Are paid-for wine review complaints sour grapes?

Are paid-for wine review complaints sour grapes?

Does a trip down the wine aisle with the labels and stickers leave you bamboozled?

Gold stickers are from wine shows meaning the wine has been judged and recognised accordingly.

But what if we told you some reviews are paid for?

Many bottles have stickers which are not from the wine shows and it is a practice that doesn't sit comfortably with the NZ Wine Writers Association.

"If you think about a restaurant review, would you feel happy if a restaurant reviewer had been paid by the restaurant to write a review?" the association's Jo Burzynska asks.

Winemaker Michael Glover believes the problem is consumers don't know and are unaware.

For Sam Kim, who has been in the wine business for 30 years, he openly declares he charges for his time and for his tasting notes.

"I charge for that service, it's deemed unethical. That's a view some people have and that's unfortunate," says Mr Kim.

So if reviewers are being paid, how do they maintain their dignity and integrity? And is this a practice that takes place overseas?

Story investigates.

Watch the video for the full Story report.

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