This website, blog and my tasting notes are fiercely independent. I believe I have refined my palate and ability to rate wines over 12 years of intensive tastings, practice, study, discussion with peers, and review of what I’ve tasted and written, and I continue to learn, expand my understanding and refine my palate. I sincerely believe Ben Franklin was right—that wine is evidence that God or the cosmos loves us—and it’s my main hobby and passion. I spend virtually all my non-working hours tasting, reading about and talking about wine. I try to be objective as humanly possible about what I’m experiencing and deriving from any wine I’m tasting. I may be a big fan of the producer of that particular wine from past experiences, but if what I’m tasting in a particular bottle is flawed or not particularly good, that’s what I’ll report. If my opinion costs me a friendship, a frown or denial of a future invitation, so be it. (Fortunately, I’ve found that the winemakers I’ve gotten to know and whose work I most admire appreciate honest feedback.)
I am here to enjoy, and share my enjoyment and appreciation of wine, and not to be a shill for anyone in the business. I am not employed by any producer, distributor, retailer or anyone else in the wine business. My opinions may, at times, not be as accurate or fully informed as they could be, but they are as honest and objective as I can possibly be, given what I’m experiencing and my ability to communicate it.
I am happy to accept samples for tasting. I try to get to samples as quickly as possible, after they’ve had a chance to rest for a week or two, but it can sometimes take me a month or longer to taste a given sample and to get my tasting notes up on CellarTracker, especially if I’ve been traveling that month. Whether I include mention of a wine in my blog, on HuffingtonPost, or in a piece for Snooth or IntoWine.com depends on whether I think it’s newsworthy, or fits a given theme, but I will definitely get a note on CellarTracker, where I keep an ongoing database of tasting notes. If I am unimpressed with the wine, my tasting note will convey that. If I think it’s worthy of others’ consideration, I’ll share that opinion.
The address for sending samples is Richard Jennings, c/o WineBank, 1320A Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025 (phone # 650-327-9200). Important note: the preceding address and telephone number are only to be used for shipping samples. They should not be used to try to contact me directly; it is simply the location where I store wine. To contact me directly, please click on the Feedback button that appears on the left hand side of each page. Once you click on that button, a form will open in which you can give me your contact info and message.
In sum, I often recommend wines, wine stores, wine events, and/or restaurants, simply because I like them, and think those with similar tastes will too, not because I’m being compensated in any way for those opinions. I appreciate readers’ comments, too, if you think I’m unfair or inaccurate in my opinion. If I think there’s merit to your objection, I will attempt to retaste and report to you on that as well.
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