Bias from Wine Critics?

of course you’re right but i don’t have to read the review to find out i am taking it in the shorts. all i have to do is note the escalating price and then make a decision as to worth. the etiology of the rising price is of little interest to me really.

The nice thing about being on the Squres board is that you learn about the reviewers through their postings. And because of that I know that both Squires and Jay Miller are reviewers that I no confidence in and I believe both are bias.

reps remain the fairway of my sex life.

What happens between you and Tex is none of my business… [berserker.gif]

Okay…for the record:

I am a consultant, not a pharmacy rep, that focuses on pharmacy automation and more specifically, point of care medication delivery and patient verification.

Bah you dont count then :wink:
Youll have a job long after mine is gone…youre one of the guys responsible for making my nurses have to scan everyone in the unit before they get their meds [emot-pwn.gif] at least you have good taste in wine and steak [highfive.gif]

and for the record i have been a devout heterosexual for the whole of my elongated dating career.

though i am sure Tex is really nice!

and i am telling you guys y’all should have seen the Davol rep in here Tuesday. man she had that tall, willowy, Cali-athletic thing going on! i would have gone Ronnie Lott and cut off my pinkie to have her.

Except for that one time in college, but that doesn’t really count. You had too much tequila… [gheyfight.gif]

How do you review Bdx futures?

Anyway the point isn’t the existence, supposed or not, of a bias. It is obliterating the mere chance of a bias at the source. This is something the WA prides itself on, but they obviously talk the talk more than they walk the walk, as countless discussions about the transparency of how wines are selected for reviews, or whether they are really tasted blind, have shown in the past. So it’s not really “news”, but it’s the first time it goes out in the open quite so much (mostly because there are many more vectors of information in the wine world rightnow than used to be).

…and they weren’t technically ‘dating’…

Of course, there is the video of that on Youporn… [diablo.gif]

I think the point here is that Robert Parker has long said that he does not accept these “gifts” from importers, wineries, etc. He also says that he tasted blind whenever possible.

In these instances, Squires and Miller have clearly “violated” the “code of conduct” that Parker has worked for 25 years to create. he has remained independent. His “contract” employees, apparently, have not. By accepting airline tickets, dinners, hotel stays, etc from certain people, they have, presumably, left out other wineries, importers, etc, who are not able to afford such luxuries. That, above all, creates an automatic bias.


To my knowledge, WS editors do not pay their own way on trips.

If you hold yourself to such high regard, you ought to hold your posse to the same.

Dan, not so fast there on RMP. Maybe not a violation of being unbiased…but he is often privy to getting wines very early on in their release. He has stated time and time again that he gets his Rhones, that score very highly, at “release” cost and yet nobody else in the country sees these prices. Wholesalers and/or retailers are giving him preferential treatment, IMHO, in this regard. That has to have some influence, no?

I have no dog in this fight but this is from Parker’s site regarding his tasting conditions:

When possible all of my tastings are done in peer-group, single-blind conditions, (meaning that the same types of wines are tasted against each other and the producers’ names are not known). The ratings reflect an independent, critical look at the wines. Neither price nor the reputation of the producer/grower affect the rating in any manner.

I post this because I know he personally tastes with Manfred at SQN, John Alban for Alban, Wells at Copain, Pax when he was at Pax, he was scheduled to taste with Michael and Dan at KB at restaurant John Ash, Fred Schraders house in Calistoga with TRB, etc. These tastings are certainly not done single blind and the only “peers” are other wines from the same producer whose wine he is tasting at that meeting. The producers get to open sample bottles prior to his arrival to ensure they have a “good” bottle and that is served at proper temp, proper decant time, etc.

The producers that are lumped into the big single blind regional tastings are done single blind with the wines opened by soms or others in the biz so those wines don’t benefit from the preselection that wines get when you get to personally taste with Parker.

BTW - in case you think I am singling out RP, I am not. Tanzer does it the same way.

I believe WS really does the single blind tasting in their offices for all reviewed wines, at least for CA.

I’m assuming you’re being “technical” [friends.gif] with me here… since you’re right, WS is really paying the freight. Or did you mean to say that industry people (wineries, associations, etc) are paying their way? Jim Laube has been through Santa Rita Hills a few times and he stays at a hotel that he or WS pays for and he picks up his own tab at dinner.

I don’t understand many of the beefs. Some claim they get he wine cheap. The producers usually send them in 2-3 bottles of each wine to taste and rate for free! That’s pretty standard. They only pay for those wines that they specifically want to rate but the winery doesn’t supply. A minority of wines. The extra bottles are for a second taste if one is corked or thought off by the taster.

I’m not a Parker fan, but if you think he can be bought off with a measely steak dinner, you shouldn’t be reading his notes. You could pobably try slipping him a couple thousand and it wouldn’t change a rating. I’d say the same for Miller, If a steak will buy you off, I would take it as a reflection of your social economic needs at the time. But don’t call someone biased just because another party picked up the tab at a particular event. Take a guess on the number of free tickets WS people hand out to ITBer’s for Grand Tastings and other events returning favors. Favors such as shagging a hard to find bottle of wine for a blind tasting.

I do like WS’s method of blind tasting. They are not necessarily single blind, as I pointed out above. But even the retastes are done blind.

Even WS people give you non-blind scores of wine, that they have had with the vintner. They are unofficial and reported as non-blind. Some of these non blind scores are all you will ever see, so you can take them or leave them. I have often found their non-blind scores to be comparative to their blind scores when both have been presented.

As an add-on, the kind of bias from Wine Critics I hate most is when they crucify a wine for the style that’s it’s made in.

Such as old style vs. new style; or fruit bomb vs. lythe and elegant, drink now vs. new bottle time.

I love Brunellos. The wines made in the more traditional style are, however, difficult to drink when first released. I rarely touch a BdM younger than 10 years old, unless at a winery tour, and many are twice that. After that period they often develop into true gifts of God. I respect JS’s talents at WS. He has, however, developed a bias for the drink now BdM’s and often rapes,imo, the traditional style ones rating-wise. Biondi-Santi is typically easy to identify because of its flavor profile. JS crucifies BS. He initally gave their 97 a 84 rating. In a blind taste last month, a group gave it the WON honors with 7 1st place votes and 2 second place. Overall, a 94. It blew away other 97’s JS had rated well into the nineties. That to me is bias.


The quote you use no longer applies to TWA. I am amazed it is still up on his site, although, it starts, “when possible”



Frankly, Scarlett… Sure, they ought to be forthcoming about how they’re reviewing the wines. It’s the honest thing to do. And yeah, I sympathize with the bottle price going up on sombody’s favorite juice. But really, don’t you think if you’re that wedded to the score, you’re basically practicing ‘He who lives by the score dies by the score?’