:22 pm

Hoke wrote:Medieval nobility was nothing but line of descendants from the most efficient and rapacious of armed thugs, extortionists, and murderers, Ian. :twisted:

Who said the modern-day equivalents are any better :lol:
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Jenise » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:39 pm

Hoke wrote:
Jenise wrote:
Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Seems that she charges for sample submissions. No submission no write-up.


And then if you pay it might be someone else's write-up. What a witch!


Or savvy businesswoman? If her intent was primarily to make as much money as possible, I'd say instead she was being your standard entrpreneur capitalist with a business plan that up until now has been impressively successful.

You're approaching this as if her prmary goal was to write wine reviews. She's approaching it as an opportunity to make as much money as possible by providing a commodity to customers (said commodity not necessarily hers, but to her that's not the important part.) The important part is playing the angles to make the money.


You're absolutely right. But she's not as savvy as you think if she thought she would get away with it indefinitely. I suppose the only reason she wasn't exposed before this is that the reviewers she stole from don't pay any attention to her.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Hoke » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:57 am

She had a pretty good sca....er, racke....er, operation going on for quite a long while, Jenise.

It was tinged all along with obviously ruthless and focused ambition, and much of her communication was impersonally faux-genial, but her relentless approach combined with the front of a pleasant-looking blonde lady (and aren't all Canadians innocuously nice?) was good enough to keep the money flowing in at a steady rate.

If you followed any of the comments on the original posts at Palate Press, you'll find lots of other operations being held up to public view. Like The Tasting Panel, with Anthony Dias Blue fronting it. It's primarily industry-focused, but if you have a chance, take a look at it. It's pretty obvious. There are others.

And all this may be not a whit different from other pay-for-play journalists----take a look at the pap emerging from the travel industry, for instance. And the food industry? Whoo Hoo!

Me, as long as I know where the money is, I'm okay. Trouble with Natalie for me is more the co-opting of other people's work and doing it in such a way to indicate it was either her work or her "friends and colleagues" were doing reviews for her. More of the former, I think. But it didn't matter to her as long as it raked in the revenue and increased her readership.

The release of some very specific e-mail exchanges in the second artcle by Palate Press made Natalie's real attitude painfully apparent.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Jenise » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:31 pm

Hoke wrote:If you followed any of the comments on the original posts at Palate Press, you'll find lots of other operations being held up to public view. Like The Tasting Panel, with Anthony Dias Blue fronting it. It's primarily industry-focused, but if you have a chance, take a look at it. It's pretty obvious. There are others.


I read the whole original article, it was pretty fascinating especially considering the caliber of the responders. Didn't realize there was a second one, I'll have to go back and look. Dias Blue's effontry has been widely talked about for years, hasn't it?

Wonder if the LCBO will can Natalie.

Btw, I subscribed to her newsletter for about two weeks years ago when she became a WLDG correspondent (who never spent one day in this forum SFAIK.) Couldn't unsubscribe fast enough. She obviously was never going to say anything I needed to hear.
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Re: Possible for my opinion of Natalie McLean to get worse?

Postby Neil Courtney » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:52 pm

Jenise, Natalie made 9 posts, 6 of them on the following thread started by Paulo.
viewtopic.php?t=6903
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