Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#401 Post by HenryB »

my favourite bit of all this is the Theodore Roosevelt instagram qpost.

You can decide for yourself if its cringe worthy, self-aggrandising, arrogant, tone-deaf, or all of the above.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#402 Post by brigcampbell »

HenryB wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:50 am my favourite bit of all this is the Theodore Roosevelt instagram qpost.

You can decide for yourself if its cringe worthy, self-aggrandising, arrogant, tone-deaf, or all of the above.
When there's nothing you can say to defend yourself it's best to just quote someone else.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#403 Post by M.Kaplan »

brigcampbell wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:11 am
HenryB wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:50 am my favourite bit of all this is the Theodore Roosevelt instagram qpost.

You can decide for yourself if its cringe worthy, self-aggrandising, arrogant, tone-deaf, or all of the above.
When there's nothing you can say to defend yourself it's best to just quote someone else.
Hard to imagine a more appropriate quote for a former investment banker who has braved the life-threatening move to wine criticism.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#404 Post by HenryB »

M.Kaplan wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:13 am
brigcampbell wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:11 am
HenryB wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:50 am my favourite bit of all this is the Theodore Roosevelt instagram qpost.

You can decide for yourself if its cringe worthy, self-aggrandising, arrogant, tone-deaf, or all of the above.
When there's nothing you can say to defend yourself it's best to just quote someone else.
Hard to imagine a more appropriate quote for a former investment banker who has braved the life-threatening move to wine criticism.
Next up Eminem - gamble everything you've got on one moment, one shot, one opportunity?
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#405 Post by Arv R »

Richard Albert wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:48 am Eleven years ago, the trade cut into the decades old tradition of consumers enjoying futures speculation=profits which was very consistent for a very long time until 2005 futures pricing came out late. Haut Brion blinked first as I recall when the First Growths jumped their prices radically, less than a year after Parker predicted $10 K First Growth cases. The whole industry claimed portions of what used to be consumer profiting. Understandable envy.

This is a more modern and more sophisticated market manipulation by insiders.
This should come as no surprise, really. Pay to play.
I haven't really understood for years why people would buy Bordeaux futures. There was a time it made some sense, but that was a long time ago.

The trade has to - I get that - but rinky dink oenophile?

There is no shortage of Bordeaux in the secondary market.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#406 Post by Neal.Mollen »

brigcampbell wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:11 am
HenryB wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:50 am my favourite bit of all this is the Theodore Roosevelt instagram qpost.

You can decide for yourself if its cringe worthy, self-aggrandising, arrogant, tone-deaf, or all of the above.
When there's nothing you can say to defend yourself it's best to just quote someone else.
He should have gone with:

“I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'll be great at it.”
― Dorothy Parker
I don't have to speak; she defends me

A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#407 Post by Luca Giupponi »

HenryB wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:15 am
M.Kaplan wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:13 am
brigcampbell wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:11 am

When there's nothing you can say to defend yourself it's best to just quote someone else.
Hard to imagine a more appropriate quote for a former investment banker who has braved the life-threatening move to wine criticism.
Next up Eminem - gamble everything you've got on one moment, one shot, one opportunity?
Or Hamilton: "I am not throwing away my shot!"

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#408 Post by Andy Sc »

Arv R wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:56 am I haven't really understood for years why people would buy Bordeaux futures. There was a time it made some sense, but that was a long time ago.

The trade has to - I get that - but rinky dink oenophile?

There is no shortage of Bordeaux in the secondary market.
True, there is no shortage but still you made decent profits on 2014 and 2015 and on most 2016s. With the exception of a dozen of wines in each of those vintages, however, you could still buy them virtually at the same En Primeur level around the time the first in bottle scores came in. As I am in my mid thirties I bought heavily in those years (and 18/19) and overall that was quite good in terms pricing and money saved.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#409 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

HenryB wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:50 am my favourite bit of all this is the Theodore Roosevelt instagram qpost.

You can decide for yourself if its cringe worthy, self-aggrandising, arrogant, tone-deaf, or all of the above.
It's really quite shocking how we are all bearing witness to Vinous dropping a huge bomb on their credibility. Vinous is not exactly ubiquitous the way Wine Spectator is. To the extent Vinous caters to the end consumer, I'm not sure that base extends far beyond the fairly-knowledgeable wine geek. Are there really random Joe Schmos subscribing to this niche publication? There is a possibility Vinous doesn't survive this -- a longshot, for sure, but still ... the success of the $2k/mo. subscription model *is reliant upon* success with the end-consumer $120 or $140 per year (whichever it is -- I think I've seen both in this thread) subscription level. If Vinous loses credibility with the end consumer then their reviews won't move needles (right? or am I wrong about that? Does any random shelf talker work on the general public? (fearing the answer to that is "Yes.")). If their reviews are largely ignored, then will the supply chain be able to successfully increase prices? ... guessing we'll have the opportunity to see, given the manner in which AG appears to be digging-in on this.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#410 Post by Marshall Manning »

Marc Hauser wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:26 pm How is this thread *still* going?
Not to pick on you, Marc, but I have seen this in some other longer threads and I don't understand the purpose of posts like this.

If you aren't interested in a post, then move on. Obviously some people are interested in the thread and want to keep it going. And by posting "How is this thread *still* going?", you move it to the top and keep it going even longer.
Last edited by Marshall Manning on April 30th, 2021, 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#411 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

Arv R wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:56 am
Richard Albert wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:48 am Eleven years ago, the trade cut into the decades old tradition of consumers enjoying futures speculation=profits which was very consistent for a very long time until 2005 futures pricing came out late. Haut Brion blinked first as I recall when the First Growths jumped their prices radically, less than a year after Parker predicted $10 K First Growth cases. The whole industry claimed portions of what used to be consumer profiting. Understandable envy.

This is a more modern and more sophisticated market manipulation by insiders.
This should come as no surprise, really. Pay to play.
I haven't really understood for years why people would buy Bordeaux futures. There was a time it made some sense, but that was a long time ago.

The trade has to - I get that - but rinky dink oenophile?

There is no shortage of Bordeaux in the secondary market.
Since I started paying attention to Bordeaux again (with the 2014 vintage) I have consistently --- nearly across the board --- witnessed the prices of classed growths increase since futures, and even since release. This is true --- nearly across the board --- for '14, '15, and '16.
“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#412 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Jörgen Lindström Carlvik wrote: April 29th, 2021, 2:27 pm
Tvrtko C. wrote: April 29th, 2021, 12:37 pm
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 29th, 2021, 11:47 am There's been a lot of focus on how this might affect pricing for the more premium wines, but not much more than a few mentions of lower-tiered wines.

Imagine a $18.99 Chianti gets a score of 94 or 95. That's going to sell like hotcakes. You know what else will sell like hotcakes? That same Chianti priced at $24.99. 6 bucks a bottle, at 12 bottles per case = $72/case. If the retailer has 20 cases to move (not an unreasonable quantity at all, and they could easily have more than that for a high-production wine) that's $72 * 20 = $1,440. 30 cases covers the $2k subscription cost for that month. And that's just one sku. ... then, watch the attempts to make that newly-increased pricing "stick" on subsequent vintages.
And, at long last, someone puts their finger on it. Thank you, Brian [cheers.gif]
Yes. That were the big money lies. Imagine a Gallo wine all of a sudden gets a 90...
In a way, reading this whole thread leaves me with the distinct impression that at least 9/10 posters have been totally blindsided in terms of what is actually going on here. Or, indeed, most people's perception of a certain "critic" over the years... Par for the course, I suppose. Scratching my head a bit, but more than happy to leave it at that.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#413 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:57 am To the extent Vinous caters to the end consumer, I'm not sure that base extends far beyond the fairly-knowledgeable wine geek. Are there really random Joe Schmos subscribing to this niche publication?
Sure. And it's the "fairly knowledgeable wine geek" (as opposed to the billionaire collector, the major wine business player, or the speculator), and definitely not some random Joe Schmo, who'll be footing the bill, too.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#414 Post by Mike Evans »

John Danza wrote: April 29th, 2021, 9:02 pm Well, at the risk of piling on....

AG's word salad response was a waste of time. He should have just said "Yep, we're giving the distributors and major retailers a 48 hour head start to adjust pricing and inventory before the consumer finds out how we rated wines".

Anyone who doubts this clearly hasn't paid attention to what has happened for decades whenever the Wine Spectator Top 100 comes out. Try to locate any of those wines at anywhere near the release prices noted in the magazine.

What I find interesting in the 8 pages of this thread is that no one has mentioned that AG is the face, but not necessarily the guy controlling the purse strings or investor $$$ at Vinous. Notice that the email didn't come out under AG's name, but instead came out under James Forsyth's name. Let me just leave it at that.

You’ll have no problem finding 90% or more of the WS Top 100 wines at release price. The effect on the top few can be significant, but most of the list barely moves the needle.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#415 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

Tvrtko C. wrote: April 30th, 2021, 11:16 am
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:57 am To the extent Vinous caters to the end consumer, I'm not sure that base extends far beyond the fairly-knowledgeable wine geek. Are there really random Joe Schmos subscribing to this niche publication?
Sure. And it's the "fairly knowledgeable wine geek" (as opposed to the billionaire collector, the major wine business player, or the speculator), and definitely not some random Joe Schmo, who'll be footing the bill, too.
Wellllll ... that is, unless they don't! [whistle.gif]
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#416 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 30th, 2021, 12:38 pm
Tvrtko C. wrote: April 30th, 2021, 11:16 am
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:57 am To the extent Vinous caters to the end consumer, I'm not sure that base extends far beyond the fairly-knowledgeable wine geek. Are there really random Joe Schmos subscribing to this niche publication?
Sure. And it's the "fairly knowledgeable wine geek" (as opposed to the billionaire collector, the major wine business player, or the speculator), and definitely not some random Joe Schmo, who'll be footing the bill, too.
Wellllll ... that is, unless they don't! [whistle.gif]
One way to look at it, I guess... [cheers.gif]
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#417 Post by Taylor Broussard »

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 30th, 2021, 11:01 am
Arv R wrote: April 30th, 2021, 8:56 am
Richard Albert wrote: April 30th, 2021, 7:48 am Eleven years ago, the trade cut into the decades old tradition of consumers enjoying futures speculation=profits which was very consistent for a very long time until 2005 futures pricing came out late. Haut Brion blinked first as I recall when the First Growths jumped their prices radically, less than a year after Parker predicted $10 K First Growth cases. The whole industry claimed portions of what used to be consumer profiting. Understandable envy.

This is a more modern and more sophisticated market manipulation by insiders.
This should come as no surprise, really. Pay to play.
I haven't really understood for years why people would buy Bordeaux futures. There was a time it made some sense, but that was a long time ago.

The trade has to - I get that - but rinky dink oenophile?

There is no shortage of Bordeaux in the secondary market.
Since I started paying attention to Bordeaux again (with the 2014 vintage) I have consistently --- nearly across the board --- witnessed the prices of classed growths increase since futures, and even since release. This is true --- nearly across the board --- for '14, '15, and '16.
Same here - and same exact experience. I realize that all of us have different incomes and budgets, but a $10-20 per bottle increase does change my purchasing behavior, and in many cases it's far more than that. I bought the 2015 Leoville Barton on futures for $73 per bottle. The least expensive listing on Wine-Searcher shows the 2015 for $119. I'm certain at some point it could be found for less... but less than $73? This is particularly true for less discussed classified growth. Also bought the 2015 Giscours for $50 - least expensive listing on W-S shows it going for $80.

I'm looking for a diverse cellar of Bordeaux from different Chateau and vintages. I plan on continuing to buy through futures as I find compelling values from reputable producers. I've yet to to pay more so far...

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#418 Post by Ian Sutton »

Well if it all goes belly up for Antonio, I'm sure he'd be welcomed back at The Wine Advocate [snort.gif]
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#419 Post by Steve Long »

This video does an excellent job explaining some of the new features that Vinous is expected to roll out.


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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#420 Post by Mark Morrissette »

That is one of my all time favorite YouTube videos.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#421 Post by John Glas »

You’ll have no problem finding 90% or more of the WS Top 100 wines at release price. The effect on the top few can be significant, but most of the list barely moves the needle.
Maybe 10 or more years ago it moved a needle but agree not much anymore. I find it entertaining that a local wine shop does their top 100 every year and they are all wines that you would think would be at Total Wine. I think the industry is moving house brands more and more and people who know nothing about wine are buying it.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#422 Post by Marc Hauser »

Marshall Manning wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:58 am
Marc Hauser wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:26 pm How is this thread *still* going?
Not to pick on you, Marc, but I have seen this in some other longer threads and I don't understand the purpose of posts like this.

If you aren't interested in a post, then move on. Obviously some people are interested in the thread and want to keep it going. And by posting "How is this thread *still* going?", you move it to the top and keep it going even longer.
To clarify, I’m truly and honestly surprised there’s that much outrage about this. Hence my post does actually have a purpose - my two cents. I’m quite interested in it.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#423 Post by John Glas »

Well if it all goes belly up for Antonio, I'm sure he'd be welcomed back at The Wine Advocate [snort.gif]
At a pay discount!

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#424 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Ian Sutton wrote: April 30th, 2021, 1:48 pm Well if it all goes belly up for Antonio, I'm sure he'd be welcomed back at The Wine Advocate [snort.gif]
That was a glorious episode as well flirtysmile
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#425 Post by Colin Haggerty »

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:57 am
It's really quite shocking how we are all bearing witness to Vinous dropping a huge bomb on their credibility. Vinous is not exactly ubiquitous the way Wine Spectator is. To the extent Vinous caters to the end consumer, I'm not sure that base extends far beyond the fairly-knowledgeable wine geek. Are there really random Joe Schmos subscribing to this niche publication? There is a possibility Vinous doesn't survive this -- a longshot, for sure, but still ... the success of the $2k/mo. subscription model *is reliant upon* success with the end-consumer $120 or $140 per year (whichever it is -- I think I've seen both in this thread) subscription level. If Vinous loses credibility with the end consumer then their reviews won't move needles (right? or am I wrong about that? Does any random shelf talker work on the general public? (fearing the answer to that is "Yes.")). If their reviews are largely ignored, then will the supply chain be able to successfully increase prices? ... guessing we'll have the opportunity to see, given the manner in which AG appears to be digging-in on this.
[winner.gif] [thumbs-up.gif]

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#426 Post by Keith Levenberg »

Brent S wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:42 pm and most of us had an incredibly high opinion of Antonio
Image

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#427 Post by Robert Grenley »

I have a better business model..I will charge $4000 per month, and I will release my scores no less than 168 hours before I taste the wines.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#428 Post by Julian Marshall »

After a brief moment of wavering, it now looks as if AG fully intends to implement this new policy, just as the EP season is about to begin. Of course it's his absolute right to do so, it's his business. Of course not everyone will be affected in the short term, but in the long term, everyone will, because if the policy is a success, it will spread. Retailers and wineries will sign up if those that did so first have clearly benefited. Other critics will offer the same "service", so whether or not anyone thinks they talk sense or balderdash, it will have an effect on prices.

I suppose that ultimately, what will make a difference is the impact on his credibility. He will either be seen as a visionary, someone who has miraculously succeeded in making businesses pay a much larger fee for information that some were purloining and profiting from for free after publication of reports, or as a charlatan who never did understand the role of a "critic", one of providing a reliable opinion to consumer subscribers who pay for something they cannot do themselves - taste a myriad of products before deciding which ones to buy, thereby giving those subscribers a chance to buy at the best possible price, safe in the knowledge that they are the early birds that will catch the worm.

What is clear for me, at least, is that AG cannot claim to be protecting the interests of his subscribers, and that of other consumers, while raking in cash from businesses which will increase prices. The argument that the increased revenue will fund further coverage to the benefit of all is total B.S. On the contrary even, if further coverage produces further "stars" whose prices rise because their owners sign up for the "bespoke service" which allows them to increase prices in full knowledge of the great write-up they are about to have, it would be much better if there was less coverage.

The next step of course is only a click or two away - when a door is opened like this one, when retailers and wineries have a much closer relationship with a supposedly neutral critic, how long until one of them suggests that they could "use" a good score for one or more of their products, in return for an even bigger monthly fee, and how long until the critic accepts? The fact that wineries can send their products to be tasted outside of the usual editorial calendar dates merely emphasises the subtext.

This is why the whole thing is a form of corruption - because that is where it will end. Once you have sold your soul, you can't give the money back.

So far, the other Vinous writers have been silent about all this. Not a word. It would be interesting to know what they think of the way their own principles have been hijacked by their employer. I find it hard to believe that they agree with it, but maybe I really am naïve.

Anyone who subscribes to Vinous can just walk away, as I have done. The more that do so, the more this will have an impact. Anyone else, well, I don't know, but it's encouraging that this sort of thread exists.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#429 Post by HenryB »

theres an interesting idea there though - some publications will NOT move markets, and so, arent worth spending $2k a month on perhaps.

Ironically, those might end up being the ones consumers trust more, so do ultimately become the ones who move the markets.


All that being said, I dont understand how there's any argument to be made that this impacts en primeur - critics scores are published (TYPICALLY) well before any wines are released. The full set of scores from Jancis are available (albeit not generally price movers, they at least provide direction). I suppose, though, EP is meant to kick off next week, and Jeff I believe said his wont be available until Mid May?
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#430 Post by brigcampbell »

AG: wow, this thing blew up in our faces.
Investors: are you done?
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#431 Post by Jim Brennan »

Marshall Manning wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:58 am
Marc Hauser wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:26 pm How is this thread *still* going?
Not to pick on you, Marc, but I have seen this in some other longer threads and I don't understand the purpose of posts like this.

If you aren't interested in a post, then move on. Obviously some people are interested in the thread and want to keep it going. And by posting "How is this thread *still* going?", you move it to the top and keep it going even longer.
File it under passive-aggressive bloviating? Although I see a more recent reply from Marc that seems to indicate that his intent wasn't how we interpreted it. So who knows. :) To me, given the history of WB, it's absolutely not surprising in the least that this would result in alot of comment and blow-back against the new Vinuous policy.
Last edited by Jim Brennan on May 1st, 2021, 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#432 Post by C. Mc Cart »

Almost 10 pages of fury at Galloni doing this with his business and no one puts any blame on the retailer who will be doing the price adjustments on the fly?

I'm not a subscriber, but feels a little like some are putting the cart before the horse.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#433 Post by Jim Brennan »

C. Mc Cart wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:50 am Almost 10 pages of fury at Galloni doing this with his business and no one puts any blame on the retailer who will be doing the price adjustments on the fly?

I'm not a subscriber, but feels a little like some are putting the cart before the horse.
Because the wine critic is ostensibly publishing reviews to provide insight and guidance to consumers. You cannot position yourself as pro-consumer / consumer advocate reviewing wines to help people find quality and value, and then at the same time position yourself as an lever for the producer/distributor/retailer side to maximize their profits. And the next logical longer-term step is to question the independence and honesty of the wine reviews.

But the problem is the retailers being willing to pay more to try and optimize their profits? Really?

It seems pretty clear that this is about whether critics are serving consumers or they are serving producers/distributors/retailers. What AG has communicated pretty clearly is that he's willing to chance that his real audience is the trade, and the consumer relationship is really just a means to an end. If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers. If Neal abandons AG over this, Jeff L, this is your chance!

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#434 Post by Mattstolz »

posted this in the poll thread but it probably makes more sense here

while i dont think its right (and voted so), it is a pretty high premium for the information. how many times does that investment even really pay off for a retailer? most of the time, the wines that get scores where it would make a difference are already expensive. the ones where there could really be big price jumps are not gonna make up a 2k difference very easily (thinking of times like the Sonoma Hillsides 100point score). most cali cabs release with the scores already out, most bordeaux that are gonna get big price bumps are bought en primeur, and Galloni doesnt hand out big scores in Burgundy. Hes also typically already scored a Barolo 2-3x before its even released so it doesnt really help anyone there either.

I mostly just dont see how a 2k price tag per month gets justified.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#435 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

C. Mc Cart wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:50 am Almost 10 pages of fury at Galloni doing this with his business and no one puts any blame on the retailer who will be doing the price adjustments on the fly?

I'm not a subscriber, but feels a little like some are putting the cart before the horse.
Funny, I have zero issue with a retailer doing this. None at all. It’s the critic with a consumer subscriber base that has placed himself in an untenable conflict of interest. We all know the retailer is there to make a buck off of us, and doesn’t try to bullshit us that they are looking out for us.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#436 Post by Julian Marshall »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:33 am
C. Mc Cart wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:50 am Almost 10 pages of fury at Galloni doing this with his business and no one puts any blame on the retailer who will be doing the price adjustments on the fly?

I'm not a subscriber, but feels a little like some are putting the cart before the horse.
Funny, I have zero issue with a retailer doing this. None at all. It’s the critic with a consumer subscriber base that has placed himself in an untenable conflict of interest. We all know the retailer is there to make a buck off of us, and doesn’t try to bullshit us that they are looking out for us.
I entirely agree - the price is just good old supply and demand. If a retailer thinks they can get another $20 a bottle, and do, why shouldn't they? If a winery thinks it can get more cash per bottle, same argument. Of course there is the customer relationship to consider, but when did any Bordeaux château seriously take that into consideration last?!

But this is supply and demand being interfered with - nobody knows the real value of what is inside a bottle until it has been tasted. Yes, of course there are dozens of people giving their opinion nowadays, but only one or two really count, IMO. The person I feel sorry for in all this is Neal Martin, who doesn't strike me as the sort of person to sell his soul. He hasn't acquired the hegemony of Parker, but he is, I think, the most influential of today's critics - because he is good, but also because of his integrity. If I was him, I would be bloody angry right now.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#437 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:33 am
C. Mc Cart wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:50 am Almost 10 pages of fury at Galloni doing this with his business and no one puts any blame on the retailer who will be doing the price adjustments on the fly?

I'm not a subscriber, but feels a little like some are putting the cart before the horse.
Funny, I have zero issue with a retailer doing this. None at all. It’s the critic with a consumer subscriber base that has placed himself in an untenable conflict of interest. We all know the retailer is there to make a buck off of us, and doesn’t try to bullshit us that they are looking out for us.
Indeed. Retailers normally don't "move" the market. They just respond to it/adjust accordingly. They mostly have little choice or say in the matter, and any retailer-driven pricing differentials are usually negligible.
(I'm talking about the EU, no idea about anything else).
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#438 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Julian Marshall wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:47 am The person I feel sorry for in all this is Neal Martin, who doesn't strike me as the sort of person to sell his soul. He hasn't acquired the hegemony of Parker, but he is, I think, the most influential of today's critics - because he is good, but also because of his integrity. If I was him, I would be bloody angry right now.
I generally agree with the sentiment, but I think there is at least one commonality between Neal Martin and the head honcho: both thrive on consensus approval, albeit probably to significantly different degrees. Nonetheless... while I understand why, the context being what it was at the time, Neal Martin would see Vinous as a good place to settle, for some reason, I find it difficult to believe he had any illusions about the actual underlying motives of the operation (what you call "integrity"). Just a gut feeling on my part...
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#439 Post by Gregory Dal Piaz »

Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers.
This is the most sensible path. The value to the trade depends on the response by consumers. Maximizing exposure to consumers is the first step towards maximizing value to the trade.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#440 Post by John Morris »

Gregory Dal Piaz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers.
This is the most sensible path. The value to the trade depends on the response by consumers. Maximizing exposure to consumers is the first step towards maximizing value to the trade.
On the other hand, much of the value to the trade stems from credibility, and serious support from readers. Advertisers pay much more for paid subscriptions than they do for give-aways. If Vinous stopped collecting money from consumers, I think that would erode the value to the trade. It would certainly undercut the credibility with readers.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#441 Post by Mattstolz »

John Morris wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:32 am
Gregory Dal Piaz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers.
This is the most sensible path. The value to the trade depends on the response by consumers. Maximizing exposure to consumers is the first step towards maximizing value to the trade.
On the other hand, much of the value to the trade stems from credibility, and serious support from readers. Advertisers pay much more for paid subscriptions than they do for give-aways. If Vinous stopped collecting money from consumers, I think that would erode the value to the trade. It would certainly undercut the credibility with readers.
this is what i was going to say. when readers have to pay for it, there is at least a path towards them being convinced that their influence is the one that drives the publication. if its free, theres no way around the issue that the people you are reviewing are the ones driving the direction

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#442 Post by G. D y e r »

Gregory Dal Piaz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers.
This is the most sensible path. The value to the trade depends on the response by consumers. Maximizing exposure to consumers is the first step towards maximizing value to the trade.
Vinous notes and scores are basically free to consumers at this point, since retailers vigorously re-publish them. The Vinous subscription constitutes additional content, so it's not just the TNs. And maybe that is the 'value added' for consumers to justify the subscription. But previously and definitely now with the 'enhanced' business model, TNs are not a very compelling reason to subscribe to Vinous.

If Vinous wants rebrand itself as primarily a marketing and content outfit, much like WS or WE, that is fine by me, as long as they are transparent. It's widely known the wine 'lifestyle' magazines sell ad space to high scoring producers to accompany their published notes. Vinous isn't doing that exactly, but is looking for a different angle for industry monetization.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#443 Post by Jim Brennan »

John Morris wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:32 am
Gregory Dal Piaz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers.
This is the most sensible path. The value to the trade depends on the response by consumers. Maximizing exposure to consumers is the first step towards maximizing value to the trade.
On the other hand, much of the value to the trade stems from credibility, and serious support from readers. Advertisers pay much more for paid subscriptions than they do for give-aways. If Vinous stopped collecting money from consumers, I think that would erode the value to the trade. It would certainly undercut the credibility with readers.
Agree on this as being an outcome on the continuum as well.

And therein lies the problem, can AG get away with selling himself as a valuable and independent voice of reviews for _consumers_ while meanwhile providing a subscription aimed at enabling the distribution / retail side to optimize their ability to extract max $ from those same consumers? It's just a tiny step from there to allowing production / distribution dollars to influence ratings or review language.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#444 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:53 am It's just a tiny step from there to allowing production / distribution dollars to influence ratings or review language.
Don't know why, but a part of me is tempted to say almost anything would potentially be an improvement :-) :-) :-)
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#445 Post by Marc Hauser »

Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:48 am
Marshall Manning wrote: April 30th, 2021, 10:58 am
Marc Hauser wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:26 pm How is this thread *still* going?
Not to pick on you, Marc, but I have seen this in some other longer threads and I don't understand the purpose of posts like this.

If you aren't interested in a post, then move on. Obviously some people are interested in the thread and want to keep it going. And by posting "How is this thread *still* going?", you move it to the top and keep it going even longer.
File it under passive-aggressive bloviating? Although I see a more recent reply from Marc that seems to indicate that his intent wasn't how we interpreted it. So who knows. :) To me, given the history of WB, it's absolutely not surprising in the least that this would result in alot of comment and blow-back against the new Vinuous policy.
My style is more passive-aggressive ridicule.

You make a fair point about the nature of this board. I guess I just remain underwhelmed by this as scandal relative to all of the awful corporate practices out there.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#446 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

I can’t imagine Neal Martin is cool with this. Will be interesting to see what the fallout is. I have cancelled my auto-renew, for whatever that’s worth.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#447 Post by John Danza »

Br1an Th0rne wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:19 pm I can’t imagine Neal Martin is cool with this. Will be interesting to see what the fallout is. I have cancelled my auto-renew, for whatever that’s worth.
Does canceling the auto renew do anything in the near term? It seems that it only denies them future revenue. Would an outright cancellation deny them current revenue as well due to the refunding of the portion of unused current subscription?
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#448 Post by HenryB »

John Danza wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:24 pm
Br1an Th0rne wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:19 pm I can’t imagine Neal Martin is cool with this. Will be interesting to see what the fallout is. I have cancelled my auto-renew, for whatever that’s worth.
Does canceling the auto renew do anything in the near term? It seems that it only denies them future revenue. Would an outright cancellation deny them current revenue as well due to the refunding of the portion of unused current subscription?
I cant answer this, but you'd hope they have the analytics in place to notice a spike of caancellations
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#449 Post by Julian Marshall »

Tvrtko C. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:11 am
Julian Marshall wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:47 am The person I feel sorry for in all this is Neal Martin, who doesn't strike me as the sort of person to sell his soul. He hasn't acquired the hegemony of Parker, but he is, I think, the most influential of today's critics - because he is good, but also because of his integrity. If I was him, I would be bloody angry right now.
I generally agree with the sentiment, but I think there is at least one commonality between Neal Martin and the head honcho: both thrive on consensus approval, albeit probably to significantly different degrees. Nonetheless... while I understand why, the context being what it was at the time, Neal Martin would see Vinous as a good place to settle, for some reason, I find it difficult to believe he had any illusions about the actual underlying motives of the operation (what you call "integrity"). Just a gut feeling on my part...
Neal Martin is an interesting case. I had never heard of him until he was hired by RMP. I then discovered Wine Journal and I've been following his work ever since. I admired the way that although the job at TWA was like a non-League player from somewhere in the heart of Essex joining a Premier League club, Neal insisted on keeping his own way of thinking and writing. He was always careful not to contradict RMP too often, but he frequently did, although his work complemented that of RMP rather than competed against it. After the sale of TWA and the subsequent demise, his work didn't "feel" right and it was no surprise that he left for Vinous.

By this time, Neal was no longer the fresh-faced boy from Essex, but the leading writer at TWA. AG signed him on precisely because of Neal's integrity and the quality of his writing - it was an excellent bit of business which greatly increased Vinous' credibility. I think Neal signed on at Vinous because Antonio had created something along the same lines as TWA but better, and I have no doubt there was a better deal for him too.

When he started at Vinous, Neal's writing, for me at least, reached new heights, as if he was liberated. He wrote a series of Bordeaux châteaux profiles which were absolutely stunning, my favourites being those on BAMA and La Lagune. He has carried on in much the same way since.

I remember watching a video of AG and NM discussing, I think, the Bordeaux 1996 vintage - you could see right away who was the Alpha male. Obviously what has just happened has given me new perspective, but even at the time my impression was that Neal was purely and simply a writer and a critic, whereas Antonio was more a businessman than a critic.

Anyway, all this leads me to think that Neal was never consulted about Vinous Preview and would never have agreed to it. I cannot believe that on signing at Vinous, he would have expected this. Of course, this is just musing and speculation on my part - I have never met either AG or NM. But just because a journalist writes for a publication owned by Rupert Murdoch, that doesn't mean he/she shares the same values.

People like me stopping their subscriptions is not going to change much, but what would be really damaging would be for Neal to announce his departure - but where to?

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#450 Post by Gregory Dal Piaz »

John Morris wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:32 am
Gregory Dal Piaz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:58 am
If he really wants to turn the industry on its head, maybe he makes his newsletter free to consumers since it's not really their money he wants anyway. He wants to essentially sell influence, create market impact, and enable profit optimization to the big money end of that equation, so why not just cut the thread on charging consumers (potentially growing his readership massively) to also dispense with the phony idea that he's publishing this newsletter/website for consumers.
This is the most sensible path. The value to the trade depends on the response by consumers. Maximizing exposure to consumers is the first step towards maximizing value to the trade.
On the other hand, much of the value to the trade stems from credibility, and serious support from readers. Advertisers pay much more for paid subscriptions than they do for give-aways. If Vinous stopped collecting money from consumers, I think that would erode the value to the trade. It would certainly undercut the credibility with readers.
I don't think that is necessarily true in this situation. The impact of wine criticism is most useful at the point of sale. Stores use shelf talkers with abandon because they work, with the author making little difference particularly under a certain price point. We have to careful not to believe that our bubble is reality. The truth is that most consumers who are faced with shelf talkers known nothing of this controversy, and nothing in general of the ethicals and reputations of the reviewers out there. Wine is not that important to them, they just want something decent to drink, and if they can find a 94 point wine that fits their budget they will buy it. The value to the trade stems from the ability of the shelf talker to move wine, and perhaps other point of sale materials, no one has suggested they are buying advertising here. The product is access to the advertising.
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