A Notice to our Readers About our Tasting Service

To be completely transparent, read on for an important notice explaining a recent change to how we receive, process, and review samples sent to the WineAlign World Headquarters in Etobicoke, Canada.

WineAlign has recently introduced an optional administrative fee to allow wineries and importers to gain priority access to timely, multiple and objective reviews by the WineAlign critics. It is a new approach in Canada, prompted by the increasing number of samples sent to our office, and the growing costs associated with processing and reviewing them. As the critics who are paid by WineAlign, we want to assure you that this in no way creates a conflict of interest for us, nor affects our impressions of wines in any way, positively or negatively. We write for you.

Universally the wine industry has supported wine media through tastings, travel and advertising for decades, and continues to do so. We critics have always appreciated the much greater access to wines this permits, which is all the better for our readers, without feeling it must influence our opinion of individual wines offered. This new administrative fee is no different. We will review and rate, and publish, all wines submitted, from “not recommended” to “outstanding”, and winemakers will be informed of our opinions, as has always been the case.

We will continue to accept unpaid, unsolicited samples but we will not guarantee timely tasting – the sheer number of samples makes some form of prioritization both fair and necessary – and we will also continue to request samples for certain themes without an administrative fee. We will invite other professional wine reviewers to our tastings to render the process more efficient and cost-effective for wine suppliers, actually saving them money with a one-stop, multiple reviews option. With the demise of advertising revenue in the online era, along with a huge increase in the number of wines seeking reviews from objective, experienced critics, we feel this fee is entirely warranted to cover the costs of administering and holding large tastings, and to support our livelihood and expertise. And it should elevate consumer confidence in the objectivity of reviews at the same time, while also guaranteeing that our recommendations are selected from the broadest range of wines possible. We trust you will agree. Please send any questions and comments to [email protected]

The WineAlign crü, David, Sara, Michael, Steve and John.