1. A fake restaurant was created - Osteria L'Intrepido.
2. Location of fake restaurant was in Milan, Italy.
3. A website for fake restaurant - Osteria L’Intrepido was designed.
4. A wine list was built using the lowest scoring Italian wines from the Wine Spectator magazine.
5. Fake restaurant enters Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards.
6.TA-DAAAA!!! Fake restaurant wins "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence!"
At this time the Wine Spectator hasn't said much other than it was an elaborate hoax. They have only acknowledged this on their WS Forum, their chat-message board - nothing front page at this time. However, I have to rebuke a comment on the forum from James Molesworth, Senior Editor of the WS. "This is the problem with the 'blogosphere'. It's a lazy person's journalism. No one does any real research, but rather they just slap some hyperlinks up and throw a little conjecture at the wall, and presto! you get some hits and traffic..."
Last but not least, if Goldstein's "research" proves to be with merit, then wineries and winemakers may ponder the credibility of their scores from the Wine Spectator and especially those scores below 90 points that have influenced and turned away wine sales from the high-point driven wine consumer.