Totally Fake Restaurant Wins Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

Hey, did you know that with Microsoft Word, $250 and maybe a foreign language dictionary -- your lemonade stand can get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence? That's what one enterprising fellow set out to prove.

Dr. Vino says:

[Robin] Goldstein, the author of The Wine Trials has a posting up on his new website describing how he invented a restaurant name, Osteria l’Intrepido, a riff on “fearless.” Then he typed up a menu (”a fun amalgamation of somewhat bumbling nouvelle-Italian recipes”) and then put together a wine list, and submitted both to Wine Spectator–along with the $250 fee. The list was approved and given an Award of Excellence.

The best part is that Mr. Goldstein included "the lowest-scoring Italian wines in Wine Spectator over the past 20 years."

"I didn’t have any empirical evidence of the quality of the restaurants other than my own impressions,” he said. “I wanted to see what the standards of the Awards of Excellence were. The results speak for themselves."

Dr. Vino also notes that in a Times article from 2003, a reporter estimated that Wine Spectator was bringing in $625,275 from the award each year-- and that was when the application fee was only $175.

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