First off, has it been over a month since my last post? I would expect some cobwebs around here. My apologies but the real work must get done. (On a sidenote: the website is coming along quite nicely. sooooo close. oh... soooo close.) We had about two and half weeks in Napa meeting and greeting some wonderful people. Most of whom seemed genuinely interested in our work. Which, of course, brings me to the point of the article.
As serious wine critics, we decided at the outset to not accept any adverstising within our publication. Our business model is based on a subscriber base and we felt it was important to remain as objective as possible when reviewing wines.
It has come to my attention, through an interesting read, that the Wine Enthusiast (aka WS jr.) accepts label adverstisements in their buying guide. No this is not "stop the presses!" type of information for sure. This is also not to say that wine magazine advertising doesn't have its place. On the contrary, it generates revenue and keeps wine people working which is a good thing. On top of that, I think magazine readerships also come with a healthy dose of common sense when it comes to viewing the ads and the wine scores of those ads in a given issue.
No. My complaint is with the editorial aspect of buying guide feature pages. Label art connected to a review is almost always perceived as an added attraction to highlight a given wine FROM THE EDITORIAL SIDE. Label art, bottle shots, winemakers photos, etc are the province of editorial content creators not ads in disguise. I believe most readers think a the the magazine has highlighted a label because of some special quality the wine posses not because the magazine was slipped a couple of C-notes. First by not explaining this attribute of their guide, there is more than just an appearance of improriety. By selling this space, they have pulled the wool over the consumers eyes and have become the mouth piece of the industry, shilling for dollars and not bringing to the reader true objectivity.
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Hopefully more updates and no cobwebs come.
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