When food magazine’s give awards…

What does it take to win the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?  Apparently $250 according to this post by author Robin Goldstein.  The Award of Excellence is given to the world’s best wine restaurants, at least that is the idea.

While working on a paper about standards for wine awards, Mr. Goldstein submitted an application for Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.  His application was for a restaurant called “Osteria L’Intrepido.”  Along with the $250 fee, he submitted a menu of pedestrian nouvelle-italian cuisine, and a wine list.

While it is bad enough that a restuarant that doesn’t exist could win the award, it is even more telling when you actually look at the wine list, particularly the reserve selections.  The reserve selections were intentially chosen from some of the lowest scoring wines in Wine Spectator over the last few decades.  Below the cut, check out the reserve selections along with the scores and some excerpts from the Wine Spectator reviews.

I rossi italiani “riserva” della nostra cantina

AMARONE CLASSICO 1998 (Veneto) Tedeschi 80,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 65 points. “…Not clean. Stale black licorice…”

AMARONE CLASSICO “LA FABRISERIA” 1998 (Veneto) Tedeschi 185,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 60 points. “…Unacceptable. Sweet and cloying. Smells like bug spray…”

AMARONE CLASSICO “GIOÉ” 1993 S. Sofia 110,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 69 points. “…Just too much paint thinner and nail varnish character…”

BARBARESCO ASIJ 1985 (Piemonte) Ceretto 135,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 64 points. “…Earthy, swampy, gamy, harsh and tannic…”

BAROLO 1990 (Piemonte) Az. Agr. GD Vajra 140,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 64 points. “…Earthy, musty, lacking in charm…”

BAROLO RISERVA 1982 (Piemonte) Bruno Giacosa 250,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 72 points. “…Agressive [sic] tannins that are sharp and harsh…”

BAROLO “ZONCHERA” 1994 (Piemonte) Ceretto 120,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 74 points. “Quite disjointed…a coarse, chewy texture and an astringent finish. Hard to tell if it will ever come around…”

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RISERVA 1996 (Toscana) Gianfranco Soldera 235,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 74 points. “…Turpentine. Medium-bodied, with hard, acidic character. Disappointing…”

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO “LA CASA” 1982 (Toscana) Tenuta Caparzo 200,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 67 points. “…Smells barnyardy and tastes decayed. Not what you’d hope for…”

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO 1993 (Toscana) Tenuta Caparzo 180,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 80 points. “…A bit lacking in concentration, but with pretty, round tannins and a soft finish…”

BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RISERVA 1995 (Toscana) Tenuta Caparzo 135,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 81
points. “…The palate is light-bodied with a slightly diluted finish.
Light for the vintage. Rather disappointing for this producer…”

CABERNET SAUVIGNON “I FOSSARETTI” 1995 (Piemonte) Poderi Bertelli 120,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 58 points. “Something wrong here. Of four samples provided, two were dark in color, but tasted metallic and odd…”

SASSICAIA 1976 (Toscana) Tenuta San Guido 250,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 65
points. “…Even Sassicaia could not apparently escape the wet weather of
this memorably bad vintage in Tuscany. It lacks harmony, having

SASSICAIA 1980 (Toscana) Tenuta San Guido 280,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 77 points. “…Light, watery and diluted vanilla and milk chocolate character…”

SASSICAIA 1995 (Toscana) Tenuta San Guido 300,00 €

Wine Spectator rating: 90 points. “…Rich in currant, blackberry, dried herbs and tanned leather…”

* This post is primarily a retelling of the original post here: http://osterialintrepido.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/what-does-it-take-to-get-a-wine-spectator-award-of-excellence/

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