Monday, August 25, 2008

Wine Spectator -- the Mag for the Gullible

Maybe it was just a matter of time for this to happen. Wine Spectator gave an award to a Milan restaurant that doesn't exist, falling for a hoax by a wine blogger who thinks such award programs are baloney. Robin Goldstein invented Osteria L'Intrepido restaurant, created a bogus website, menu and wine list and submitted them to the magazine’s annual award program. It was one of 3,000 plus restaurants that won. Only 400 entries lost. Each entry pays $250 to enter, earning the mag a cool million bucks.
The hoax was kind of mean, actually, because Robin even created fake restaurant reviews on Chowhound. But the "gotcha" reveals how worthless these awards are when you are looking for a good restaurant wine list.
The best wine lists are the ones that let you bring your own local wine and waive corkage if you also buy a bottle of the restaurant list---or let the servers taste your wine. In Healsdburg, that's Ravenous and H-BAG (Healdsburg Bar and Grill). Others?

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