The Real Review Alliance
This is an open letter from Huon Hooke & Bob Campbell MW to the wineries & retailers of Australia & New Zealand. Please forward to your wine industry colleagues.
We’d like to share some news with you which we feel is very important to wineries, retailers and the wine industry.
As many of you will know, independent opinion in wine has come under pressure from several fronts:
- Excessively high scores by some critics, which undermine the credibility of wine ratings for the consumer
- Wine writers being paid directly by retailers, or entering into revenue share arrangements, for reviewing wines
- Advertorials masquerading as independent opinion
- “Cash for comment”, i.e. wineries being asked to pay to get featured
As wine critics, we need to make a living, but we prefer to derive income from a wine industry that recognises the virtues of integrity, experience, independence, consistency and professionalism.
As two major critics of Australian and New Zealand wine we have formed an alliance to promote and differentiate our approach to wine reviews. We are making a stand for even-handed, transparent, ethical and independent reviewing.
We call it The Real Review.
The Real Review Alliance
Free to get reviewed. Pay for commercial use.
- We do not charge to review wines.
If you send your samples, they will enter the tasting queue. Whether or not you hold a commercial plan is irrelevant for your review and rating. We will occasionally send messages to wineries with noteworthy results, or you can check on The Real Review.
- A license is needed to use our content for commercial purposes.
For example, when promoting your wines on your website or social media with our content, you will need to obtain a license.
- The commercial licences are completely independent of how much wine you sell.
Our wine writers do not get paid more if more wine is sold.
Everyone’s wine is treated fairly and equally
Fair and Equal
Frequent and fair opportunities to be listed in our Monthly Top Drops, weekly Cellar Talk wines, and Ranking Charts for key regions and varieties.
Harmonised Rating Scales
Harmonised rating scales and star ratings so you and your customers know what a rating means. See The Real Review Rating System.
Consistent Wine 360s
Consistent Wine 360 icons that you can use in your marketing. See The Real Review Wine 360s.
Gold, Silver & Bronze Ribbons
Top Ranks and Wine Charts
Top Value Awards
Credible reviews that your customers will recognise, understand and trust.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on these important topics. Drop us a note below in the comments, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’ll be further additional updates coming in the next months, so stay tuned to The Real Review!