Opinion: Matthews and Wine Spectator respond to Ziliani

The following comment was submitted to VinoWire over the weekend by Wine Spectator Executive Editor Thomas Matthews, who was responding to an editorial (“The best that Enotria has to offer? Relfections on the Wine Spectator Top 100”) by VinoWire editor Franco Ziliani. VinoWire will publish a translation of Franco’s response tomorrow.

I would like to add three comments to Franco Ziliani’s post about Wine Spectator’s Top 100 of 2008.

1. The wines selected are not the “best” of the year, as measured strictly by score; they are chosen because of their combination of quality, value, availability and excitement. For this reason, many excellent wines (including some of Ziliani’s favorites) are excluded.

2. All wines reviewed by Wine Spectator are evaluated in blind tastings (unless explicitly noted otherwise). Neither James Suckling nor any other editor can favor “friends” or punish “enemies.” Ziliani may disagree with our judgments, but he has no grounds to criticize our ethics.

3. Wine Spectator has been publishing for 32 years; according to independent research, we have 2.6 million readers. Are all these people stupid? Or do they recognize that our editors are passionate about wine, fair and experienced, and aim to educate wine consumers about wines, wine producers and the life of wine? Wine Spectator is working to broaden the world of wine. We welcome honest debate, and urge wine drinkers to sample widely, consider all sources of information, and judge for yourselves.

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor
Wine Spectator

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