August 20, 2008, 11:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, Wine News

Don’t trust Wine Spectator…or atleast know it only takes $250 to buy their endorsement.

The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence is bestowed upon restaurants that have superior wine lists. This plaque is usually proudly displayed at the front of restaurants. However, it was just revealed that they award imaginary restaurants as well. Robin Goldstein, a wine writer, made up an Italian restaurant and submitted his $250 registration fee. Although he made sure to meet the basic requirements, his reserve wine list included some of the lowest scoring Italian wines ever. Even worse, the wine list’s descriptions included “…Just too much paint thinner and nail varnish character…” and “…Smells barnyardy and tastes decayed. Not what you’d hope for…”. Did anyone at WS even read this???

The NY Times wrote an enlightening article about this ‘award’ in 2003. Apparently over 3,300 restaurants were given awards that year. This netted the magazine over $600,000. Seems like they stumbled upon a goldmine. I wonder how much  a rating of 100 costs.

Piece about imaginary restaurant

New York Times article


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