Spurred by a recent email sent to the trade by another leading wine reviewing publication, which involves (among other things) getting special access to reviews before subscribers, I thought it was a good time to lay out our ethics policy at JebDunnuck.com and say where we stand.
First, it is vitally important for a critic to be completely independent. For the past 14 years as a professional reviewer, I have covered every flight, hotel, and method of transportation required for reviewing wine and have ALWAYS paid my own way.
As a company:
1) We are Subscriber funded and accept no advertising of any kind.
2) We cover 100% of the travel, accommodation, and food costs for our reviewers. In short, we always pay our own way and are 100% independent.
3) We never accept gifts from wineries or the trade.
4) No reviewer will ever be involved in the direct public selling of wine.
Suffice to say, getting paid by a region or an importer to taste wines violates every hint of independence and basically puts a reviewer or publication on the payroll of the trade. As much as it pains me to feel the need to say it, there are no stealth subscriptions at JebDunnuck.com that will ever allow members of the trade access to our reviews or other content before subscribers. In the same vein, there are no custom, bespoke options available for the trade. And there never will be.
It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and an instant to destroy it.
Jeb Dunnuck, owner and founder of JebDunnuck.com