What does it take to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?

quote:
Originally posted by Brunello Drinker:
Will WS even give a response (computer error, over sight?)or will the thread just disappear?

I think that they HAVE to give a response...

"We cannot examine every restaurant, therefore there are inherent risks of fraudulent misrepresentations....."

We've heard it before
quote:
Originally posted by sprnplr:
quote:
Originally posted by Brunello Drinker:
Will WS even give a response (computer error, over sight?)or will the thread just disappear?

I think that they HAVE to give a response...

"We cannot examine every restaurant, therefore there are inherent risks of fraudulent misrepresentations....."


Or they could act like Putin and make all of this go away.
quote:
Originally posted by sprnplr:
quote:
Originally posted by Brunello Drinker:
Will WS even give a response (computer error, over sight?)or will the thread just disappear?

I think that they HAVE to give a response...

"We cannot examine every restaurant, therefore there are inherent risks of fraudulent misrepresentations....."



They say that they can't visit every restaurant, but they've got to examine every restaurant's list!!! Can't $250 buy at least 20 minutes of one of the taster's time?
quote:
Originally posted by seanr7:
Or they could act like Putin and make all of this go away.

Except that there is now a PR issue at hand. A response is imperative, and it SHOULD happen before tomorrow morning, but probably won't.

Look at how Brian Rosen attacked the PR issue of Sam's Bordeaux Futures gaffe over the weekend. Although the original issue shouldn't have happened, he handled it well. Will WS?
quote:
Originally posted by sprnplr:
quote:
Originally posted by Brunello Drinker:
Will WS even give a response (computer error, over sight?)or will the thread just disappear?

I think that they HAVE to give a response...

"We cannot examine every restaurant, therefore there are inherent risks of fraudulent misrepresentations....."

We've heard it before


All WS appears to have time for is collecting the checks. Makes one wonder what other jokes of restaurants and lists are included in those "Award of Excellence" winners? Zero credibility in my mind right now.
The sad thing about this is I have a friend, he posts here some, that has a restaurant on the West coast. He spent a lot of time putting together a very nice wine list and sent it into WS. He was very proud of getting the AofE and even called me last week to tell me that the Award had paid for itself with several new customers that had come in just because they read about his place in WS. WS needs to get their sh*t together or the awards will be nothing more then a $250 piece of toilet paper.
quote:
Originally posted by sprnplr:
Look at how Brian Rosen attacked the PR issue of Sam's Bordeaux Futures gaffe over the weekend. Although the original issue shouldn't have happened, he handled it well. Will WS?


Uh I don't want to thread jump but while Mr. Rosen acted quickly, I would not say he handled it well.
quote:
Originally posted by sarbuze:
That's absolutely hilarious. The fact that for $250 per application the Wine Spectator can't hire someone to do a "Google" search and confirm that the restaurant has a verifiable address is both hysterical and pathetic.


My guess is the award will now cost $250 PLUS a $100 "background check" done by a third party vendor. And Tom, you deserve a Wink more than anyone here.
quote:
Originally posted by sprnplr:
quote:
Originally posted by Brunello Drinker:
Will WS even give a response (computer error, over sight?)or will the thread just disappear?

I think that they HAVE to give a response...

"We cannot examine every restaurant, therefore there are inherent risks of fraudulent misrepresentations....."

We've heard it before


Personally I think the scam was perfect!!

IMHO, you pay $ 250 and your automatically in. Even better if you take out an ad in the issue, you will be a grand award winner.

Have not faith in this list, been to too many lousy resturants, with lousy wine, lousy service.

At least WS got $ 250 and a lot of bad PR.

Maybe, maybe, maybe they will check out a resturant next time.
So far no one has really provided any constructive solution -- not that it matters anyway -- and all I've heard are just whiners about how the system is broken.

The WS Award system is 99% marketing (albeit a pretty good money making scheme for WS) and 1% service to diners. Like all good marketing products, as long as it continues to make money for its owners the more likely it will continue. If anyone here thinks that the WS Awards are 100% for their benefit, then I have a case of Petrus that I would like to sell to you for a cheap price.

Even if a restaurant goes out its way to fudge their wine lists, how long would it be before diners catch on? As a diner, is the WS Awards your only source for making dining decisions?
quote:
Even if a restaurant goes out its way to fudge their wine lists, how long would it be before diners catch on? As a diner, is the WS Awards your only source for making dining decisions?


Ever try a resturant rated by AAA? Even worse case scenario.
Oh yeah, one more thing: The only fraud being perpetrated is the person "doing research" for an academic paper for grad school. A 10th grade can pull off the same research, and the results from this research are nothing new that most people don't already know.
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
Oh yeah, one more thing: The only fraud being perpetrated is the person "doing research" for an academic paper for grad school. A 10th grade can pull off the same research, and the results from this research are nothing new that most people don't already know.


I guess fraud would have to be determined before a court by Marv and his lawyers. At the minimum I'd say it's safe to say this person flat out lied.
quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
So far no one has really provided any constructive solution -- not that it matters anyway -- and all I've heard are just whiners about how the system is broken.

The WS Award system is 99% marketing (albeit a pretty good money making scheme for WS) and 1% service to diners. Like all good marketing products, as long as it continues to make money for its owners the more likely it will continue. If anyone here thinks that the WS Awards are 100% for their benefit, then I have a case of Petrus that I would like to sell to you for a cheap price.

Even if a restaurant goes out its way to fudge their wine lists, how long would it be before diners catch on? As a diner, is the WS Awards your only source for making dining decisions?


Here is a solution:

Stop calling an advertisement an "award". It is not an award, it is an ad. Period. If you want to hand out an award, do what is necessary to make it legitimate.

Yeah, it gets whined about because it is a blatant and phony way to bring in cash to WS while a restaurant gets to display a phony "award" in its window. Lots and lots of diners will see this phony "award" in the restaurant window and go in thinking "hey, they 'won' a Wine Spectator Award, so they must be good."

The way to fix a scam is to stop doing it.
quote:
So far no one has really provided any constructive solution -- not that it matters anyway -- and all I've heard are just whiners about how the system is broken.


I don't agree. It has been said here many times that a restaurant should not get an award without being personally visited. There is a lot more to wine service than merely the printed wine list. Ironic how the cover article of the WS Restaurant Issue is about how wine lovers find wine service to be so lacking, yet WS still insists on dolling out awards like Pez from a Mickey Mouse dispenser to restaurants that have not been tested. WS's response is always: "There are too many restaurants to go to all of them." Simple solution. Don't give out so many awards. "Gourmet" does not review restaurants without going to them. Neither does "Michellen". All WS has to do is seek out about 200 or so readers across the country who would be willing to act as laisons and visit the restaurants in their area. Heck. They could get people to do this for free (as long as they covered expenses). WS lists 3,254 as basic award winners. That means each reviewer would have to go to 16 restaurants a year. Harvey Steiman and Thomas Matthews do that in a month for their pieces. It's really not that hard.

Another solution, (if WS doesn't want to incur the expense of all these visits) would be to send out a survey (written or internet) to a few thousand subsribers the way Conde N'ast does for its awards isssues. Ask people to rate the restaurants that are under consideration for an award, but only if they have been to the restaurant within the past 12-18 months. Compile the results. Odds are, if few, (or no) WS subscribers have been to a particular restaurant, it probably isn't noteworthy. In the case of the phantom restaurant in Milan, there would have been no responses, and hence, the establishment would have been eliminated from consideration.
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