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August 20, 2008

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For Wine Spectator's side of the story, please read this:
http://snipurl.com/WineSpectatorscam [forums_winespectator_com]

One would have to be naive to think that Wine Spectator hasn't turned this program, whatever its orginal intent, into a giant marketing scheme. Why wouldn't they? If you walk into a restaurant and see the certificate framed and up on the wall, you immediately associate Wine Spectator with universal wine list quality.

I do think the individual who submitted the fake information went to extreme lengths to perpetuate the hoax, yet at the same time it's obvious that the list has grown so huge that Wine Spectator can't handle the task of really evaluting these establishments. A hoax is a hoax, but perhaps WS needs to manage their list a bit better.

What wine goes best with chicken McNuggets?

Wine Spectator's side of the story is more damning that the original story. According to Wine Spectator, a full two-thirds of applicants are granted an "Award of Excellence." That is "all the children here at Lake Woebegone are above average" on steroids.

"Excellence" is "the quality of being excellent."

"Excellent," in turn, is "exceptionally good."

That leads us, of course, to "exceptional," which means "1. Being an exception: unusual. 2. Well above average."

And, for TM and Wine Advocate's sake, I guess I need to also define "average"- "typical, usual, common."

If two out of three make it, it is not an "Award of Excellence." It is an "Award of Startling Mediocrity."

Congratulations! You are mediocre! Woo-Hoo!

All definitions from Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary, Revised Edition.

dhonig is being deliberately obtuse. There is no mathematical oddity with the statement that two out of three applicants are above average once you take into consideration the many restaurants with below-average wine lists that don't bother to apply.

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