Poor Robert Parker

NYT: Decanting Robert Parker. The premise of the article is that Robert Parker, whose 100 point wine rating system and apparent love of big wines has revolutionized the industry, feels that he’s being made a scapegoat for everything that is wrong with the wine industry today.

Oh well. The price of fame.

Still, among the self pity, there are some interesting notes: that it would be a full time job for one wine reviewer to cover the wines of Italy (I think it would require at least two FTEs myself); that the variety available in the wine market today is greater than it has ever been in modern memory, and “we see evidence in southern Italy with the reclamation and resurrection of all these indigenous varietals that had long been sold off to co-ops”; that the apparent sameness of taste that many critics argue is a negative result of Parker’s influence is because “most wines are being tasted when they are too young”; that he wants to do a book on value wines, “Just a little pocket book. I think it would establish the fact that I’m not just a guy who is used by speculators to drive up prices.”

Sounds good. Let’s see it. I for one would welcome the reversal of one modern wine trend: that value wines nearly double in price within three years of their discovery (see southern Italy, Spain, and Chile for three recent examples).