Wednesday, November 11, 2009


[EDITOR'S NOTE: While I disagree with WS and the concept of the 100-point review, the following is merely the culmination of nearly twenty years of restaurant and retail experience and the headache the WS Top 100 list creates for those of us in this tier of the business.]

I knew I was dreading something…

Next week, the Wine Spectator Top 100 for 2009 will be revealed, starting with the teaser for wines #6-#10 on November 18th and #2-#5 on the 19th before the entire list is unvealed on the 20th. We in the retail business refer to it as Doomsday, Armageddon, the Apocalypse – you get the idea.

I would like to take a few seconds to reiterate to you out there in cyberville that this list is a compilation of previously released reviews, ones that may be 10-11 months old. Therefore, the wines in this compilation list are LONG GONE, SOLD OUT, or as Kansas would sing, “all they are/are dust in the wind.”

Like all the other retailers in America, we will be scrambling for the remaining wines, grabbing the list nanoseconds after it is posted to call our sales reps and drive them batshit crazy that morning until all the remaining wines are bled dry from our suppliers. We will all do our best to meet demand but in most cases, the ships have already sailed.

So continue the countdown, cue up the old Europe (“The Final Countdown”) or Iron Maiden (“2 Minutes to Midnight”), and wait for the air raid sirens to kick in and “at my command, unleash Hell.”


Anonymous said...

We apologize if Wine Spectator's Top 100 sends new customers to your store. I guess you already have all the business you need! But even if you're out of stock of the wines on our list, maybe you can take the opportunity to build some new relationships with people who have a passion for wine. The Top 100 list is meant to stimulate discussion about wine. Why not join the conversation?

Thomas Matthews
Executive editor
Wine Specator

k2 said...

Something told me you were going to comment. No there is no profound journalistic territory breached here - this is sheer venting in perhaps the only forum I have. Certainly not upset by any new business this generates - yet the list has always proved difficult in that readers don't always recognize this as a compiled list of previously reviewed wines. What it does is have us searching for any and all wines listed that still remain in the market - our market being not what you would call a primary one for the distribution network but nonetheless vital in our minds and the minds of our customers. We appreciate the list for what it is, however it does cause confusion amongst consumers - with perhaps this being like the Oscars for wine, yet the wines getting the glory aren't being re-released. It's that confusion that is problematic, not the list itself. Thanks for commenting, but I am once again both humbled and surprised it would matter to you what I said.