Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

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Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

Yes
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No
185
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Keith A k e r s
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#51 Post by Keith A k e r s »

Mattstolz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:30 am 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.


when I worked at a big, multi-store chain, the shelf talkers alone moved enough wine to justify the 2k per month rate (and I'd imagine this chain was paying more given the amount of stores they have). When I have worked at independent stores, not once have they subscribed to a publication like that. Different customers go to different stores.

When I have worked in distribution, sometimes I'd mention scores but often I wouldn't. But, I was also only using my consumer subscription to Vinous as there's zero way any of the distributors I worked for could remotely justifying paying 24k per year.

People here are focusing on the gems and what their price increase may be, but that's such a small fraction of where the value is in a publication like Vinous. We constantly have to remember that by merely posting on this forum, that all of us are a complete drop in the bucket of the wider wine world and this really won't register as much as I think those on here and the Vinous boards realize.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#52 Post by Keith A k e r s »

Paul Flynn wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:24 am I think this just makes the point that Galloni isn't a consumer advocate. He's a Galloni advocate.
why can't he be both? There is a wide breadth of coverage with some excellent reviewers. I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#53 Post by R Scott Hughes »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 6:16 am To me this is an inherent conflict of interest, making him more and more of a shill for the industry rather than a source for consumers for credible information. While I do not subscribe, if I did, I would immediately be out. He sold out.
Interesting viewpoint although I honestly see it quite differently. What he is essentially saying to the industry is, "I have earned enough credibility with my consumers that when I award a high score to a wine, it moves markets." He is creating a new revenue stream that is entirely dependent on maintaining the trust of his consumers (who might be a big more skeptical right now). If he goes full Suckling, this business dies overnight. At this point his incentives are completely aligned with the consumer - give consumers reviews and scores that the trust and rely on, he continues to move markets, and he makes more money from the trade. Inflate scores until they are meaningless and he is back to where he was previously but with fewer subscribers. I wouldn't be surprised to see that this business line leads him to be even more conservative in scoring so that a high score carries even more weight.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#54 Post by Mattstolz »

Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am
Mattstolz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:30 am 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.


when I worked at a big, multi-store chain, the shelf talkers alone moved enough wine to justify the 2k per month rate (and I'd imagine this chain was paying more given the amount of stores they have). When I have worked at independent stores, not once have they subscribed to a publication like that. Different customers go to different stores.

When I have worked in distribution, sometimes I'd mention scores but often I wouldn't. But, I was also only using my consumer subscription to Vinous as there's zero way any of the distributors I worked for could remotely justifying paying 24k per year.

People here are focusing on the gems and what their price increase may be, but that's such a small fraction of where the value is in a publication like Vinous. We constantly have to remember that by merely posting on this forum, that all of us are a complete drop in the bucket of the wider wine world and this really won't register as much as I think those on here and the Vinous boards realize.
but you can still use Galloni's scores now on a shelf talker for the normal publication subscription fee. for the added $1900 to be justified, you would have to make that money up with the price difference you can charge by having that information three days earlier than you would have for the normal fee. sure, in a month putting a high galloni score on the talker will help sell a ton of wine. but will the three days advanced warning allow you to bump the price on a bottle so significantly that you can sell 2k worth of inventory before everyone else finds out the score?

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#55 Post by Andrew Demaree »

Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:40 am I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.
If it didn’t, what would be the incentive for retailers to pay $2000 per month to access the reviews earlier? Apparently, Vinous believes retailers will be able to make more than that amount by having access 48 hours earlier than regular subscribers (i.e., consumers) and increasing prices accordingly. If they didn’t, there’d be no reason they would pay.

And if retailers make the extra money by increasing prices, that means customers are paying more for the wines. Seems pretty simple. And not very consumer friendly…which is how Galloni has marketed himself to current subscribers.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#56 Post by Andrew K. »

Arv R wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am Why don't all let Galloni be Galloni, and everyone can be themselves?
Humans' favorite pastime is commenting on and judging others' choices. Maybe even more prevalent than usual in today's society.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#57 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Andrew K. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 11:19 am
Arv R wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am Why don't all let Galloni be Galloni, and everyone can be themselves?
Humans' favorite pastime is commenting on and judging others' choices. Maybe even more prevalent than usual in today's society.
Public figures place themselves in that position. They cannot have it both ways.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#58 Post by YLee »

I think it's interesting some people say let Antonio do what ever he wants as long as it is legal but complain when wine shops wont show them favoritism because they are big spenders. When it affects someone they complain, if it doesnt it's freedom to do.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#59 Post by Craig G »

Paul Miller wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am Is the concern that people paying $2,000 to be in the know going to buy up a highly rated wine before everyone else?
I’d expect it will be mostly ITB people who will take advantage of this service. Then more of that wine is in fewer hands and there’s less competition. Pretty difficult to argue you’re a consumer advocate in that case.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#60 Post by CraigT »

Paul Miller wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am Is the concern that people paying $2,000 to be in the know going to buy up a highly rated wine before everyone else?
The concern is the retailer/wholesalers will bump up the prices before everyone else see’s the review. This usually takes 1 to 2 days to happen right now. So every consumer will loose out on getting a great wine at a reasonable price. The only people that will know of the price increase, in the future, will be people who follow that wine in the market. [winner.gif]
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#61 Post by CraigT »

So, my question is which critics jump ship from Vinous?
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#62 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

CraigT wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:25 pm
Paul Miller wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am Is the concern that people paying $2,000 to be in the know going to buy up a highly rated wine before everyone else?
The concern is the retailer/wholesalers will bump up the prices before everyone else see’s the review. This usually takes 1 to 2 days to happen right now. So every consumer will loose out on getting a great wine at a reasonable price. The only people that will know of the price increase, in the future, will be people who follow that wine in the market. [winner.gif]
Isn’t the other concern one of favoritism and “up-scoring” for those that play ball, and in particular, those that chose the “custom bespoke options”?

No matter you slice it - or as Galloni and his acolytes try to justify it - it looks feels and is “dirty”.

As I have said, an inherent conflict of interest to what was once his core mission and his core base of customers.

To steal a phrase from a friend who just emailed me this quip, as I know he won’t post it, “the customers have become the product”.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#63 Post by HenryB »

YLee wrote: May 1st, 2021, 11:35 am I think it's interesting some people say let Antonio do what ever he wants as long as it is legal but complain when wine shops wont show them favoritism because they are big spenders. When it affects someone they complain, if it doesnt it's freedom to do.
Akin to "shops dont have to make cakes if its against their moral principles, but you cant demand that I wear a mask" ? :)
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#64 Post by HenryB »

Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:37 pm
Isn’t the other concern one of favoritism and “up-scoring” for those that play ball, and in particular, those that chose the “custom bespoke options”?

No matter you slice it - or as Galloni and his acolytes try to justify it - it looks feels and is “dirty”.

As I have said, an inherent conflict of interest to what was once his core mission and his core base of customers.

To steal a phrase from a friend who just emailed me this quip, as I know he won’t post it, “the customers have become the product”.
honestly, people always say 'If it's free, you are the product'. AG has gone even further, and done something in business no one else has ever. The product now pays to be the product. Incredible.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#65 Post by Tom Taylor »

CraigT wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:25 pm
Paul Miller wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:37 am Is the concern that people paying $2,000 to be in the know going to buy up a highly rated wine before everyone else?
The concern is the retailer/wholesalers will bump up the prices before everyone else see’s the review. This usually takes 1 to 2 days to happen right now. So every consumer will loose out on getting a great wine at a reasonable price. The only people that will know of the price increase, in the future, will be people who follow that wine in the market. [winner.gif]


In many states price posting is required by Wholesalers. We cannot just change prices on any given day. If a wine we carried was reviewed highly I suppose we could “lock it up” and change the price for the following month. That would be a really bad look and potentially impact the image of the company enough to offset any possible gains we realize by doing so.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#66 Post by Keith A k e r s »

Andrew Demaree wrote: May 1st, 2021, 11:15 am
Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:40 am I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.
If it didn’t, what would be the incentive for retailers to pay $2000 per month to access the reviews earlier? Apparently, Vinous believes retailers will be able to make more than that amount by having access 48 hours earlier than regular subscribers (i.e., consumers) and increasing prices accordingly. If they didn’t, there’d be no reason they would pay.

And if retailers make the extra money by increasing prices, that means customers are paying more for the wines. Seems pretty simple. And not very consumer friendly…which is how Galloni has marketed himself to current subscribers.

The retailer price was already up around that. They are just now getting access to these two days earlier (or at least this is now an explicit thing).

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#67 Post by Kevin Patrick »

The only wrong opinion is that of the person who can't fathom an opinion other than their own.

Bully for Antonio if he turns his efforts to a deeply profitable endeavor.

Cheers!

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#68 Post by John Glas »

There's a wine dealer that says he treats everyone "fairly" so he doesn't give his better customers a sneak peak on his good deals. I find that frustrating and unacceptable as a consumer. Better customers should be treated special. Always.
Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#69 Post by John Glas »

I don’t subscribe to Vinous; I don’t find it worth it even at $20/m. I don’t know who would find this worth it.
I agree. $20 a month is not worth it for me when I can see their scores on wines I am interested in for free. All of the emails I get post all of their scores. Again I have said this a ton of times it is in the best interest for a wine critic to give out big scores as it keeps the free samples coming and consumers just seem to want to buy up all those 96 plus point wines.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#70 Post by M.Kaplan »

HenryB wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:58 pm
Robert.A.Jr. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:37 pm
Isn’t the other concern one of favoritism and “up-scoring” for those that play ball, and in particular, those that chose the “custom bespoke options”?

No matter you slice it - or as Galloni and his acolytes try to justify it - it looks feels and is “dirty”.

As I have said, an inherent conflict of interest to what was once his core mission and his core base of customers.

To steal a phrase from a friend who just emailed me this quip, as I know he won’t post it, “the customers have become the product”.
honestly, people always say 'If it's free, you are the product'. AG has gone even further, and done something in business no one else has ever. The product now pays to be the product. Incredible.
I think RA’s friend got it half right; the consumer together with a random number between 90-100 are the product. The word salad accompanying the random number is gratis.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#71 Post by Michael S. Monie »

Kevin Patrick wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:05 pm The only wrong opinion is that of the person who can't fathom an opinion other than their own.

Bully for Antonio if he turns his efforts to a deeply profitable endeavor.

Cheers!
That indicts a whole bunch of people here!
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#72 Post by R M Kriete »

Meh. Love the content on Vinous. Could not care less that a 100 point wine I couldn’t afford may now cost a little more.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#73 Post by Paul Miller »

John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm
There's a wine dealer that says he treats everyone "fairly" so he doesn't give his better customers a sneak peak on his good deals. I find that frustrating and unacceptable as a consumer. Better customers should be treated special. Always.
Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
Ballers

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#74 Post by John Glas »

Isn’t the other concern one of favoritism and “up-scoring” for those that play ball, and in particular, those that chose the “custom bespoke options”?

No matter you slice it - or as Galloni and his acolytes try to justify it - it looks feels and is “dirty”.

As I have said, an inherent conflict of interest to what was once his core mission and his core base of customers.

To steal a phrase from a friend who just emailed me this quip, as I know he won’t post it, “the customers have become the product”.
Correct on all accounts! [cheers.gif]

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#75 Post by CF Binnig »

It’s his choice and his business model, but in my book, he just went from independent critic for consumers to PR/marketing consultant for producers.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#76 Post by John Glas »

Can you imagine golf digest or golf magazine offering their ratings early to stores so they can stock up on the best reviewed clubs of the year or consumer reports telling Honda you have the best rated car of the year so pay up so you can charge more.

Where is the outrage here?

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#77 Post by John Glas »

It’s his choice and his business model, but in my book, he just went from independent critic for consumers to PR/marketing consultant for producers
I agree!

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#78 Post by Marc Hauser »

John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm
There's a wine dealer that says he treats everyone "fairly" so he doesn't give his better customers a sneak peak on his good deals. I find that frustrating and unacceptable as a consumer. Better customers should be treated special. Always.
Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
So airline status is bad?
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#79 Post by Dan Kravitz »

I don't question his right to run his business as he sees fit.

I do question his judgment. I can't imagine he'll have many takers at that price and he may offend a significant part of his subscriber base. I think the jump in price is so breathtaking that some people may just think it's nuts, and then treat his publication and reviews accordingly.

IIRC, back in the early 1800s, there were people who took out Post Office boxes in Monkton, MD and had somebody there when the Post Office opened to get first glance at the Wine Advocate. Even counting the cost of paying a trusted, reasonably knowledgeable employee drive up and back, it could make somebody a lot of money, especially for the Bordeaux issue. In those days, Parker had a level of influence over the market that no wine writer before or since can even dream of.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#80 Post by YLee »

Marc Hauser wrote: May 1st, 2021, 4:55 pm
John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm
There's a wine dealer that says he treats everyone "fairly" so he doesn't give his better customers a sneak peak on his good deals. I find that frustrating and unacceptable as a consumer. Better customers should be treated special. Always.
Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
So airline status is bad?
I have never seen wine shops with printed literature outlining how to obtain different level of status and what their benefits are at the same level airlines do when i buy a bottle of wine.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#81 Post by Dan Kravitz »

Paul Miller wrote: May 1st, 2021, 3:09 pm
John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm
There's a wine dealer that says he treats everyone "fairly" so he doesn't give his better customers a sneak peak on his good deals. I find that frustrating and unacceptable as a consumer. Better customers should be treated special. Always.
Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
Ballers
So maybe the young college student who can only afford $5 a bottle (a lot of them can't afford $15) may long for the day when she can afford to pay Galloni $2K a month.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#82 Post by Jim Brennan »

Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:40 am
Paul Flynn wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:24 am I think this just makes the point that Galloni isn't a consumer advocate. He's a Galloni advocate.
why can't he be both? There is a wide breadth of coverage with some excellent reviewers. I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.
After you start selling special early access to the retailer/distributor ecosystem (so that they can proactively optimize their pricing ahead of new 99 & 100.point scores, or perhaps new Vinous product or marketing offerings targeting producers, distributors, and retailers), it's kind of hard to claim you're an independent critic helping consumers find new or existing wines of value, quality, distinctiveness, etc. And it's not a long wander to tilting reviews in the favor of companies investing in "custom" engagement with Vinous.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#83 Post by Al Osterheld »

I wonder how the poll would look if it were limited to people who actually subscribe to Vinous? Some of the people most outspoken about how he is treating his subscribers, don't appear to be subscribers.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#84 Post by Andrew K. »

John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
What does a starving college student need with preaccess to $100-500+ deals? Both individuals we are talking about are in the market for the same wines. But if one customer buys very frequently with you and the other spends most of his money down the street, why would you not give some preference to the frequent buyer rather than let the cherry picker snipe your best deals from your good customers?
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#85 Post by Craig G »

Andrew K. wrote: May 1st, 2021, 6:30 pm
John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
What does a starving college student need with preaccess to $100-500+ deals? Both individuals we are talking about are in the market for the same wines. But if one customer buys very frequently with you and the other spends most of his money down the street, why would you not give some preference to the frequent buyer rather than let the cherry picker snipe your best deals from your good customers?
I’m not a wine merchant but if I were I would distinguish people who are loyal (and good) customers from people who just have a lot of money to throw around. If someone has been a consistent customer and spent a lot over a long period of time, then yes, when I had to allocate wines I would give them priority. But if someone just comes in waving money, I wouldn’t expect that they would become a loyal customer. Galloni’s offer is purely transactional, $$$ for access. I would not do that.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#86 Post by Marc Hauser »

YLee wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:24 pm
Marc Hauser wrote: May 1st, 2021, 4:55 pm
John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
So airline status is bad?
I have never seen wine shops with printed literature outlining how to obtain different level of status and what their benefits are at the same level airlines do when i buy a bottle of wine.
Sure, but the point is that many businesses treat their best customers to benefits that aren’t available to others.

So, if a high-end clothing store lets its best customers know about a pre-sale, is that okay? If a comic book store sets aside a book they know will sell out for a good customer who loves that title, is that okay? Is it wrong for an online store to send coupons with unique codes only to their customers with accounts?

I fail to see how it’s wrong to treat good customers to benefits that aren’t available to one-time customers.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#87 Post by Justin W ells »

I don't care if he charges 2k for early access and find no moral issue in doing so. What I'm wondering is why anyone would care. Do his scores actually move the market in any real quantifiable way?

Now RP in the 90's I think you'd have a line around the block....

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#88 Post by GregT »

Of course it's right. I voted "yes".

And it would be "right" to give even earlier access to people who pay $10,000 a month. And even earlier access to those who pay $100,000 a month.

Think about it. Some guy says he's going to offer his opinions on something. In this case it's wine.

And then some people say they'll pay for those opinions.

Remember - no license, no training, no qualifications, no apprenticeship, no barriers to entry - anyone can just jump in and start offering opinions.

OK. Why would he NOT charge as much as possible? If people are willing to pay, you take the money.

Matter of fact, I'm doing the same thing, but I'm offering a discount.

For the first 100 buyers of my $100,000 early access reports, I'll knock off $10,000 a month!

Sign up before it's too late!!
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#89 Post by PeterH »

Profitable, maybe.
Legal, without doubt.
Right? Only if it is right for the wealthy to corner the best of everything.

Then again, Galloni could be 100% wrong, which would serve his clientele 100% right.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#90 Post by HenryB »

Dan Kravitz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:05 pm I don't question his right to run his business as he sees fit.

I do question his judgment. I can't imagine he'll have many takers at that price and he may offend a significant part of his subscriber base. I think the jump in price is so breathtaking that some people may just think it's nuts, and then treat his publication and reviews accordingly.

IIRC, back in the early 1800s, there were people who took out Post Office boxes in Monkton, MD and had somebody there when the Post Office opened to get first glance at the Wine Advocate. Even counting the cost of paying a trusted, reasonably knowledgeable employee drive up and back, it could make somebody a lot of money, especially for the Bordeaux issue. In those days, Parker had a level of influence over the market that no wine writer before or since can even dream of.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#91 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Marc Hauser wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:33 pm
YLee wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:24 pm
Marc Hauser wrote: May 1st, 2021, 4:55 pm

So airline status is bad?
I have never seen wine shops with printed literature outlining how to obtain different level of status and what their benefits are at the same level airlines do when i buy a bottle of wine.
Sure, but the point is that many businesses treat their best customers to benefits that aren’t available to others.

So, if a high-end clothing store lets its best customers know about a pre-sale, is that okay? If a comic book store sets aside a book they know will sell out for a good customer who loves that title, is that okay? Is it wrong for an online store to send coupons with unique codes only to their customers with accounts?

I fail to see how it’s wrong to treat good customers to benefits that aren’t available to one-time customers.
By one time customers you mean the subscribers?

And by good customers you mean the merchant class that prices and sells the items to the one time customers?

Why should the one time customers be upset with that?

I get the “I don’t care about scores but I like the content” posts supporting this. But presenting this as “good customers” instead of trade is misleading.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#92 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Dan Kravitz wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:37 pm
Paul Miller wrote: May 1st, 2021, 3:09 pm
John Glas wrote: May 1st, 2021, 2:15 pm Crazy idea you have. So the young college student who can only afford $15.00 a bottle should not be treated the same as the trophy seeker. How do you know that student won't be a roller down the road.
Ballers
So maybe the young college student who can only afford $5 a bottle (a lot of them can't afford $15) may long for the day when she can afford to pay Galloni $2K a month.

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That way they could be a roller/baller...
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#93 Post by Keith A k e r s »

Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:38 pm
Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:40 am
Paul Flynn wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:24 am I think this just makes the point that Galloni isn't a consumer advocate. He's a Galloni advocate.
why can't he be both? There is a wide breadth of coverage with some excellent reviewers. I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.
After you start selling special early access to the retailer/distributor ecosystem (so that they can proactively optimize their pricing ahead of new 99 & 100.point scores, or perhaps new Vinous product or marketing offerings targeting producers, distributors, and retailers), it's kind of hard to claim you're an independent critic helping consumers find new or existing wines of value, quality, distinctiveness, etc. And it's not a long wander to tilting reviews in the favor of companies investing in "custom" engagement with Vinous.

yea, this is a stretch. This is a "preview" of wines that really don't do the real numbers on sales that I've seen people speculate at. This whole thing is handbags.

Jim, it's not like the wines you buy and drink are really going to be effected here. In fact, the wines you are more likely to buy will get effected by IG in their price and be completely fetishized. Until we see this model actually showing up in different scores, this is grandpa simpson yelling at cloud

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#94 Post by Peter Chiu »

Victor Hong wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:07 am Yes.
He has the freedom to offer. Readers have the freedom to decline.
Most sensible answer. Both sides are right....... [cheers.gif]
Last edited by Peter Chiu on May 2nd, 2021, 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#95 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

Keith A k e r s wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 12:19 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:38 pm
Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:40 am

why can't he be both? There is a wide breadth of coverage with some excellent reviewers. I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.
After you start selling special early access to the retailer/distributor ecosystem (so that they can proactively optimize their pricing ahead of new 99 & 100.point scores, or perhaps new Vinous product or marketing offerings targeting producers, distributors, and retailers), it's kind of hard to claim you're an independent critic helping consumers find new or existing wines of value, quality, distinctiveness, etc. And it's not a long wander to tilting reviews in the favor of companies investing in "custom" engagement with Vinous.

yea, this is a stretch. This is a "preview" of wines that really don't do the real numbers on sales that I've seen people speculate at. This whole thing is handbags.

Jim, it's not like the wines you buy and drink are really going to be effected here. In fact, the wines you are more likely to buy will get effected by IG in their price and be completely fetishized. Until we see this model actually showing up in different scores, this is grandpa simpson yelling at cloud
I’f it’s no big deal, what is it “worth” 2k or more per month to retailers? That ain’t cheap.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#96 Post by Peter Chiu »

After many thoughts, I finally decided to vote yes. I am not a subscriber but if I could read it free, just for fun so why not !

I voted yes for the following : (1) most on this board will agree with me that Antonio is within his right to do it legally.. This is undeniable fact. (2) For the people who voted no. I do not know why. Is is possible ....they are point-chasers ? or perhaps....they fell good ( or have better feeling for themselves ) if they were drinking 98-99 points wines at a lower prince then the other fellows who were not ? In a way, perhaps they are the persons, more or less, causing Antonio to change his business practice ?

Here is what Taoism said at the beginning of Charter Two : Under Heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only there is evil . Therefore having and not having arise together, etc, etc. Therefore the sage goes about doing nothing... !

Then the Tao ...continues ...in Charter Three : Not exalting the gifted prevents quarreling. Not collecting treasures prevents stealing. Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart.....

That being posted here, it does not mean that as a wine lovers ( like me Peter the Chiu )...should always try to be a Sage. But reading it, and re-reading it ...prevents me getting confusion and also preventing me for thinking and chasing DRC and Rousseau.
Last edited by Peter Chiu on May 3rd, 2021, 5:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#97 Post by Jim Brennan »

Keith A k e r s wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 12:19 am
Jim Brennan wrote: May 1st, 2021, 5:38 pm
Keith A k e r s wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:40 am

why can't he be both? There is a wide breadth of coverage with some excellent reviewers. I really do have a hard time seeing how this decision really changes the market or what many of us pay for wines.
After you start selling special early access to the retailer/distributor ecosystem (so that they can proactively optimize their pricing ahead of new 99 & 100.point scores, or perhaps new Vinous product or marketing offerings targeting producers, distributors, and retailers), it's kind of hard to claim you're an independent critic helping consumers find new or existing wines of value, quality, distinctiveness, etc. And it's not a long wander to tilting reviews in the favor of companies investing in "custom" engagement with Vinous.

yea, this is a stretch. This is a "preview" of wines that really don't do the real numbers on sales that I've seen people speculate at. This whole thing is handbags.

Jim, it's not like the wines you buy and drink are really going to be effected here. In fact, the wines you are more likely to buy will get effected by IG in their price and be completely fetishized. Until we see this model actually showing up in different scores, this is grandpa simpson yelling at cloud
I don't think it's that far of a stretch. Once you offer the trade advance info for money, you've effectively crossed the Rubicon, so it's not at all difficult for me to envision other ethical standards evaporating over time.

I simply can't support critics who establish their presence by focusing on consumers and playing the advocate schtick to create a base of subscribers, but then migrate towards serving the trade since that's where the money and influence is. And that's true regardless of whether they are likely to have an impact on the wines I like.

As for the original question, it's a bad question, poorly worded, and misses the issue entirely due to that wording. Better questions are whether it is ethical for a consumer wine critic to do this or whether as a consumer/ subscriber you feel that he has created a conflict of interest.

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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#98 Post by Greg K »

I'm surprised at the responses who have focused on "so long as it's legal, it's OK". Clearly that's not the question - no one is suggesting what Antonio is doing is illegal. However, if he started taking a large sum of advertising money from the American Nazi Party* (which would be entirely legal!), I doubt anyone would argue he's right to do so just because it's legal*.

To me, the question really turns on what the effect of this is, and I just don't know. Clearly, if Galloni is offering this, he thinks it's valuable to someone. But, I don't know to whom it is valuable and I don't know to what extent. Without knowing that information, it's hard for me to really say whether there's something wrong with it. It certainly suggests there is some impropriety, because it feels unfair - someone is effectively getting potentially material information early. And I can theoretically see how it might matter (his scores on the 16 Burlottos did not positively affect my ability to source those wines). But I don't have enough information, so can't really say one way or the other. But it sure does feel a bit icky.


*Just to be clear, that's a silly example - I am obviously not implying Galloni has any kind of affiliation with them once so ever.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#99 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

I don’t know the timeline here, so someone please correct me, but it does appear that AG impacted the pricing and availability of the 2016 Produttori cuvees. I recall seeing Rabaja on pre-order at around $80 and now, if you can find it, it’s around $120. I’ve never seen these cuvees sell through like this, and the price jump is significant. It could be that they were under priced to begin with.
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Re: Is it right for Antonio Galloni to give early access to scores to those who pay $2000/month?

#100 Post by Mark Golodetz »

I am a subscriber. I read the Bordeaux content, but little else.
-Antonio can do whatever he wants, I will not renew.
-It is not so much that I value the content any less. I actually like Neal Martin’s articles, apart from his musical digressions.
-Halfway through my subscription, I suddenly find I have been relegated to the second class , without apology or compensation.
-Add the arrogance of the justification, it is pretty obvious where we, the subscribers, stand. I am not sure why he thinks I should pay to be cheated and disrespected.
-I wish Antonio et al luck.
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