Author Robin Goldstein was curious about how Wine Spectator awards its Wine Spectator Award of Excellence to restaurants. These awards are usually posted with pride in restaurants, including many of our fine Cincinnati establishments.
I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the fact that you submit your restaurant, your menu, your wine list, and a $250 fee, and then Wine Spectator will judge your wine list. Now I can have a bigger problem.
Goldstein invented a restaurant, made up a menu and a wine list, and submitted these (along with the fee) to Wine Spectator. In creating his wine list, he chose low-scoring Italian wines.
Goldstein’s imaginary restaurant won an Award of Excellence.
Now, I understand that WS can’t visit the restaurants for every submission. But maybe they could call to verify the existence of the place? In addition, they gave an award of excellence to a wine list comprised of wines they themselves scored low.
I don’t want to take away from the thrill that several of our local small restaurants have experienced upon receiving this Award of Excellence. I believe that our local folks really do have excellent wine lists that pair perfectly with their menus. However, I have to question WS at this point – is it really an award, or just a receipt for the $250?
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