Leesy Garotti-Brett has unveiled her much-anticipated new project since leaving Wine Advocaat last year: a ‘saintly’ wine review site, holierthanthou.com.
Principles over profits
According to the publisher, Saeed Funding, holierthanthou.com is radically different from every wine publication that has come before it because it is ‘not as corrupt as a banana republic.’
‘We don’t want to name names or put anyone down,’ said Funding, ‘but literally every other drinks magazine is on the take and not to be trusted.’
To preserve its integrity, he told Fake Booze, holierthanthou.com will ‘only be taking money from its wealthy backers.’
Unlike existing subscription websites, holierthanthou.com will limit its reviews to grossly overpriced wine icons with a minimum bottle weight of 1.5 kilos.
Controversially, it will not score wines but instead provide creative photos of winery pets and their owners alongside 400 word tasting notes in which ordinary wine drinkers have zero interest.
But Garotti-Brett denied that the new publication was elitist.
‘We are very much about making wine accessible,’ she told Fake Booze. ‘For the super-rich, at least.’
Critics were mostly positive about holierthanthou’s decision to dispense with scores.
‘Getting rid of a system that the public know and love makes complete sense,’ said Moldovan-based critic Thora Drayte-Taster.
‘It’s good to see someone finally taking a stand against charging for artificially inflated scores, and charging artificially inflated subscription rates instead.’
Relying on algorithms and filter mechanisms to tell people which wines to buy, she said, would be ‘more transparent and less open to abuse.
‘Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.’
However, Parker Roberts of the Group of Boozy Scribblers Hacks and Industry Taste Explainers (GOBSHITE) questioned the new business model.
‘You have to remember that nobody has ever managed to make a success of a drinks publication without the three cornerstones of publishing,’ he told Fake Booze.
‘Opaque clubbability, long lunches and mutual back-scratching.’
Staff at holierthanthou.com are fully behind the principles, even if the lack of advertising income means they will not actually get paid.
Good luck. You’ll need it…
Rival publications welcomed the new competitor with open arms.
‘Obviously, we wish them all the best,’ said Every Other Magazine and Website when contacted by Fake Booze. ‘At least until their seed funding runs out, when we hope they crash and burn.
‘Now if you’d just excuse us, we need to correct this score from one of our advertisers from 89 to 98. A simple typo, don’t you know.’
Click here to read about Wine Advocate’s new ‘hype filter’, and here to read about the first ever smashing of the 100-point ceiling.