LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #71  Postby Julien Martel » April 19th 2012, 5:08pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:The real scandal is that somewhere in Canada there is a taxpayer who worked several months out of the year just so that James Suckling could cash this check. I feel like James should find him and at least give him a bottle of Solaia or something as a thank you.


I'm happy to pay for this as long as I can hear him tell one more time he lives in Tuscany.

PS: from what I heard, he was asked to review more the 200 wines and only the ones getting 90 or more were used in the promo (80 to 90 wines).

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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #72  Postby Jim Brennan » April 19th 2012, 5:42pm

MattTM wrote:I just wandered over to his website to see if any mention was made on his forum, and it looks like he just commented (albeit very brief)

http://www.jamessuckling.com/forum/view ... f=10&t=994


James does mention that he's considering libel action (perhaps because they failed to mention he has a villa in Tuscany?)
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #73  Postby Xavier Lavoipierre » April 19th 2012, 5:49pm

Larry, that must explain it! And now we know how the Italians pronounce "grenache." [tease.gif]
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #74  Postby Lewis Dawson » April 19th 2012, 5:53pm

All of the JS-reviewed wines I saw on the SAQ website were rated 90 or higher. But I did see a statement on JS's website that he only publishes TN's with 90 and above scores. So maybe he tasted a lot more wines that he did not issue notes on??

I have a couple quotes below, just in case websites get edited or something...

Here is what he posted today on his forum:
"There was no cover up. The journalist spoke to the SAQ in January and was told the situation.
I never denied anything. I never commented.
More information is forthcoming.
I am considering libel action."

Here is what he posted on February 9, 2011 in his blog, in which the context was telling a funny story about misplacing his glasses:

"I arrived at my hotel from offices of the Société des Alcools du Québec in Montréal, and I realized that I had left my tasting glasses there — or worse, in the taxi.

I am working on an interesting project with the SAQ — the stater-run wine and spirits distribution company and arguably the biggest wine merchant in the world — where I am blind-tasting many of its specially selected wines, and we share the tasting notes on our websites. There is no financial relationship. It’s sharing information and contacts. Besides, I think Montréal is a really cool place. It reminds me of Paris in the 1980s. And it’s a hell of a wine city. I will tell you more soon...."
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #75  Postby Nick Ryan » April 19th 2012, 6:28pm

M A T T H A R T L E Y wrote:Anyone know how to edit that video so just the part of about living in Tuscany plays in an infinite loop?


http://helivesintuscaaaaaany.ytmnd.com/
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #76  Postby Todd F r e n c h » April 19th 2012, 8:33pm

Nick Ryan wrote:
M A T T H A R T L E Y wrote:Anyone know how to edit that video so just the part of about living in Tuscany plays in an infinite loop?


http://helivesintuscaaaaaany.ytmnd.com/

OMFG, I'm literally doing this:

[rofl.gif]
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #77  Postby Steve Saxon » April 19th 2012, 8:44pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Nick Ryan wrote:
M A T T H A R T L E Y wrote:Anyone know how to edit that video so just the part of about living in Tuscany plays in an infinite loop?


http://helivesintuscaaaaaany.ytmnd.com/

OMFG, I'm literally doing this:

[rofl.gif]


Hey we know you're the President of WB but if you're looking for a house in Tuscany........
Saxon and others have willfully trashed this thread and turned it into nonsense without substance.....Mark Squires
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #78  Postby SteveC » April 20th 2012, 4:58am

Steve Saxon wrote:Hey we know you're the President of WB but if you're looking for a house in Tuscany........


[thumbs-up.gif]
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #79  Postby dave cuneo » April 20th 2012, 10:09am

"I did not have financial relations with that board, Miss SAQ".

Does he still live in Tuscany, now that he is no longer European BSD with the Spectator, or did he move back in with his rents in LA?
IMO, this is Tony Bennett at his
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #80  Postby B Stucker » April 20th 2012, 10:17am

Lewis Dawson wrote:All of the JS-reviewed wines I saw on the SAQ website were rated 90 or higher. But I did see a statement on JS's website that he only publishes TN's with 90 and above scores. So maybe he tasted a lot more wines that he did not issue notes on??

I have a couple quotes below, just in case websites get edited or something...

Here is what he posted today on his forum:
"There was no cover up. The journalist spoke to the SAQ in January and was told the situation.
I never denied anything. I never commented.
More information is forthcoming.
I am considering libel action."

Here is what he posted on February 9, 2011 in his blog, in which the context was telling a funny story about misplacing his glasses:

"I arrived at my hotel from offices of the Société des Alcools du Québec in Montréal, and I realized that I had left my tasting glasses there — or worse, in the taxi.

I am working on an interesting project with the SAQ — the stater-run wine and spirits distribution company and arguably the biggest wine merchant in the world — where I am blind-tasting many of its specially selected wines, and we share the tasting notes on our websites. There is no financial relationship. It’s sharing information and contacts. Besides, I think Montréal is a really cool place. It reminds me of Paris in the 1980s. And it’s a hell of a wine city. I will tell you more soon...."


Seeing the denial of a financial relationship in the context of that story makes it even odder to me. There was simply no reason to mention financial matters at all in that post. The fact that he did so indicates to me that he knew it would look bad and that led him to making the dishonest statement, either consciously or subconsciously.
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #81  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » April 20th 2012, 10:35am

Ok - now someone needs to auto tune this....


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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #82  Postby Cris Whetstone » April 20th 2012, 10:53am

M A T T H A R T L E Y wrote:Ok - now someone needs to auto tune this....




Man I would love to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman acting as Suckling, thick fake accent and all.
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #83  Postby dave cuneo » April 20th 2012, 11:59am

I tell you what, if I paid James to come to my winery and taste my wines, and he now gave me less than 99 points on them, he would never leave alive. [basic-smile.gif]

Just kidding. I would be angry as hell, though. [basic-smile.gif]
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #84  Postby Todd F r e n c h » April 20th 2012, 12:02pm

dave cuneo wrote:I tell you what, if I paid James $24,000 to come to my winery and taste my wines, and he now gave me less than 99 points on them, he would never leave alive. [basic-smile.gif]

Just kidding. I would be angry as hell, though. [basic-smile.gif]

fixed
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #85  Postby Evan Dawson » April 24th 2012, 8:13am

Per Decanter, Suckling concedes that he did get paid, but he got paid because... he's a filmmaker! The payment was to make films, not to review wines. Also, when he claimed last year that there was no financial relationship, it was true... at the time. It was only LATER that he signed the financial deal, and just decided not to tell his readers.

http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/ ... witterfeed

Nice of Decanter to ask some tough questions.
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #86  Postby James Sanders » April 24th 2012, 8:37am

Does anyone else find it interesting that the three folks who jump to defend Suckling are all winery guys?
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #87  Postby Adam Lee » April 24th 2012, 11:27am

James,

I think (from a quick catch-up on the thread) that I am one of the "three folks who jump to defend Suckling" that is a "winery guy." If sharing my experience, honestly, after someone wrote that he "solicits his services to wineries" is jumping to defend Suckling then I supposed I am guilty. Personally, I thought it was simply saying what happened and what my experience was (without commenting on anyone else's experience).

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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #88  Postby C. Mc Cart » April 24th 2012, 12:26pm

Not sure I defended him, but if you read my first post I have zero issues with his fee. I imply the same as the above decanter piece - he isn't a critic to me, so his pay is for "marketing" or buzz, nothing more. I'm not ITB.
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Re: LaPresse: SAQ paid Suckling $24,000 for reviews

Post #89  Postby James Sanders » April 24th 2012, 1:36pm

Adam Lee wrote:James,

I think (from a quick catch-up on the thread) that I am one of the "three folks who jump to defend Suckling" that is a "winery guy." If sharing my experience, honestly, after someone wrote that he "solicits his services to wineries" is jumping to defend Suckling then I supposed I am guilty. Personally, I thought it was simply saying what happened and what my experience was (without commenting on anyone else's experience).

Adam Lee
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That's fair. And I don't doubt you all have good motives. But as someone with wine to sell, you have motive to defend him, too. Even if that's not first in your mind. I tend to think people act out of multiple motives and a part of that is to act in our interest, even if not consciously. Everyone does that. That's all I was commenting on.

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