Wine Spectator: If you can’t buy it, we won’t review it

wine spectatorThe Wine Spectator, in a stunning reversal of policy, announced today that it will only review wines that people can buy, ending a decades-long practice where it preferred to critique wine made in such small quantities that there were never any for sale.

“Frankly, when we started to think about it, it seemed kind of silly to review wines that weren’t in stores,” said a magazine spokeswoman. “Yes, there was a certain cachet to do wines in the Spectator where the producer only made three cases, because it showed how much better we were than everyone else. Because we are much better than everyone else. But, in the end, we are a wine review magazine, and if our readers can’t buy the wines we review, there isn’t much reason for us to exist, is there?”

The new availability policy, said the spokeswoman, was based on the one used by legendary Internet blogger Jeff Siegel, the Wine Curmudgeon. Siegel, who declined to be interviewed for this story, uses what he calls general availability: He only reviews wines that consumers can find in a quality wine shop in a medium-sized city. Said the spokeswoman: “Considering how much fun he makes of us, and that he is has no credibility because he is an Internet blogger, Siegel’s policy seems quite practical. Just don’t tell him we stole it.”

Reaction from the wine world was immediate:

? A host of cult wines in the Napa Valley, whose production rarely exceeds 100 cases each, announced plans to increase the amount of wine they make so they can be reviewed. “If we’re not in the Spectator, what’s the point of making wine?” asked one winery owner, a Silicon Valley zillionaire. “It’s not like I care about the wine. I just want my friends to be jealous when they see my wine, which they can’t buy, got a 99.”

? Several other wine magazines said they would follow suit, although the Wine Advocate said it would use availability in China as its threshold. “Listen, when you pay as much money for the Advocate as we did,” said a co-owner, “you really don’t care if anyone can buy the wine in Omaha.”

? The country’s largest retailers, including Costco and Walmart, made plans for special Wine Spectator sections in their wine departments, now that the Spectator would review most of the wine that they carry. “They’re already selling some wine for us with their scores and shelf talkers,” said one retailer. “So why not just get rid of the pretense and let them do all the work?”

More April 1 wine news:
? Supreme Court: Regulate wine writing through three-tier system
? Gov. Perry to California: Bring your wineries to Texas
? California secedes from U.S. ? becomes its own wine country

 

5 thoughts on “Wine Spectator: If you can’t buy it, we won’t review it

  • By Tim Teichgraeber - Reply

    Good one, Jeff!

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Thanks, Tim. That’s high praise from you.

    • By Rockford - Reply

      Great idea! You might also consider reviewing only wines whose name we can pronounce. That way we we won’t have to buy French wines anymore and Merican wine lovers in Omaha won’t sound dumb when they ask for Chatoe Newf daa Pope or that Lafeet stuff.

      • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

        We’ve solved that problem in Texas — pronounce the wines the way we want, and not the way they should be. You should hear what we’ve done to viognier.

  • By Ron Saikowski - Reply

    Wine Spectator has matured like the wines it reviews. APRIL FOOLS!

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