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Wine Publications: Scoring the Critics
Wine may be the most reviewed product on earth. The importance of reviews to the sale of wine could only be compared to the importance of reviews to the Broadway stage or the Manhattan restaurant business.
Inspired by Lettie Teague's piece in the Wall Street Journal called "Do the Right Wines Win," I decided that my nineteen years of experience working with these publications and websites, not to mention constantly matching our impressions of wines to their scores and reviews, puts me in a pretty good position to create my own guide to the wine review websites and publications.
Antonio Galloni is an American wine critic and founder and CEO of Vinous, for which he is also the lead critic covering the wines of Bordeaux, California, Italy, and Champagne.
In 2006 Galloni was hired by Robert Parker and joined The Wine Advocate as a reviewer of Italian wine. In 2011 Galloni's area of coverage was expanded to include California, Champagne, Chablis and the Côte d'Or. In February 2013, following the announcement that Robert Parker was stepping down as editor-in-chief of The Wine Advocate, and had sold a controlling stake to a Singapore investor, Galloni announced that he would leave the publication and establish his own internet publication, Vinous (http://vinousmedia.com).
In early 2014 Vinous acquired Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, an independent wine review journal founded in 1985. Tanzer's publication had been the Wine Advocate's direct competitor for over 30 years, though Tanzer's preference for old world styles in wines and "controlled prose" was very much in contrast to the more flamboyant style of Robert Parker. The International Wine Cellar wine review archive was transferred to the Vinous website and Tanzer with his tasting team members Ian D'Agata and Josh Raynolds joined the Vinous team.
How we use Vinous
Vinous team of tasters including Neal Martin, Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer and David Schildknecht, probably have as much or more combined tasting experience as any of the other publications. Like Wine Spectator they tend to spend most of their time reviewing higher-end wines. I generally find very few wine values in Vinous.
Having said that, I find their scores to be very reliable and point ranges very comparable to Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate. They do a very good job with California, Bordeaux and Italy but since their scores are so similar to Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, I will almost always default to the better known publications if scores are available when assigning press for our cellar cards.
June 27, 2018