Robin Goldstein

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Robin Goldstein
Robin Goldstein.jpg
BornRobin Stubbs Goldstein
(1976-11-18) November 18, 1976 (age 46)
New York, New York, United States
Alma materHarvard College

Robin Goldstein is an American author, food and wine critic, and economics pundit. He is known for his books and articles questioning conventional wisdom and pricing in the food and wine industries, particularly a widely publicized exposé of Wine Spectator magazine, and for his writing on the Freakonomics[1] blog. He is author of several books, including The Wine Trials and The Beer Trials. Goldstein was also one of the subjects of Think Like a Freak, the 2014 book by Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

Goldstein is currently on the research faculty of the University of California, where he is Principal Economic Counselor at the UC Agricultural Issues Center in Davis and studies cannabis prices and the market impacts of cannabis regulations.[2] He lives in Oakland, California.

Goldstein received an AB in Neuroscience and Philosophy from Harvard, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in economics from the University of Bordeaux. He also graduated from the French Culinary Institute and the WSET wine program. In 2005, after having reviewed restaurants and hotels for Fodor's Travel Guides in Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Thailand, and Hong Kong, Goldstein founded the Fearless Critic series of restaurant guides, which was later acquired by Workman Publishing in New York and became a Workman imprint.

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence controversy[edit]

At the August 2008 conference of the American Association of Wine Economists in Portland, Oregon, Goldstein revealed that in a hoax exposé, he had won a Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence" for an imaginary restaurant, Osteria L'Intrepido (Italian for "the fearless tavern").[3] With the help of his friend Giuliano Stiglitz, he created a fake website for the restaurant, submitted a reserve wine list of low-rated Italian wines along with the $250 entry fee, and won the award, which he sought to expose as a form of advertising. The hoax garnered worldwide press.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Wine Spectator Editor-in-Chief Thomas Matthews responded on the magazine's web site.[12][13]

The Wine Trials experiment[edit]

In May 2008, Goldstein revealed the results of an experiment that he conducted in which 500 subjects, in a blind taste test, preferred cheaper wine to more expensive wine. The results were published in an academic paper entitled "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?" followed by a book entitled The Wine Trials.[14][15][16][17][18]

Some wine critics and aficionados questioned Goldstein's conclusions,[19] and a staff editorial in the Boston Globe criticized his findings.[20]

Works by Goldstein[edit]



  1. ^ Goldstein, Robin. "Robin Goldstein on Freakonomics". Freakonomics. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Robin Goldstein – Agricultural Issues Center". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  3. ^ What does it take to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?
  4. ^ Johnson, Peter, New York Post Page Six (August 23, 2008). "Wine Mag Humbled by Hoax". Archived from the original on September 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Mitham, Peter, Wines & Vines (August 19, 2008). "Economists Question Real Value of Wine".
  6. ^ Bonné, Jon, San Francisco Chronicle: The Sipping News (August 21, 2008). "Awards: 'Hoax' on the Wine Spectator". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  7. ^ Hirsch, Jerry, Los Angeles Times (August 22, 2008). "Wine Spectator drinks a hearty glass of blush". The Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Yarrow, Alder, (August 19, 2008). "Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards Exposed as a Total Farce".
  9. ^ Colman, Tyler, Dr. Vino (August 19, 2008). "Fictitious restaurant wins Wine Spectator Award of Excellence".
  10. ^ Bone, James, The Times (August 23, 2008). "The wine had a whiff of the barnyard . . . hoax review leaves noses out of joint". The Times.
  11. ^ Milmo, Cahal, The Independent (UK) (August 23, 2008). "Honour for restaurant that doesn't exist". London.
  12. ^ Matthews, Thomas, (August 20, 2008) Wine Spectator Has Been Scammed
  13. ^ Ozersky, Josh, New York Magazine (August 21, 2008). "'Wine Spectator' Forum a Hotbed of Non-Controversy".
  14. ^ Asimov, Eric, New York Times (May 7, 2008). "Wine's Pleasures: Are They All in Your Head?". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Levitt, Steve, New York Times (July 24, 2008). "Keep the Cheap Wine Flowing". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Popescu, Roxana, Newsweek (April 7, 2008). "Tastes Great, Less Billing". Newsweek.
  17. ^ Kiley, David, BusinessWeek (May 8, 2008). "The Whining About Wine is Intoxicating". {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)
  18. ^ Shriver, Jerry, USA Today (May 9, 2008). "Wine Preconceptions Can't Hold Sway in Blind Tasting".
  19. ^ Asimov, Eric, New York Times (April 22, 2008). "A Closer Look At The Wine Trials". The New York Times.
  20. ^ Staff Editorial, Boston Globe (May 9, 2008). "Red, Red Whine". The Boston Globe.

External links[edit]