With ‘Advocate’ Reviews in Legal Limbo How Will We Know What Sonoma Wines To Drink?

The real victims in the lawsuit between the Wine Spectator and Antonio Galloni are the people

At the center of a dispute between Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and former writer Antonio Galloni are hundreds of Sonoma wine reviews the Italian critic wrote while on a trip to Sonoma in January 2012. By his refusing to give the reviews to the Advocate and instead deciding to publish them on his own site, Galloni has crossed Parker’s line in the sand. Across this line, you do not … TWA is claiming breach of contract and violation of trade secrets — namely their extensive list of subscribers, reports Decanter.

The Advocate is also requesting that a judge prevent Galloni from publishing the reviews until the matter is settled.

In the meantime, thousands of Americans are left wondering what to drink. Without TWA scores and analysis, how will we know which Sonoma wines are worth paying way too much for? Without Parker’s stamp of approval, how will you know whether the wine you are bringing to dinner will improve your social standing? What if, heaven forbid, no one has ever even heard of it? And what of judging your friends — they could potentially get away with bringing a mere 80 point wine. Without the Sonoma reviews, we will simply never know whether or not any wine is good, or even what it tastes like. Are these red fruits or black? Boysenberry? Bramble? It’s frightening. Terrifying, really.

And it will leave Sonoma in shambles. Babies will scream out. Women will softly sob.

The same sense of terror and chaos exists on the other side of the counter. Tasting room attendants opening current release wines don’t know what to say. Pourers have reportedly been seen mumbling something about percentage of new oak and malolactic fermentation and then collapsing in tears. “We think the wine is good, but we don’t know for sure. Is it a 90 point wine? Could it be a 100 point wine and we just don’t know it?” will say the sales counter girls across Sonoma. “We just don’t know what to say. Sales have been bad.”

Shelf talkers at wine shops are similarly speechless. As new vintages arrive, shop owners are uncertain about the product. “Should I even sell this wine? Or just smash the bottles in an alley?” they’ll wonder. Shop owners will be left saying, “I just simply don’t know. We really, really need those reviews.”

This post brought to you by the letter sex (because tourists are mean):