TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis

Gault Millau editor resigns and thoughts on the future of wine reviewing

Posted by Torsten 11 Jul 2009

Following the recent controversy, Armin Diel, the editor of the Gault Millau Wein Guide for Germany, has resigned. According to a statement issued earlier this week, Diel felt he had to protect the Wein Guide, the VDP, his winery and his family from what has turned into attacks on his person. In another statement, the publisher of the Wein Guide also referred to increasing personal attacks on Diel. The publisher reiterated that will be completely independent of wineries opting to pay for the voluntary 200 Euro package that triggered the conflict. Despite resigning from his role as editor of Gault Millau, Diel will continue to be involved with VDP, the association of Germany's premier wine makers - the fact that Diel was both vintner/functionary and reviewer was certainly not popular with everyone.

See also (in German):

Ceterum censeo... I would like to repeat my usual closing statement that I would really like to see a discussion on the future of wine reviewing. Do we need some guidance to identify new wineries and get an idea where to buy our wine? - I would think so. Do we want blind tastings and an 'objective' approach to quality or do we prefer open subjectivity? - I am okay with both, but that does not mean I will trust every random blogger who recommends a certain wine. However, it also does not mean that I really care whether a wine is rated 89 or 91; it seems rather meaningless as a way do understand whether I will like a certain wine. What I do like a about the likes of Gault Millau is that I can get an overview of wine making in Germany and some interesting information on wineries and also an indication of their quality. I do not really see how wine blogging can provide that. Unless we would all join forces and develop a wikipedia of German wineries that aggregates reviews from bloggers all over the place. Even if we had that, I would still like to see what professionals can come up with - and have some fun arguing about it. Perhaps I should think about how this crowd-source wine registry could look like...

Dirk Würtz is also thinking about the future of wine publishing: