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Wine Spectator Honors Fake Restaurant

In a blog entry at Epicurious.com, Michael Y. Park writes about how the author of The Wine Trials, Robin Goldstein, set out to test Wine Spectator magazine's method of determining its awards of excellence. As part of research for an academic paper, he got the magazine to give its Award of Excellence to a restaurant that doesn't exist.

Read Goldstein's blog about the experiment here. As he notes, "While Osteria L’Intrepido may be the first to win an Award of Excellence for an imaginary restaurant, it’s unlikely that it was the first submission that didn’t accurately reflect the contents of a restaurant’s wine cellar. Restaurants, like all businesses, have strong incentives to embellish their images online."

We first became skeptical of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence nearly 10 years ago, when a visit to a local restaurant that advertised its award was so disappointing that it prompted us to start Bhamdining.com. We talked about our own concerns about the awards in this blog entry a year ago, and in a follow-up where Pardis Stitt explained her and Frank's decision to stop applying for the awards for Highlands and Bottega, which arguably have some of the best wine lists in town, several years ago.

In short, there are no doubt many restaurants that deserve their Wine Spectator award, but some don't. I wouldn't let the award be your only determining factor in deciding whether an establishment is worth trying.

Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 09:18PM by Registered CommenterDeborah Lockridge in | CommentsPost a Comment

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