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Old 26-05-2009, 07:58 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124330183074253149.html

Actually, I'm trying to wrap my head around that $25,000 figure. Jay
Miller was in Australia for 11 days. Let's see:
$5K for business class tickets (can often get for much less, but let's
assume Wines of Australia didn't bargain hunt)
Another $5K for hotels - that's over $400/night for 12 nights. Nice
hotels!
Maybe an internal flight or two, probably a hired driver. $3K tops?
That's a thousand a day for food. Holy Smokes!
But it's even more extreme, as I think he was on the houseboat with
his bud for a couple of days. More like $1300-1400 a day for food.
Belly up to the table!

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Old 26-05-2009, 09:26 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

DaleW wrote in news:7e32e5c5-0d10-4fbd-9bed-2594f46311d9
@h23g2000vbc.googlegroups.com:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12433018307425



What a tough subject. To be frank, I dislike the behavior of Miller and
Squires. I have always had a good perception of Robert Parker, even if I
did not agree with all his tasting notes or his ratings. I thought he
actually was a consumer's advocate.

But then I think he made a mistake in his expansion plans. If he was the
leading critic for Bordeaux, the Rhone and California, so be it. But I do
not see the need to relax the reputation of the publication trying to cover
new wine areas. Reputation, and not a palate, is the main asset of a wine
critic.

World is very interesting reading Parker for Bordeaux (I do not really care
for California for lack of availability, nor the Rhone for the style),
Allen Meadows for Burgundy (though he is quite predictable) and I would pay
for a publication by David Schildknecht about Germany, Champagne and Loire.
In fact, my bet is that David will leave TWA to start his own bulletin some
day.

The critics of Spanish wines are so American that they do not make much
sense. Guess the value that would have for the American market, a Spanish
critic judging California wines by the stilistic standard of Australian
Spoofulated Fruit Bombs.

best,

s.

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Old 26-05-2009, 09:29 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

In article
,
DaleW wrote:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124330183074253149.html

Actually, I'm trying to wrap my head around that $25,000 figure. Jay
Miller was in Australia for 11 days. Let's see:
$5K for business class tickets (can often get for much less, but let's
assume Wines of Australia didn't bargain hunt)
Another $5K for hotels - that's over $400/night for 12 nights. Nice
hotels!
Maybe an internal flight or two, probably a hired driver. $3K tops?
That's a thousand a day for food. Holy Smokes!
But it's even more extreme, as I think he was on the houseboat with
his bud for a couple of days. More like $1300-1400 a day for food.
Belly up to the table!


Nice gig if you can get it. And Jay Miller is a consultant to Parker
isn't he? What does Parker get to travel?
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Old 27-05-2009, 03:00 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

santiago wrote:

What a tough subject. To be frank, I dislike the behavior of Miller and
Squires. I have always had a good perception of Robert Parker, even if I
did not agree with all his tasting notes or his ratings. I thought he
actually was a consumer's advocate.


That has always been the take on Arpee: you may or may not agree with
his judgments, you may or may not like his personal character (those who
know anything of it) but all basically agree that he is (was?)
scrupulously careful about avoiding conflicts of interest in his
reviewing. It has also been pointed out, though, that in recent years
he's showered lavish praise on certain personalities who also routinely
garner high points in TWA, casting into question perhaps his untainted
character.


But then I think he made a mistake in his expansion plans. If he was the
leading critic for Bordeaux, the Rhone and California, so be it. But I do
not see the need to relax the reputation of the publication trying to cover
new wine areas. Reputation, and not a palate, is the main asset of a wine
critic.


I agree completely.


World is very interesting reading Parker for Bordeaux (I do not really care
for California for lack of availability, nor the Rhone for the style),
Allen Meadows for Burgundy (though he is quite predictable) and I would pay
for a publication by David Schildknecht about Germany, Champagne and Loire.
In fact, my bet is that David will leave TWA to start his own bulletin some
day.


You may well be right: David's coverage in TWA has apparently descreased
since his early days, leading one to question how much he wishes to
remain there.


The critics of Spanish wines are so American that they do not make much
sense. Guess the value that would have for the American market, a Spanish
critic judging California wines by the stilistic standard of Australian
Spoofulated Fruit Bombs.


Dr. Miller's critiques have certainly raised more than a few eyebrows.
Who are your favorite critics of Spanish wines, Santiago?

Mark Lipton
(6 days and counting until Barcelona)


--
alt.food.wine FAQ: http://winefaq.cwdjr.net
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Old 27-05-2009, 01:27 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

On May 26, 10:00*pm, Mark Lipton wrote:
santiago wrote:
What a tough subject. To be frank, I dislike the behavior of Miller and
Squires. I have always had a good perception of Robert Parker, even if I
did not agree with all his tasting notes or his ratings. I thought he
actually was a consumer's advocate.


That has always been the take on Arpee: you may or may not agree with
his judgments, you may or may not like his personal character (those who
know anything of it) but all basically agree that he is (was?)
scrupulously careful about avoiding conflicts of interest in his
reviewing. *It has also been pointed out, though, that in recent years
he's showered lavish praise on certain personalities who also routinely
garner high points in TWA, casting into question perhaps his untainted
character.



But then I think he made a mistake in his expansion plans. If he was the
leading critic for Bordeaux, the Rhone and California, so be it. But I do
not see the need to relax the reputation of the publication trying to cover
new wine areas. Reputation, and not a palate, is the main asset of a wine
critic.


I agree completely.



World is very interesting reading Parker for Bordeaux (I do not really care
for California for lack of availability, nor the Rhone for the style),
Allen Meadows for Burgundy (though he is quite predictable) and I would pay
for a publication by David Schildknecht about Germany, Champagne and Loire.
In fact, my bet is that David will leave TWA to start his own bulletin some
day.


You may well be right: David's coverage in TWA has apparently descreased
since his early days, leading one to question how much he wishes to
remain there.



The critics of Spanish wines are so American that they do not make much
sense. Guess the value that would have for the American market, a Spanish
critic judging California wines by the stilistic standard of Australian
Spoofulated Fruit Bombs.


Dr. Miller's critiques have certainly raised more than a few eyebrows.
Who are your favorite critics of Spanish wines, Santiago?

Mark Lipton
(6 days and counting until Barcelona)

--
alt.food.wine FAQ: *http://winefaq.cwdjr.net


While I didn't also agree with Parker, I used to have the utmost
respect for him. I thought him opinionated but rather idealistic, and
full of integrity. But I must say my opinion has shifted in the last
few years, mostly because of his own posts on the Squires board.
Hubris, petty, egotistical, and mean-spirited are the terms that seem
to spring to my mind when reading his posts.

I think it is ridiculous that he states that it is "imperative" to
not take travel or lodging, and then say it's ok for the "independent
contractors."

Personally I have no real problem with sponsored trips, if it is
disclosed. I have no problem with non-blind tasting- if you don't
claim to taste blind whenever possible. I do think that it is truly
impossible for anyone to critically review a close friend's wines
without bias (conscious or unconscious), you should recuse yourself.
Parker used to do the entire Australia review- couldn't he (or David S
or Galloni or Martin or even Squires -or how about the woman MW hired
for Asia forum?) do the Dan Phillips wines?

This has spawned huge amounts of conversation/controversy in the
online wine world, my favorite line was from my friend Matt:
I've started to have a strange feeling that the Parker of the 1980's
might frown on the Parker of today.






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Old 27-05-2009, 04:03 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

On May 27, 8:27�am, DaleW wrote:
On May 26, 10:00�pm, Mark Lipton wrote:





santiago wrote:
What a tough subject. To be frank, I dislike the behavior of Miller and
Squires. I have always had a good perception of Robert Parker, even if I
did not agree with all his tasting notes or his ratings. I thought he
actually was a consumer's advocate.


That has always been the take on Arpee: you may or may not agree with
his judgments, you may or may not like his personal character (those who
know anything of it) but all basically agree that he is (was?)
scrupulously careful about avoiding conflicts of interest in his
reviewing. �It has also been pointed out, though, that in recent years
he's showered lavish praise on certain personalities who also routinely
garner high points in TWA, casting into question perhaps his untainted
character.


But then I think he made a mistake in his expansion plans. If he was the
leading critic for Bordeaux, the Rhone and California, so be it. But I do
not see the need to relax the reputation of the publication trying to cover
new wine areas. Reputation, and not a palate, is the main asset of a wine
critic.


I agree completely.


World is very interesting reading Parker for Bordeaux (I do not really care
for California for lack of availability, nor the Rhone for the style),
Allen Meadows for Burgundy (though he is quite predictable) and I would pay
for a publication by David Schildknecht about Germany, Champagne and Loire.
In fact, my bet is that David will leave TWA to start his own bulletin some
day.


You may well be right: David's coverage in TWA has apparently descreased
since his early days, leading one to question how much he wishes to
remain there.


The critics of Spanish wines are so American that they do not make much
sense. Guess the value that would have for the American market, a Spanish
critic judging California wines by the stilistic standard of Australian
Spoofulated Fruit Bombs.


Dr. Miller's critiques have certainly raised more than a few eyebrows.
Who are your favorite critics of Spanish wines, Santiago?


Mark Lipton
(6 days and counting until Barcelona)


--
alt.food.wine FAQ: �http://winefaq.cwdjr.net


While I didn't also agree with Parker, I used to have the utmost
respect for him. �I thought him opinionated but rather idealistic, and
full of integrity. But I must say my opinion has shifted in the last
few years, mostly because of his own posts on the Squires board.
Hubris, petty, egotistical, and mean-spirited are the terms that seem
to �spring to my �mind when reading his posts.

I think it is ridiculous that he states �that it is "imperative" to
not take travel or lodging, and then say it's ok for the "independent
contractors."

Personally I have no real �problem with sponsored trips, if it is
disclosed. I have no problem with non-blind tasting- if you don't
claim to taste blind whenever possible. I do think that it is truly
impossible for anyone to critically review a close friend's wines
without bias (conscious or unconscious), you should recuse yourself.
Parker used to do the entire Australia review- couldn't he (or David S
or Galloni or Martin or even Squires -or how about the woman MW hired
for Asia forum?) do the Dan Phillips wines?

This has spawned huge amounts of conversation/controversy in the
online wine world, my favorite line was from my friend Matt:
I've started to have a strange feeling that the Parker of the 1980's
might frown on the Parker of today.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


I've got to agree with you Dale. I've been following this controversy
on a few forums and I don't think one can be objective while
recieveing money/trips/meals/etc. I think that the reviewers in
question should disqualify themselves and resign since I personally
would never trust their reviews as being unbiased or honest.
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Old 28-05-2009, 01:52 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

In article ,
santiago wrote:

Mark Lipton wrote in :

You may well be right: David's coverage in TWA has apparently
descreased since his early days, leading one to question how much he
wishes to remain there.


Perhaps we refer to a different David. Mr. Schildknecht started a couple
of years ago and it took him close to one year to publish his first
report in the TWA.

Dr. Miller's critiques have certainly raised more than a few eyebrows.
Who are your favorite critics of Spanish wines, Santiago?


I don't trust any single critic when it comes to Spanish wines. And I
learnt it the hard way. For Spanish critics, the market for wine
publications is so small that most of them (if not all) incur in big
conflicts of interest.

The leading wine critic publish his reviews in one magazine and an
annual guide. The magazine accepts advertising and wineries can pay for
the inclusion of their wine labels in the annual guide. At the same time
he owns a company specialised in Strategic Brand Image and Public
Relationships aimed at wineries. Last time I heard about them, the also
worked as brokers for export markets, introducing foreign customers to
some wineries.

There is another annual guide which quite some reputation that owns the
oldest wine club in our country. A wine club that is marketed under
different brands for different colectives. So the fact is that they
actually sell the same wines they rate. They are also involved in the
wine selection for hotels, airlines, train companies.

The good thing about these national critics is that they know the wines,
the history, the background of every wine region. And this is important
because it is important to have a reference point for a wine from
D.O.Mntrida, which should be different from a the standard for which to
judge a wine from D.O. Bierzo.

This is something that I feel it is absent in the critic of Jay Miller.
He judges the wines against his palate, not checking them against a
valid reference point. Sort of judging a Chambolle-Musigny with the
stilistic standard of a Saint-Emilion.

Other international wine critics such as John Gilman (which I have read)
or gerry Dawes are biased towards a traditional stile, which is nothing
wrong, but is missing most of what is going on in Spain. Ok, Lpez de
Heredia can be great, but it is always the same wine (vinification over
terroir, IMHO).

So, as you can see, I do not really trust any spanish critic. I am lucky
enough that I can taste a lot of wine thanks to the consulting I do for
an importer (which takes me to taste non-Spanish wine mostly) so in fact
I only purchase what I love after tasting the wine (I recognize this is
not available to most consumers). And this reminds me that I have to
locate a few bottles of La Rioja Alta 904 1997 because I tasted it last
week and it was a frigging great wine made from a winery that I detest
in the worst vintage of the last 15 years. So what do I know.



Mark Lipton
(6 days and counting until Barcelona)


Sorry to say I will not be able to make it to BCN. I hope you enjoy your
time and am specially green with envy about your lunch in Gerona.

s


Well, I don't listen to any one critic in trying to find wines. All wine
evaluators use their own palate in tasting. That is the only way they
can evaluate. The should have a knowledge of the standards for the grape
and terroir but look at what Parker has done by pressing his own
standards on the wine world such that we can view many wines as
Parkerized. I read Stephen Tanzer's reports and don't always agree with
his or his consultants evaluations. WS has some odd ideas about value
and style that I really don't agree with. Video blogs on wine are the
opinions of the taster. That just seems to be the way of the wine world.
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Old 30-05-2009, 09:34 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default WSJ on the WA ethics debate

On Tue, 26 May 2009 11:58:55 -0700 (PDT), DaleW
wrote:

Miller was in Australia for 11 days. Let's see:
$5K for business class tickets (can often get for much less, but let's
assume Wines of Australia didn't bargain hunt)
Another $5K for hotels - that's over $400/night for 12 nights. Nice

Dale 5K for rt Australia business is a fantastic deal. going in Winter
Jfk to Mel would run 6K on Brititsh and about the same on Tahitit Nui
from LAX. Summer fares to Australia run more to the tune of 8-9K for
business. Your friendly Aussie Specialist Travel Agent.
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Old 30-05-2009, 09:43 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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On Sat, 30 May 2009 16:34:01 -0400, Joseph Coulter
wrote:

On Tue, 26 May 2009 11:58:55 -0700 (PDT), DaleW
wrote:

Miller was in Australia for 11 days. Let's see:
$5K for business class tickets (can often get for much less, but let's
assume Wines of Australia didn't bargain hunt)
Another $5K for hotels - that's over $400/night for 12 nights. Nice

Dale 5K for rt Australia business is a fantastic deal. going in Winter
Jfk to Mel would run 6K on Brititsh and about the same on Tahitit Nui
from LAX. Summer fares to Australia run more to the tune of 8-9K for
business. Your friendly Aussie Specialist Travel Agent.



OKit looks like September is a bonus month! $4500 for LAX to MEL but
would this have been a trip for one? surely our intrepid reporter has
a "secretary" girl friend or wife or sig other whose presence would
be required. OK OK that isn't really the issue is it, truth is any,
well many, of us would fly coach and forgo the houseboat if someone
were to foot the bill.

Now of course the question is after suffering through this trip could
one be critical?
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Old 30-05-2009, 10:26 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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On May 30, 4:43*pm, Joseph Coulter wrote:
On Sat, 30 May 2009 16:34:01 -0400, Joseph Coulter
wrote:

On Tue, 26 May 2009 11:58:55 -0700 (PDT), DaleW
wrote:


Miller was in Australia *for 11 days. Let's see:
$5K for business class tickets (can often get for much less, but let's
assume Wines of Australia didn't bargain hunt)
Another $5K for hotels - that's over $400/night for 12 nights. Nice

Dale 5K for rt Australia business is a fantastic deal. going in Winter
Jfk to Mel would run 6K on Brititsh and about the same on Tahitit Nui
from LAX. *Summer fares to Australia run more to the tune of 8-9K for
business. *Your friendly Aussie Specialist Travel Agent.


OKit *looks like September is a bonus month! $4500 for LAX to MEL but
would this have been a trip for one? surely our intrepid reporter has
a "secretary" *girl friend or wife or sig other whose presence would
be required. *OK *OK that isn't really the issue is it, truth is any,
well many, *of us would fly coach and forgo the houseboat if someone
were to foot the bill.

Now of course the question is after suffering through this trip could
one be critical?


I just based my estimate off looking at backpage of NYT Travel,
Liberty was showing business to Sydney for $4800. I figured Wines of
Australia could do at least that well!

I saw that in either the Argentina or Chile trip that he was ferried
in private jet, that could help explain the cost of Aussie trip if
they also did that.

The other amazing thing was learning that he fairly routinely tastes
200+ wines in a day, for official review. Whoa, heard of palate
fatigue?

The claims that there is "no bias" while being royally treated just
shows an incredible lack of understanding of human psychology (and
Miller's doctorate is in....you guessed it). Similarly, not realizing
there is at least subconscious bias when tasting wines from your "best
friend."


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Old 30-05-2009, 10:36 PM posted to alt.food.wine
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On Sat, 30 May 2009 14:26:16 -0700 (PDT), DaleW
wrote:



Now of course the question is after suffering through this trip could
one be critical?


I just based my estimate off looking at backpage of NYT Travel,
Liberty was showing business to Sydney for $4800. I figured Wines of
Australia could do at least that well!

I saw that in either the Argentina or Chile trip that he was ferried
in private jet, that could help explain the cost of Aussie trip if
they also did that.

The other amazing thing was learning that he fairly routinely tastes
200+ wines in a day, for official review. Whoa, heard of palate
fatigue?

The claims that there is "no bias" while being royally treated just
shows an incredible lack of understanding of human psychology (and
Miller's doctorate is in....you guessed it). Similarly, not realizing
there is at least subconscious bias when tasting wines from your "best
friend."



Even though air to Australia has benefitted mightily from the additon
of V Australia and Delta to the mix, I would have to agree that the
trip cost is incredible (first class anyone?) and the objectivity loss
is beyond calculation.

We will see how objective I can be about Le Cote St Jacques after my
dinner in two weeks.

(Just for a comparison on the air. Air in January LAX SYD was running
around $1800 coach, it is now around $600 in September)


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