Wine Talk

Snooth User: Adam Levin

Wine Spectator Awards Exposed

Posted by Adam Levin, Aug 20, 2008.

Read the article at Wines and Vines about how a journalist exposed the Spectator's Awards of Excellence. The ability to buy an Award of Excellence is fairly common thought in the restaurant industry, but this is pretty hard proof:


Reply by Philip James, Aug 20, 2008.

ouch! thats pretty awkward. be interested to see if they make a formal response at some point..

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Aug 20, 2008.

Someone should do a list of the best wine industry sting ops.

Reply by Adam Levin, Aug 20, 2008.

The Europeans would be kings of that hit list. St. Emillion scandal, Brunello scandal, German/Austrian glycol scandal from the 80s, artificial flavors in wine. Also anything related to Chinese wine.

Reply by John Andrews, Aug 20, 2008.

Let's just say I've hard that wine ratings could be 'bought' or 'influenced' heavily with the Wine Spectator too.

Reply by Adam Levin, Aug 22, 2008.

Go get 'em LATimes:

Reply by John Andrews, Aug 22, 2008.

I feel bad for the restaurants that actually deserve this award that are on the WS list. I think that while outing WS is not necessarily a bad thing it can cause some people to call into question with other restaurants on this list. The ones that have tried hard to build up their reputation and put together a strong wine list are now being called into question too. I wonder Mr. Goldstein is going to find it hard to get reservations at some of the better restaurants across the planet.

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Aug 22, 2008.

Good point, Honda -- I've been to some Award of Excellence restaurants that had extremely good wine lists.

Reply by Adam Levin, Aug 26, 2008.

Steve Heimoff defends the Spectator:

Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Aug 27, 2008.

I always thought that the $250 fee was a big red flag?
Does the Spectator need a processing fee for tasting wine samples?

I have never taken their most basic Award of Excellence seriously because of this fact (their higher awards do mean something... but it is unclear what their criteria are for giving 2 and 3 stars). There are some very good wine lists included and there are some so-so ones as well.

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