The Changing Face of Wine Criticism
Traditional methods of disseminating wine knowledge and criticism are changing. One of the highest-regarded criticism outlets is watching its history take a digital turn. Former Wine Advocate Antonio Galloni, who was at one time poised to take over the lead critic position at the publication, has instead gone online, creating a new website to deliver reports, ratings and tasting notes.
Predictably, Wine Advocate isn’t a fan of this plan, and now plans to sue over “missing” tasting notes from a trip it paid Galloni to take. For his part, he’s offered to make the tasting notes available to WA subscribers for free — on his own platform. The magazine didn’t like this plan either, and declined.
Now that Galloni isn’t associated with the traditional — and quite revered — publication, to whom does his palate belong? The Advocate may have paid for the trip, but the tasting and the rating are Galloni’s alone. Since current technology allows and almost advocates for talent to become personal brands rather than under the umbrella of a larger publication, who can blame him for taking (and showing off) his tastebuds on a platform all his own?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Would Kale Go So Big If Not for Social Media?
Is kale really that good? Restaurant menus, the food press, and even the nightly news used to dictate our tastes. Now, we rely on friends for clues as to what’s good, what’s healthy, what’s trendy and what’s delicious. Which begs the question: would #kale be so big if not for social media?
LA Restaurant Calls Out No-Shows by Name on Twitter
Red Medicine, a Vietnamese restaurant on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills used to be most noted for the time staff spotted, kicked out, then outed the Los Angeles Times food critic. Now, in a continued effort to perpetuate douchebag behaviour, the restaurant is outing reservation no-shows via its Twitter feed (and then offered a halfhearted explanation, claiming those outed were “to thank” for restaurants that over-book, requiring those who actually show up for reservations to wait.) Bitter and vindictive nastiness, or a publicity play to get more people in the door?
EVERYONE’S A CRITIC
SF Chron Moves Restaurant Online Restaurant Reviews Behind a Paywall
Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle enacted a paywall yesterday, charging for what it deems “premium online content.” This includes Michael Bauer’s restaurant reviews, no longer available for free to the masses. Charging for great content is fair — but I’m curious if this move will unintentionally place more weight on (annoying) Yelp reviews and other sites offering free, though perhaps not quite as refined, review content. Will people still pay for an expert opinion while the opinion of the masses comes free?
DEPARTMENT OF NICHE
Texas Monthly Names Former Blogger @BBQsnob Official ‘Barbecue Editor’
The Internet is a place for niche content, but it’s also a proving ground. Case-in-point: Texas Monthly has named Daniel Vaughn its official Barbecue Editor. Vaughn got his start chronicling his search for the best Texas bbq on a blog titled Full Custom Gospel BBQ, catching the attention of TxM staff. Now thanks to his online gig, he’s got the job full-time. Ten points for the personal brand turned expert.
The Oatmeal on Tipping— The Oatmeal
Five Toasters of the Future — Brit & Co.