Presenting the first Wine Spectator Sting Award

Have you ever wondered how Wine Spectator magazine has the ability to visit all those restaurants and inns all over the world that compete for its annual awards of excellence?

Apparently, it doesn't. And that may be a shattering blow to the prestigious magazine's reputation.

Author Robin Goldstein revealed at the recent 2nd annual conference of the American Association of Wine Economists in Portland, OR, that he and a colleague created a virtual restaurant in Italy with a Web site and a virtual wine list, paid the $250 application fee for consideration from Wine Spectator, and wound up being awarded one of the magazine's "Awards of Excellence."

You can read the whole story here, which also includes an overview of the conference as reported by Wines & Vines.

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