Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate on Wine Critics and Champagne

Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate Taste-Maker?At the recent Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, I had the opportunity to talk quite a bit with Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate. He said on numerous occasions and in different ways that it is not his goal to be a taste-maker nor an agent of change for wine styles. Of course, being a wine reviewer with enormous readership, his writings may have that effect nonetheless. Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate Taste-Maker? 2

“I don’t believe critics should shape anything,” Galloni said during a lunchtime chat when asked if writers did/should lead the move toward more elegant wines in California. He is not entirely against using his influence to drive change though. He is on a crusade of sorts. It’s something I think should be of interest to the trade too.

Antonio Galloni wants critics to follow his lead and stop reviewing non-vintage Champagne without a disgorgement date printed on the label. “I realized there was a problem when I discovered I had been sent exactly the same Champagne for review two years in a row,” he said. “It’s not right.” Now, he’s a consumer advocate.

Antonio Galloni Wine Advocate Taste-Maker? 3He believes wine enthusiasts have a right to know whether the sparkling wine they are about to buy is a new release or is essentially slow-moving inventory. Does the new review they read pertain to the bottle before them? We all know non-vintage Champagne is not identical from year to year. And if it were, why would producers send review samples?

Antonio Galloni hopes that, if he and other critics refuse to review undated NV Champagne, producers will feel compelled to date the bottles. What are your thoughts? Are disgorgement dates important to you?

Learn more about Champagne and other sparkling wines.  See our upcoming full program and single course schedule. Private, customized corporate training is also available.

Also in Blog

Two Days in Alto Adige

Two Days in Alto Adige Long have I dreamed of exploring Sudtirol (Southern Tyrolian Mountains) aka Alto Adige. We finally got the chance by adding 2 days to the end of our SF Wine School Mediterranean Cruise. 

Continue Reading

Insider Interviews with David Furer - Presenting Daniel O'Donnell

Insider Interviews with David Furer - Presenting Daniel O'Donnell Daniel O’Donnell and I met when I was the token Yank tacked onto a group of esteemed British writers, some possessing MWs. Halfway into what now constitutes a decade residing half-time in Turkey, the Napa/Sonoma winemaker was charged by the nascent Wines of Turkey with providing its honored guests with our initial, immersive education into the modern state of Turkish viticulture and enology.

Continue Reading

Fred Swan Interviews SF Chronicle Wine Editor Jon Bonné

  Fred Swan Interviews SF Chronicle Wine Editor Jon Bonné On Tuesday, December 9, I conducted an hour-long interview of Jon Bonné in front of a live audience for the Commonwealth Club. Bonné is the Wine Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, a two-time James Beard Award winner and the author of The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste.

Continue Reading