I got an interesting email yesterday from my contact for one prominent Long Island winery. The winery's owner has decided that it will no longer be sending samples to me, or any member of the press, for review.
From now on, he'd wants all wine tastings/reviews to be conducted at the winery, with him present.
This winery isn't the only one that doesn't do samples...but the others are small, low-production wineries that sell out of their wines to their wine clubs regardless of any press coverage. This new member of the "no samples" club isn't one of these artisanal producers -- not by a long shot.
I'll still cover the winery, and I'm trying to schedule a tasting with said owner...but I won't be doing any straight wine reviews based on it. I do all of my true reviews in my home in a controlled environment.
I taste wines right out of the bottle, often blind against at least one other similar blend/varietal...then with appropriate food...then again later after some time decanted. And, in the case of white wines, I try to taste them at a variety of temperatures. I like to give you, my readers, a full picture of a wine...not a review based on a couple minutes at a winery with an owner/winemaker telling me what I should be tasting.