After being punked by wine writer Robin Goldstein, who invented a fictitious restaurant in Milan to weasel an Award of Excellence out of Wine Spectator's prestigious judges, executive editor Thomas Matthews has finally issued a response. On one of Spectator's online forums, he scolds Goldstein for the elaborate hoax (Googling the restaurant turned up an actual address, and Goldstein planted Chowhound reviews of the bogus spot), summarizes the award process ("We do not claim to visit every restaurant"), and explains why the contrived wine list made the cut (Goldstein said he deliberately chose poorly rated bottles, but only 15 out of 256 scored below 80 points). Matthews is clearly P.O.-ed but told us he doesn't think legitimate awardees will be. "Restaurant Daniel, Veritas, Del Posto, you can ask them what they think of their legitimacy." We’re sure they're just fine with it. And we’re sure Goldstein, who after all has books to sell, is also good and happy with the award.
Wine Spectator Has Been Scammed [Wine Spectator]