Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

1winedude’s interview with Robin Goldstein of “The Wine Trials”

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 5:35 pm in Corkheads.

There’s an excellent conversation going on at about how wine bloggers and others in the industry are changing the face of wine criticism in magazines and trade pubs.  Namely, shedding light on how numerical wine ratings of mostly expensive wines are not an accurate representation of what real people drink, like, or afford.

It started with Joe Roberts’ interview with Robin Goldstein, author of “The Wine Trials 2010: The World’s Bestselling Guide to Inexpensive Wines.” I spoke with Goldstein last year, when I ran a review of the book’s inaugural 2009 edition. I’d post a link here but we don’t keep stories on our Web site that long. Sad, I know.

Anyway, I am particularly interested in how the hoax Goldstein performed on the Wine Spectator and its annual restaurant Award of Excellence program in 2007 has played out a few years later – and how it will continue to effect change.

Basically, he created a fictitious Italian restaurant and made up a wine list – including wines that the Spectator rated quite low – and they awarded him for it anyway!

For a lot of us, particularly in the newspaper industry, it only confirmed what we already knew. That the lack of separation between advertising and editorial in a lot of these magazines is very iffy, and so is why, consistently, wines made in a certain style – and for certain palates – continue to rate the highest.

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  • Che E

    I rarely look at wine magazines, unless it is Food & Wine, and read people like you and 1Wineguy, because I have found through my own site, people trust what we say, because we are the realism in the glass…thanks for this piece…found you via twitter…


  • jyadegaran

    Thanks for the comment. It’s good to hear. I’ll be sure to check out your blog and look for you on Twitter.

  • 1WineDude

    Thanks for the mention – By referencing the discussion and conversation happening in the reactions to that interview, you’re touching on an important (but often overlooked) difference between blogs and traditional publications; namely, the two-way dialog.

    If someone thinks that I might be too cozy with an advertiser, they can actually take me to task in near-real-time, right on the blog – so if anything, we’re moving towards more and more transparency.