Many publications can consider this a cautionary tale. Wine Spectator magazine gave an award to a Milan restaurant that doesn't exist, falling for a hoax by a wine insider who questions
the authenticity of such award programs.
Author Robin Goldstein invented Osteria L'Intrepido restaurant, created a bogus Web site, menu and wine list and submitted them to the
magazine's annual award program. It was one of the thousands of restaurants that won.
Tom Pirko, a beverage industry consultant, says the hoax would certainly dent the magazine's credibility. "This gives the appearance of paying for advertising disguised as a contest," he says. Winning restaurants typically use the award as a form of marketing and advertising.