Thank God for Robert Parker
June 17, 2006 9:37 PM   Subscribe

A Vine Romance I spite of his critics Robert Parker has vastly improved the wine experience for all of us!
posted by sameasthem (10 comments total)
Ummm. How do you spite?

But spencer is all about spite, izzent'e?
posted by owalt1 at 10:48 PM on June 17, 2006

Is the secret to choosing good wine just to look at the price tag?
Decanter Magazine vs. Robert Parker: A Good Ole’ Cat Fight
posted by Lanark at 3:46 AM on June 18, 2006

The Decanter squabble (and the nasty comments in that linked review) are typical -- the British wine press has been snarky about Parker since he began. This isn't surprising, since prior to him wine reviews (dominated by the Brits) tended to range from "very good" to "very good indeed!" and were often written by folks with one foot in the industry.

The problem isn't that Parker exists, it is that there is only one Parker. What wine consumers needs are other critics who are as reliable and respected. (Tanzer comes close.) Parker is only one man with one palate, and as good as he is, the power he has come to exert is a bit scary.

The McCoy book is a good read if you are really into wine. A shorter introduction to Parker can be found here:
posted by chrisgrau at 6:08 AM on June 18, 2006

Robert Parker formerly on MetaFilter.

Also, what chrisgrau said
The problem isn't that Parker exists, it is that there is only one Parker.
posted by languagehat at 6:54 AM on June 18, 2006

Well there is Jancis Robinson - Robinson, Parker have a row over Bordeaux
posted by Lanark at 7:52 AM on June 18, 2006

Parker essentially sets the price of a wine when he assigns it his "number." I think everyone involved finds this a little bit unfortunate.

The guys at EnoLogix claim to be able to predict the Parker number with a high degree of accuracy by chemical analysis. Reading about this is interesting.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:42 AM on June 18, 2006

Parker will not be a force forever. However, he has made an interesting contrubution to the overall level of wine quality. I mean those that you might enjoy on a daily basis. The bar has been raised because of his dominance in the business. I can get many very enjoyable, and yes, low priced wines that would not have been available 5 or 10 yrs ago...that's in spite...never mind.
These wines might not be complex but are nicely balanced.
Want names? There is one red out now that has a Parker 90 for about $12.
posted by sameasthem at 3:20 PM on June 18, 2006

So what's the name?
posted by languagehat at 5:45 AM on June 19, 2006

I don't think you can put the change in the makeup of wines all on Parker's shoulders. Clearly, some of this comes from the market itself. There is also some evidence that the he seeks to give back based on his good fortune. Check out:

This is a press release about a recent funding event that he lent his name and time to.
posted by slowhand at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2006

Name: Pillar Box Red. It is an Austrailian blend. I'm drinking some right now!

Also; I agree, Parker doesn't get all the credit for wines changing.
posted by sameasthem at 7:52 PM on June 19, 2006

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