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Sthitch

The Wine Spectator

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Wine Spectator is reputed to take into account price and production level (availability).
And the amount the winery paid for advertising in the Wine Speculator.

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Well it's a vicious cycle for any rating publication that accepts ads, be it wine, electronics, or anything else. Producers with larger production and wider distribution are more likely to buy ads anyway, but if they don't have scores to trumpet in their ads, they won't necessarily be that credible.

All I do know is, when we submitted our portfolio to WS, we got a call from the advertising department two days later.

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Well it's a vicious cycle for any rating publication that accepts ads, be it wine, electronics, or anything else. Producers with larger production and wider distribution are more likely to buy ads anyway, but if they don't have scores to trumpet in their ads, they won't necessarily be that credible.

All I do know is, when we submitted our portfolio to WS, we got a call from the advertising department two days later.

Jake.... You well know that there is a completely impenetrable wall ebtween advertising and editorial at the Wine Spectator.

The check is in the mail!

Of course I will respect you in the morning!

Boy did the 'skins look good yesterday!

This is the Dodgers year in the playoffs.....

etc. etc. etc.

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It is fun to lambast WS, but let us be fair. They taste the wines blind, they are up front about the fact that they are more than "just" a wine magazine, and they, like all magazines (as opposed to subscription newsletters like WA) live on advertizing. Of course once they get your address if you are a business, they will contact you to advertize, but there has never been any study to show a connection between advertizing and scores. In fact, all the study that has been done actually shows that that is not the case. I won't defend their wine list awards other than to say that at least if a restaruant has made the effort to get the award, they should have a reasonable list and an interest in wine.

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True, they do blind taste and I do believe they do not take advertising into account when scoring wines. The "awards" they hand out for wine list excellence is nothing but buying a piece of advertising in their magazine. You send them your wine list and a (non-refundable) check for 200 bones and your award is on it's way. That is not an award, it's advertising. At least in my world it is.

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I used to subscribe to The Wine Spectator. I spent large amounts of time on their forums in the early 2000s before I shifted to a split off group or two that had forums. I was fortunate to connect with some local folks that are good friends through to this day. Further, I have lots of online wino buddies that I consider online friends currently as well.

Snyway.....I have never looked back after cancelling the subscription and moving on. I figured the best way to figure out what I really like in a wine is to not worry about what I was supposed to like (a la Wine Spectator ratings (or Wine Enthusiast)), but rather what I did like about a wine after tasting it.  Sure, they taste and rate a lot of wines and it is a good place to start, or for me to even briefly refer to when I am discovering a region, varietal or producer I am unfamiliar with, but these days I trust my own palate and those of friends I trust (or know what their palate is like and where we differ). I even take note of folks on Cellartracker.com where there are a bazillion of tasting notes (another site I gave up on, spent too much time there) and you find people that have similar preferences on a given wine and then you can explore their tasting notes of wines you are unfamiliar with to look for new things to excite you about a vintage or producer you have never tried.

I wish the wine press well, I just do not need them nearly as much as I did when I started out learning about wine.

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On 1/26/2019 at 5:49 PM, Pool Boy said:

I wish the wine press well, I just do not need them nearly as much as I did when I started out learning about wine.

Agreed, but if it weren't for them there interwebs we'd likely be debating which was the better mag. I've read or subscribed to most at one time or another, and now the only one I still subscribe to is the first one I was exposed to, Decanter, even though maybe 50% of the wines reviewed are not available in the US. Old habits die hard.

Off topic, but not worth a thread. it looks as if DC's Atlas brewing has won their 1st Amendment fight with the Feds who seem to have given them preferential treatment and speeded up their label approval that was the subject of a lawsuit

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