Personally, I think 2009 might be just a shade late to run another column about how the Internet has Changed Everything. This time, the topic is wine, and Mike Steinberger makes the glaringly obvious observation that the Internet, Twitter, and other social networking tools have changed the way that people learn about wine and interact with wine critics, who have been downgraded from error-proof, impartial experts to fallible, flawed, junket-loving sellouts. The central example is Robert Parker, who has long claimed to be free from the paid influence of wine industry bigwigs, and has always paid for his wine-tasting trips and bottles out of his own pocket. Some of his associates apparently didn’t hew to those strict guidelines, and a great hullabaloo broke out on Parker’s website discussion forums, which, incidentally, feel like a relic from 2003 or something. Go read the details if you’d like; they’re not that interesting, per se.
I just wanted to point out, in the spirit of full disclosure, that we at the IFA welcome any and all industry influence and contact, and have never even hinted at gesturing towards any admission of impartiality. We eat and drink what we do, and then sometimes we write about it. We may not promote your wares, but we would sure love to taste them. Full Disclosure: We love free shit.