Thursday, January 1, 2009

Samples Policy

If you are a winery, distributor, importer, or public relations representative...

Here's how we handle samples:

Yes, we accept samples. In fact, we're very grateful for them. You've worked hard to bring your product to market and now you want to share it with our readers. Fantastic. A few things you should know:

  1. If your wine is noteworthy in any way (good or bad), there's a pretty good chance we'll publish a review about it.  Is it an extraordinary value?  Is it something distinctive? Is it audaciously overpriced?  Is it simply a well-made wine that honors the variety and place faithfully?  Or is it just plain fun to drink?  Any of these qualities will likely result in a published review.   
  2. All pieces get published on this site, as well as via Feedburner, Twitter, and Facebook.
  3. We disclose where the samples came from.  We also disclose any non-professional relationship we have with those who provide samples. 
  4. You will need to send us an email at the address below to get a shipping address. (Sorry, there are a lot of kooks in this world.)
  5. You DO get extra points for using recylced, recyclabled, and/or re-used shipping materials!
  6. Please, please read the changes below.
Some changes we made in 2012:
We no longer review all samples. Sorry.  It's just not possible.  Or fun.  Or of value to our readers.  See #1 above.  This does not mean that we will only be publishing reviews for artisan wines or from family-owned vineyards.  Not at all.  That $7 Sauvignon Blanc from Woodbridge?  Hell yeah, we'll publish more reviews like that.  And that $125 Cab from Carte Blanche?  Yup, that, too.  And many, many wines in between.  We just have to separate the song from the noise, that's all.

Some changes we made at the end of 2010:
It used to be that after we reviewed a wine, we'd send a draft to the winery, importer, or PR firm for your commentary and correction of any inaccuracies. We promised to publish the comments along with the reviews, which our readers constantly tell us how much they love (It makes them feel closer to you and your product).  We also waited for responses before publishing.  And waited.  And waited.

This courtesy was a time consuming pain in the ass that almost no one took advantage of.  Unbelievable.  So, in order to extend this invitation, yet keep things sane from an administration standpoint, consider this a blanket invite:

We invite any comments you (or anyone at or representing the winery) might like to add. We often get responses to our write ups from owners, winemakers, and marketing reps. We are lucky in that you all make valid, worthwhile points in your responses, regardless of what we say about your wines. And our readers should see those.

So, in fairness to you, the producers, as well as our readers, we invite you to use the comments function below every review.  Or, if you prefer, send us your comments via email and we will include them in the body of the reviews.

So, if you've got something to say - good, bad, or ugly - about your wine, winery, or a review we've written, you have a voice on our site. Feel free to drop us a line anytime.

No other publication that we know of does this.  If you want to know if we've reviewed your wine, subscribe to our RSS feed, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to the Feedburner email updates.  Better yet, use Google Alerts and flag your wine/winery's name.

If you want to learn more about our distribution, demographics, advertising, or anything else, please shoot us an email and we will get right back to you. Promise. We're good about that.

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