There is a very odd interview with Robert Parker, the most important person in the wine world, in the current issue of Meininger's Wine Business International. The Italian Wine Guy, who brought this to my attention, says Parker seems tired, bored and angry.
Which is certainly true. He also doesn't seem to have much confidence in the people he has hired to write for the Wine Advocate, his ratings magazine, or that the Advocate will survive much past the time he stops writing for it. It's as if Babe Ruth expected baseball to go away after he stopped playing. More, after the jump:
I contacted Suzanne Mustacich at Meininger, who did the interview, figuring she might be able to offer some additional insight, but have not heard back. Until then, a couple of my thoughts:
• Parker rips the suggestion that he had anything to do with the popularity of high alcoholic Australian wines, which would new news to the Aussies. "To say Australia is associated with high alcohol wines is an insult and a totally incorrect view that ignores most of the country's wine producing regions. ..." His resentment is curious; one should take credit for one's accomplishments. It also gives me a chance to quote Shakespeare (from "Hamlet," no less): "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
• I would not want to work for Parker. Mustacich asked who might review Bordeaux afer Parker retires: "Of the critics working for me, only Neal Martin is well informed and has a very good grasp of Bordeaux." So much for all of the other talented people working at the Advocate, eh?
• Parker has no use for "the [wine] bloggers who offer their opinions for free, and for the most part lack seriousness and professionalism." Well. So much for my efforts to get Parker the recognition he deserves -- and has been denied -- from the Vintners Hall of Fame. I certainly wouldn't tell Parker how to review wine, but I do feel comfortable discussing this subject. He needs to understand that some of us (right, Italian Wine Guy?) are just as professional as he is. And more professional than some of the so-called professionals he holds up as the standard.