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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life. . .” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


My hat is off to you Mr. Pancho Campo. Andrés Arévalo, a Spanish Poster on Takes Pancho Campo to Task About the So-called Murciagate-Valenciagate-Madridgate Scandal Concerning Robert M. Parker's The Wine Advocate and its Spanish Wine Reviewer, Jay Miller

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(Note: As has been reported on many blogs and in newspapers, Jay Miller resigned on Dec. 4, 2011. This resignation came just 3 days after Miller appeared at a conference in Valencia for which the Valencia regulatory and the wineries involved all believed that a visit and tasting by Mr. Miller would lead to favorable reviews in The Wine Advocate. As an inside source in Valencia told me that the events of the past few days, "The tension at the regulatory council has to very high.")

My hat is off to you Mr. Pancho Campo

Esteemed Pancho (Campo),

The truth is that I take my hat off to you. You are a true businessman.  A few days ago in Murcia (you put on) a Master (Wine) Class, today in Valencia (Dec. 1), tomorrow in Madrid for agricultural cooperatives (I have been invited). You're taking advantage that you are the one who organizes the agenda of (Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s The Wine Advocate’s) Jay Miller. And the truth is, if Jay Miller accepts, and the D.O.s (wine region regulatory councils) (agree to ) pay, all is legal and nobody can say anything.

You are making Sr. Miller sweat his shirt, despite the fact that one would think that having you arrange (his trips in Spain) was supposed to have made his life easier.

Spain is in bankruptcy, and the wine D.O.s are all tight with budget cuts as (is the case) all over Spain, but the wineries are desperate to sell their wines And no one doubts the influence of TWA (The Wine Advocate) in the USA. But don’t you think you are abusing (things) a little? Honestly you think that they (the D.O.s) would pay you to give a conference if it were not (because you were delivering) Jay Miller?

And what has been published about (your dealings) with D.O. Madrid, I don’t know if it is a lie and it was a mistake like the people of Murcia of ASEVIN (supposedly made), but it was you signing on from Tuscany and pulling the strings (behind the scenes of the controversial e-mails soliciting funds for the appearance of Jay Miller) from your iPhone.

But the most surprising of all, and that is where I take off my hat to you Mr. Campo, is that wine journalists from Spain have not investigated any of this. How do you do that? Nobody (from the Spanish wine press) says anything. It was a blogger from the United Kingdom and an English Associated Press journalist it seems (who broke the story). Where are (Spanish wine journalists) the Peñins, Proensas, Delgados, and de La Sernas (he has at least investigated/published something) and other Spanish wine journalists?

About much less important things than the Madrid incident, rivers of ink have been written. By things much smaller than the Madrid has written rivers of ink. (Your) Pressure (on the Madrid regulatory council); claiming that they were letting an opportunity pass, that you asked for 40,000 Euros, but would take 20,0000 Euros; that he (Jay Miller) would not be returning to Spain until 2014, but thanks to the putting on a conference and paying (his visit) could be pushed forward and every thing could be arranged. Where has this been seen in Spain? Has anyone investigated if this (modus operandi) has been done the same way in other Spanish regions and with other regulatory councils? Have others (regions) been left without a visit by Mr. Miller because they would not pay Sr. Campo’s toll? Is the scandal bigger than anything ever been seen in the wine industry in Spain?. We do not deserve that.

In the end, I don’t know why I am writing all of this. Regards, Andrés Arévalo - -

In an even more pungent post on Dec. 4 (after the resignation of Jay Miller), Andrés Arévalo takes Pancho Campo to task again.  If you read Spanish, you can read the second post by going to the Foro link.  As soon as I get time, I will translate the second post from Arévalo and post it here.


  1. Anonymous6:07 AM

    While it is sad to note that few Spanish wine journalists have investigated this, I believe it is common practice by restaurant journalists here to take €€€ for reviews. Perhaps Pancho sees himself as aligned with this lack of ethics and integrity when the power of the press is brought to food and wine?

  2. Uh, I don't know if the statement about restaurant journalists in Spain taking €€€ for reviews is true. I am sure that there are some who may do that, but I doubt that the best ones do.


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