Here's a nasty little wine scandal

Think those food awards mean something? Well, for all you wine drinkers out there, here's a nasty little scandal involving an award, a noted magazine, and a restaurant.

A scandal that makes these awards pretty meaningless.

Let me explain.

As reported in the New York Times, it seems that the magazine Wine Spectator gave an award to a restaurant that doesn't even exist. An author made up a restaurant, sent in an application with an invented menu and his $250 fee, and received one Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in return.

Now, in all fairness, the magazine does say "... We cannot visit every award-winning restaurant." But it does note that their "... awards evaluate wine lists ..."

Alas. According to the Consumerist, the menu included "... the lowest-scoring Italian wines in Wine Spectator over the past 20 years."