November 18, 1976 |
New York, New York, United States
|Alma mater||Harvard College|
Robin Goldstein is an American author and food and wine critic. He is known for his books and articles questioning conventional wisdom in the food and wine industries, particularly a widely publicized exposé of Wine Spectator magazine, and for his writing on the Freakonomics blog. He is author of several books, including The Wine Trials (the world's bestselling guide to cheap wine), The Beer Trials, and an upcoming book tentatively entitled A Defense of Fast Food. Goldstein was also one of the subjects of Think Like a Freak, the 2014 book by Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. He lives in Oakland, California.
Goldstein received a BA in Neuroscience and Philosophy from Harvard in 1998. He received a JD from Yale Law School in 2002. He graduated from the French Culinary Institute and the WSET wine program. Goldstein also reviewed restaurants for Fodor's Travel Guides in Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Thailand, and Hong Kong, and in 2005, 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
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"). 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. Wine Spectator Editor-in-Chief Thomas Matthews responded on the magazine's web site.
The Wine Trials experiment
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.
Works by Goldstein
- Blind Taste: A Defense of Fast Food & Cheap Beer, Fearless Critic Media/IPG, 2014.
- The Wine Trials 2011, Fearless Critic Media/Workman, 2011.
- The Beer Trials, Fearless Critic Media/Workman, 2010.
- The Wine Trials 2010, Fearless Critic Media/Workman, 2010.
- The Wine Trials, Fearless Critic Media/Workman, 2008.
- Goldstein, Robin. "Robin Goldstein on Freakonomics". Freakonomics. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- blindtaste.com What does it take to get a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence?
- Johnson, Peter, New York Post Page Six (August 23, 2008). "Wine Mag Humbled by Hoax".
- Mitham, Peter, Wines & Vines (August 19, 2008). "Economists Question Real Value of Wine".
- Bonné, Jon, San Francisco Chronicle: The Sipping News (August 21, 2008). "Awards: 'Hoax' on the Wine Spectator". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Hirsch, Jerry, Los Angeles Times (August 22, 2008). "Wine Spectator drinks a hearty glass of blush". The Los Angeles Times.
- Yarrow, Alder, Vinography.com (August 19, 2008). "Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards Exposed as a Total Farce".
- Colman, Tyler, Dr. Vino (August 19, 2008). "Fictitious restaurant wins Wine Spectator Award of Excellence".
- Bone, James, The Times (August 23, 2008). "The wine had a whiff of the barnyard . . . hoax review leaves noses out of joint". The Times.
- Milmo, Cahal, The Independent (UK) (August 23, 2008). "Honour for restaurant that doesn't exist". London.
- Matthews, Thomas, forums.winespectator.com (August 20, 2008) Wine Spectator Has Been Scammed
- Ozersky, Josh, New York Magazine (August 21, 2008). "'Wine Spectator' Forum a Hotbed of Non-Controversy".
- Asimov, Eric, New York Times (May 7, 2008). "Wine's Pleasures: Are They All in Your Head?". The New York Times.
- Levitt, Steve, New York Times (July 24, 2008). "Keep the Cheap Wine Flowing". The New York Times.
- Popescu, Roxana, Newsweek (April 7, 2008). "Tastes Great, Less Billing".
- Kiley, David, BusinessWeek (May 8, 2008). "The Whining About Wine is Intoxicating".
- Shriver, Jerry, USA Today (May 9, 2008). "Wine Preconceptions Can't Hold Sway in Blind Tasting".
- Asimov, Eric, New York Times (April 22, 2008). "A Closer Look At The Wine Trials". The New York Times.
- Staff Editorial, Boston Globe (May 9, 2008). "Red, Red Whine". The Boston Globe.