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Robert Parker


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5 replies to this topic

#1 chefzadi

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 09:16 PM

Who is he and what is his significance in the American wine market? Wine writing? Your viewpoint please. I don't expect you to write a biography here. But he seems to be a an influential figure in the American wine industry.
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#2 Eric Asimov

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 03:34 PM

Is there any question that he's the most influential wine critic ever? Certainly in our time, he is. I don't think that anybody else has had the profound effect that Parker has had on how wines are made and how they taste. By virtue of his power, many winemakers try to cater to what they perceive as his taste. Can you blame them? One score in the 90's from Parker can get a no-name winery onto the shelves. It's not his fault either. It shows how desperately insecure people are in their judgment, and how eager they are for someone to point them in the right direction.
Parker himself seems honest and incorruptible in a business where that has historically been all too rare. He sees himself as the voice of the consumer rather than a mouthpiece for the wine industry, which has also been all too rare.
You can disagree with his taste, his methods, his sense of what wines ought to taste like, but he created a role for himself at a time that consumers were thirsting for what he was offering.

#3 jayt90

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 06:58 PM

Generally his influence filters down through some levels of commercialdom.
How many of subscribe to his newsletter to get the scores? But we are aware of well rated wines because the distributors, stores,and control boards tell us about the numbers, when they are good, and his phrasing, which can sound good even if the number is in the 80's.
When I google a wine, I can often find out what Parker has said, from a wine store trying to sell the stuff.
I'm glad he's there, simply because he is independent.
But there are lots of other great reviewers and writers, such as Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, Clive Coates...

#4 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 07:10 PM

London Review of Books has a current article on Robert Parker ...

So it is a remarkable thing that the United States has not only produced the wine world’s current Pooh-Bah, but, of all nations, has bowed down lowest in his presence. The ‘24-carat taste buds’ belong to Robert Parker, a 57-year-old former Baltimore lawyer, who started the bimonthly subscription-only Wine Advocate in 1978.
Parker evidently thinks there has been too much bullshit in wine writing, that it’s a mark of corruption, and that both a simplified vocabulary for talking about wine and a more straightforward sensibility towards what makes wine good are ways of cleansing the Augean stables of the wine world


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#5 Eric Asimov

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 07:50 PM

Generally his influence filters down through some levels of commercialdom.
How many of subscribe to his newsletter to get the scores? But we are aware of well rated wines because the distributors, stores,and control boards tell us about the numbers, when they are good, and his phrasing, which can sound good even if the number is in the 80's.
When I google a wine, I can  often find out what Parker has said, from a wine store trying to sell the stuff.
I'm glad he's there, simply because he is independent.
But there are lots of other great reviewers and writers, such as Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, Clive Coates...

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This is true, and you could add the Wine Spectator, Steve Tanzer and others, but I don't think they are nearly as influential.

#6 jayt90

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 03:36 PM

Some Wine Spectator ratings seem to be clouded by commercial considerations. I won't get into details here, but there are a great many wine buyers who take the WS ratings with a grain of salt. They have some great reviewers, like Kramer, Henriksenn, and perhaps Suckling, but those all encompassing reviews have to be reconciled with the reality of the advertisers who support the magazine.