I just read a blog post that turned my stomach sour, and after reading it, have come to the realization that some have forgotten their place in the world of wine. And, no, I'm not speaking of the author, but of the winery leardership.
Kissack's calm account of the incident says it all. They don't want their wines reviewed, and prefer to live on reputation. So let Huet live on reputation. In a few years no one will know who they are, the wines will be selling for a lower price. Word of mouth will have stopped. Value will have been erroded. You see, in the wine world the wine press lives for what's in the glass, not who puts it in the bottle.
Clearly this is a winery that wants to control it's press. So let them. There's a lot more deserving winemakers and wineries in the world who deserve your attention and welcome your criticisms. Instead of reviewing the Huet wines, simply pass them by, skip over them in your reviews, and leave them out of your tastings. No one needs to get dramatic about them. As a matter of fact, no one should care.
As a person trained in media relations, public relations, industry relations, and crisis management what was done to the UK wine blogger, Chris Kissac who authors the Wine Doctor blog was reprehensable. Read his post and read the comments then read the post on Vinography which nails the story perfectly.
As the creator of the Nokia Blogger Relations Program in 2005, and who helped bring to bloggers credibility, respect and part of the mainstream I found the comment about bringing in the PR Swat team is rather interesting. Not because it's needed, and it is, but more because the role of counselor is never given the brand permission it deserves.
My guess is there wasn't a PR pro on side of Huet's president who carried any weight or possibly not even around. What's more, a review of the last two years or so of press accounts shows not only a winemaker of 40 years leaving, and some spin doctoring going on, but basically, it a pattern where the owners are seeking the attention their wines once deserved.