Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence is apparently so easy to come by that even imaginary restaurants can score a ranking in the publication. Robin Goldstein, author of Wine Trials (an attempt to prove that cheap wine is as good as pricey bottles), was curious about how Spectator judges its lowest-grade picks (the magazine also doles out Best of Excellence and Grand awards). According to his new Website, he mailed them a restaurant name (Osteria l’Intrepido), a mishmash Italian menu, a reserve-wine list “chosen from among the lowest-scoring Italian wines in Wine Spectator over the past 20 years,” plus the $250 application fee. Goldstein says he’s troubled by the results, but we've always been skeptical of stuffy awards.
What does it take to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence? [Osteria l’Intrepido via Dr. Vino]