About a year ago we wrote about James Suckling’s rating of Canadian wines, which was a monumental step for Canadian wines on the international stage. At last one of the well known names in the wine game had blessed some of the wines with high scores and praise.
So it’s unfortunate that, despite assurances from both Mr. Suckling and SAQ, the state-owned wine entity in Quebec, a large sum of money changed hands in association with the tastings in Quebec. And, apparently, instead of responding to contacts from La Presse and prominent wine writers, there was silence and then a stated consideration of libel action on Mr. Suckling’s part.
Some have said a wine writer of his stature would not come to a minor player in the world of wine like Canada unless money changed hands. That in itself takes some of the luster off the high ratings, but I’d like to think that despite any payment that has been made, the praise for these wines is genuine and rate with equal rigor to anywhere else from Bordeaux to Barossa.
In any case, it’s somewhat disconcerting and a bit of a spot on something that was, to repeat myself, a rather monumental moment for Canadian wine. …so in response to Joe Roberts at 1winedude.com, “Can we get these guys to write “transparency is good” 5000 times on a blackboard in a Catholic schoolroom somewhere?” Yes, let’s.
For more on this and on secrecy and bullying by a couple well known wine scribes, check out Evan Dawson’s article in Palate Press.