WINE EXPERTS RAITING

Burghound is a wine website (www.burghound.com) and quarterly newsletter run by American wine critic Allen Meadows.

A wine collector for more than 30 years, Allen moved into his wine career from a senior position in the financial world in 1999. He specializes in Burgundy, but also extends this to Pinot Noir wines from the western United States, particularly Oregon and Washington. A recognized authority on Burgundy, Allen regularly lectures on the topic and on wine in general, as well as organizing global wine events such as the Asia Symphony of Wine and Flavors in Singapore.

 

CellarTracker is a web-based database of wine-tasting notes contributed by the site’s users. Drawing on the thoughts and comments of several thousand wine consumers, rather than a single, professional critic, a CellarTracker score is self moderating. Although lacking the individual idiosyncrasies of a single palate, its broader perspective makes it a reliable guide to the quality of the wine in question. As part of the wider wine world, CellarTracker scores are a useful complement to those given by the critics.

CellarTracker is based on the concept of a cellar-management tool, and was originally designed by its creator Eric LeVine. The website’s user base grew rapidly from its launch in 2004, and now has many millions of bottles logged in its database, the vast majority of which have recent tasting notes to accompany them. The website (www.cellartracker.com) and its services are free to use: they are financed by voluntary payments from users.
 

Decanter is a high-end monthly wine magazine from Britain, specializing in wine-industry news, reviews, opinion and editorial. It has a self-styled image as ‘The World’s Best Wine Magazine’ and is read in more than 90 countries, a base on which it is expanding through its website,www.decanter.com.

The magazine is owned by IPC media and its current editor is Guy Woodward, appointed in 2007. Decanter’s scoring scale is based on a five-star system developed by Michael Broadbent MW, who has contributed to the magazine since its creation in 1975.

The Decanter World Wine Awards is an annual, international wine competition which complements the masterclasses and tastings that Decanter organizes.
 

Gambero Rosso (‘The Red Prawn’) is an Italian magazine specializing in food and wine. It began life in 1986 as a gastronomy-focused supplement to the left-wing Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, and retains an element of these beginnings in its non-elitist approach to wine. According to Gambero Rosso itself, the secret of its success is 'raccontare il cibo e il vino a partire dalle persone' ('to present food and wine from the perspective of the people').

Gambero Rosso’s Italian wine guide, Vini d’Italia, first appeared in 1987 and is now also published in English as Italian Wines. Two years after the inaugural Vini d’ItaliaGambero Rosso supplemented the wine guide with its Italian restaurant guide, a development which created sufficient material to make the publication a fully fledged monthly magazine in 1992.

In 1997 Gambero Rosso launched www.gamberorosso.it, one of Italy’s first food and wine websites. It has since created a dedicated television channel and the Citta del Gusto (City of Flavor) – a gastronomy school, wine bar and restaurant complex with branches in Rome and Naples.

Gambero Rosso’s wine-scoring system has four tiers. Extraordinary wine is denoted by the tre bicchieri (three wine glasses) symbol; two red glasses means a wine is just short of extraordinary but showing distinct potential; two glasses indicates very good wine; and one glass denotes good wine.
 

Gault & Millau (often known as Gault Millau) is an influential French guide to the wines, restaurants and hotels of France. It was founded by Henri Gault and Christian Millau in 1972, after the pair had worked together for more than a decade on various Paris-based gastronomy publications. The publication was established primarily as a restaurant guide – an emphasis it retains today – but naturally evolved to include wine reviews and ratings.

In January 2009 Gault & Millau was purchased by the French company Groupe Smart&Co, although it retains its traditional focus, activities and website (www.gaultmillau.fr). The magazine's management consists of CEO Come de Cherisey and managing editor Patricia Alexandre. They are supported by writers and wine critics Pierre Guigui, Christophe Casazza, Manuel Peyrondet and Antoine Petrus.

Gault & Millau rates wines on the traditional French 20-point scale. Although an interpretation of these points is not freely offered, the magazine emphasizes the independance totale of itsenqueteurs exigeants ('total independence of its demanding investigators').
 

James Halliday is an Australian wine writer and critic, and the author of the Australian Wine Companion. He has been professionally judging and tasting wines since 1977, and now chairs the judging panels for four of Australia’s most important wine competitions. His decades of tasting and reviewing make him a recognized authority on wine, particularly that from Australia and New Zealand. His scores and notes are available online at www.winecompanion.com.au.

Halliday has founded and run wineries in Australia’s Hunter and Yarra valleys, most recently Coldstream Hills. He is also group winemaker for the regional wineries division of Southcorp. In 2010 James was made a Member the Order of Australia (AM).

James Suckling
 is an American wine critic and journalist who spent 30 years writing for Wine Spectator magazine until leaving to start his own website (www.jamessuckling.com) in 2010.

While at Wine Spectator he established and managed the magazine’s European office, living in Paris, London and finally Tuscany. Suckling is known for his specialization in the wines of Bordeaux and Italy.
 

Jancis Robinson is a British wine writer and critic who rose to fame in the mid-1980s after becoming the first Master of Wine from outside the wine trade. She is now one of the most influential commentators in the business, and writes weekly columns for the Financial Times as well as running her own website, www.jancisrobinson.com. Jancis co-authored the World Atlas of Winewith Hugh Johnson and is the editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine; she is also widely viewed as a world authority on ampelography and has published extensively on the topic. In 2003 Jancis was awarded the OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and has been appointed as an advisor of the royal wine cellar.

The Jancis Robinson wine-scoring scale is based on a 20-point system. Ratings are given based on both how the wine was showing at the time of tasting and its potential to improve with age. They are also given relative to other wines which fall within the same category: for example, Central Otago Pinot Noirs are marked relative to New World Pinot Noirs in general, rather than as a direct comparison to Burgundy.

Jean-Marc Quarin is a wine educator and critic from the south of France. Born in Chateauneuf-du-Pape into a family of winemakers, he studied oenology and went on to study with some of the most respected Bordeaux winemakers. He is still based in Bordeaux, a decision he made so he could closely follow the Bordelais wine scene. Quarin maintains his website (www.quarin.com) from his office overlooking the vines of Medoc.

Jeremy Oliver is an Australian wine educator and critic with more than 25 years’ experience of writing and presenting on wines. A graduate of Adelaide’s well-regarded Roseworthy College, Oliver went on to work with two renowned Coonawarra wineries. He published his first book, Thirst for Knowledge, at the age of 23 and has written more than 20 books since then. In 2005 he was named Wine Writer of the Year by Australian Wine Selector magazine. 

La Revue du Vin de France is a monthly French wine publication which dates back to 1927. It specializes in French wine, and is highly regarded by the nation’s wine industry. The magazine provides editorial, wine ratings and commentary, both in printed format and online at www.larvf.com
 

Stephen Tanzer is a US-based wine critic who has edited and published his bimonthly International Wine Cellar since 1985. He has published wine reference books and wine-buying guides, and he also writes articles for Forbes and Food & Wine. Stephen's web writing, and the International Wine Cellar, are at www.wineaccess.com.

The bimonthly guide (which shares its initials with the International Wine Challenge) is funded entirely by its subscribers and is widely respected for its down-to-earth, independent approach and freedom from advertising. Tanzer’s specialist knowledge lies in the wines of Piedmont, Burgundy,Bordeaux and California.
 

Vinum is a European magazine offering wine reviews, news and editorial to its readers in Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain. From its base in Zurich, Switzerland, the magazine is published ten times a year to a readership of more than 40,000 people. Articles are researched, written and produced by a 15-strong team of freelance writers and full-time staff, overseen by chief editor Britta Wiegelmann and publishing director Nicolas Montemarano.

The website (www.vinum.ch) provides services similar to the magazine, but with the added feature of historical tasting notes and wine recommendations. The Vinum Guide has tasting notes for wines dating back to the 1937 vintage, with scores on a 20-point scale.
 

Wine & Spirits Magazine is an American wine magazine published eight times a year. Although based in the US, Wine & Spirits Magazine takes a global perspective on wine, featuring articles and reviews from around the world.

Since 1986 the magazine has been published and edited by Joshua Greene, a Princeton graduate with a focus on special-interest publications. Greene purchased the magazine in 1989 and remains a key contributor.

Wine & Spirits Magazine's principal authors are Greene, Tara Q. Thomas, Patrick Comiskey, Peter Liem and Chilean wine author Patricio Tapia. To ensure objectivity, the magazine's wine tastings are conducted under 'controlled, blind conditions' by magazine staff and by panels of 'retailers, sommeliers, winemakers and other wine professionals'.

Wine Enthusiast is a magazine and website (www.winemag.com) specializing in wines, spirits, food and travel. Founded in 1988 by Adam Strum, the magazine has a distribution of well over 500,000 readers. Managing editor Joe Czerwinski is at the helm of the magazine, joined by a comprehensive team of editors and writers including Susan Kostrzewa, Steve Heimoff and Roger Voss. 

Wine Pros Archive is an Australian-based wine website (www.winepros.com.au) specializing in wine reviews, tasting notes and general wine-related articles. It also publishes a seasonal newsletter. 
 

Wine Spectator is a American magazine specializing in tasting notes, industry news and wine-personality profiles. The magazine was founded in 1976 by Bob Morrisey, but has remained under the guidance of its current editor Marvin Shanken since he purchased the publication in 1979.

All 15 editions of Wine Spectator published each year include more than 400 tasting notes, and in some cases upwards of 1000 notes. The wine critics who figure among Wine Spectator’s tasting and reviewing panel are James Laube, Harvey Steiman, Bruce Sanderson, Kim Marcus and James Molesworth. James Suckling wrote for the magazine between 1981 and 2010 but now has an independent website.

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