Wine Spectator: “our editors are passionate about wine, fair and experienced”

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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3 thoughts on “Wine Spectator: “our editors are passionate about wine, fair and experienced”

  1. Pingback: Wine Spectator vs. Ziliani: Round Two « Do Bianchi

  2. Matthews notes that they have 2.6 million readers of the Spectator and then writes, “Are all these people stupid?” His question is so off-base as to be ridiculous.

    The readers of the magazine do not regularly taste thousands of Italian wines, as does Franco Ziliani or other serious Italian wine journalists. Thus they look to the magazine for guidance. But how can they take it seriously when the highest rated Italian wines are almost always modern in style, i.e. a “California Brunello” or “California Barolo” as the local winemakers put it? Make a traditional wine aged in large Slavonian oak and Suckling automatically rates it lower.

    It’s one thing for an individual to have a preference for riper, more modern style wines, but this clearly displays Suckling’s lack of respect for tradition. There are well made wines in both styles. Wouldn’t it be nice if he treated every Italian wine with the respect it deserves?

    Then there is his ranking of the 2004 vintage for Barolo of 88-93 points. Every other wine writer who has covered this has raved about this vintage, which is stunning and one of the finest of the last 20 years. But wait, Suckling already rewarded the clearly inferior 2000 vintage with 100 points, so he can’t rave about the 2004s. Thus he misprepresents the 2004 vintage. And Matthews ask if the READERS are wrong?

    Do you still wonder why Franco Ziliani and other journalists question your coverage of Italian wines?

  3. Pingback: Vinograf » Motivační hrabičky 50/08

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