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Paid subscriptions to wine websites

I gave up my subscription to JR.com last March and it’s been liberating to no longer have a clue what scores wines get.

Whatever the real advantages of subscription services my experience of wine has been improved greatly by this absence of ratings when making decisions about what to buy or drink.


I think the change in Decanter’s focus towards the international market has been detrimental. There are now more advertorials and articles on wineries that don’t export outside the USA or when they do they are at premium prices.

I mainly enjoy the columns by Andrew Jefford, Hugh Johnson and some of the content but a lot of it I just skip through so have let my subscription lapse.


I always think that paying for wine websites is just money that I could spend on wine. There’s enough out there in the public domain and this forum is a great help in discovering new styles and producers.


The counter to that is that paying (and I am deliberately picking one of the cheapest here) £25 a year for drink rhone might mean that you better spend those £££(£?!)s you are planning to spend on Rhone En Primeur.

As always with wine by spending money you are actually saving money :upside_down_face:


It is just possible that subscribers to paid for sites will conclude that they are “mugs” and not post up to date reviews.
For example, I subscribe to Drinkrhone, JebDunnuck, Parker and Vinous.
Quite often there will be a major disparity between reviewers scores.
Sometimes, only one or two might review a particular wine, to be useful for our EP offer.
Also, when did they pay their last visit to Rhone or are they relying exclusively on samples?
I have noticed (but have no evidence) that when a Domaine produces a great wine, publication may be delayed or not even made. Coincidence, perhaps.
Some reviewers might score a Domaine historically lower than others.
Some reviewers might score lower than others, across the board.
Some reviewers might be profligate with their scoring.
There are so many issues to get one’s head around.
The upside for us this year, is Marcel was in Rhone - tasting, up until the last permitted minute, and his words will be like gold dust, more valuable then any other year.
The reviewers from Vinous, Jeb and Parker have been holed up in their US tasting offices (their passports currently of no use) awaiting pallets (I kid you not :open_mouth:) of samples to arrive; and the recycling to contend with!! :rofl: :+1: :dragon: