quote:Originally posted by SS Chris:
People have a right to not like Gary's "schtick"...and a right to not agree w/ his palate. What I don't get is the sentiment, repeated many times in this thread, that Gary's JUST a wine saleslman...ONLY there to sell wine....and THAT is why you can't trust his scores. The factual data simply does not support this claim...... simply he pans more wines than he picks. That's right....more than 50% of the wines are PANNED. Further, I've heard him say things like, "This is the #1 selling <insert varietal> @ Wine Library, and I'm telling you...never buy this again!! STOP!!".
So simply, I think you have both things going on....Gary sells wine, but he also rates wine.....does he rate wine honestly....I thinnk so.......the "facts" are undeniable.
Another little fact, every review that he does on WLTV is entered into a Spreadsheet that shows up on the WLTV site. All of those reveiws and scores also download automatically to the WL website as well for each individual wine. I know...."that PROVES that he's just there to sell the wine". But no, you would be wrong....it's not just the RECS, but ALL of the reviews are downloaded......all of the pans, known as (and you WS guys will go off the deep-end here) VaynerPAZZZ's. Here's the point.....name ONE wine retailer that publicly posts negative reviews for the wines they're selling. What other retailer posts something, from the staff, saying...essentially...."don't buy this wine."? Well, I'll save you the time......not one retailer does this. And the point is that Gary is taking the wearing of the two hats seriously. If he were doing WLTV soley to sell wine, he wouldn't post all of the negative reviews.
So, don't like him or his terms or his wristbands, but enough w/ just summarily dismissing him as "He just sells wine". The facts just don't support this.
With that being said, I don't think anyone can arugue that WS's blind tasting methodolgy is the best.
IA, I understand that many don't utilize online, BUT....many do. And this group who shop online is huge compared to folks who regularly watdch WLTV episodes. More than 50% of WL's total revenue of $60+ million in revenues is done via online ordering. So the fact that Gary has panned close to 700 wines AND publishes that panning on his site should not be minimized. Again, please find me one Wine retailer that publicly pans the wines they sell on their website.
I would also point out that many "walk-in" customers (like me) purchase many wines online....and then augment their online purchases when they get there.
But you're correct that not everybody see those negative reviews.....but to minimize it seems "not objective" to me.
I think that if you watch the show w/ any regularity, most would conclude that he's being honest. Another example, there have been times when Gary discloses, prior to tasting the wine, that he's very friendly with the particular winemaker....and he then pans the wine.....you can see the pain on Gary's face as he does this.
I'll also direct folks to an episode (this is early WLTV, BEFORE much of the national attention Gary's received) where Gary addresses this question directly. It won't convince all of you, but thought some may be interested in hearing his thoughts. The backdrop is that, a few episodes earlier, Gary had scored the 2003 Corte Riva Merlot quite highly....and there were questions posted in the "comments" section about Gary scoring it high solely to sell the wine.
Finally, if it ends up that Gary is objective....and that this objectivity ends up selling more wine for him overall, then I say, "all the power to him". It just seems that things like "panning more wines than he recommends" (not just a few)....and posting the close to 700 pans on his WL site is being minimized. If these rather significant pieces of information don't impress you at all, then I don't think there's anything I or anyone can say to convince you to at least reconsider.