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Robert Parker is the Enemy

parker.jpgRobert Parker is the enemy. Why on the Wine Therapy forum his name is banned. You can't even type it, as when you type Parker, only the word "censored" appears. The British press blames him for their loss of power and curse him for single handedly destroying their own personal backyard, Bordeaux.  Comments from Parker and his crew (Rovani et al) are met with hails of indignation and threads with hundreds and hundreds of posts drag on in circular arguments on his forum.

 But I think they are all wrong. Robert Parker is not the enemy. If there is an enemy it is The Wine Spectator, a publication with the same journalistic standards as Us magazine.

If there is one characteristic that makes for an excellent critic, it is consistency and no palate I have ever seen is as consistent as Parkers. If he gives a wine 95 points or 88 points I know exactly what it will taste like. It does not matter that personally I will usually prefer his 88 point wine to his 95 point wine, what matters is he successfully communicates the character of a wine to me because he is so consistent in his likes and dislikes. This makes for a great critic. Greatness in a critic does not mean that they agree with you, but that they can guide you towards your likes and dislikes reliably. I don't think anyone does this better than Robert Parker. For this he is worthy of our respect and admiration. He is a finely honed tasting machine.

The attacks on Parker come because he is on the top. Humans just love to pull people down. What Parker offers is his opinion, nothing more and nothing less. The fact that his opinion on certain styles of wines is so reliable makes his opinions useful. 

All of these attacks seems to have created an us-versus-them mentality over at The Wine Advocate and that's too bad as they would be better served by concentrating on what they do so well, instead of getting mired in circular arguments with Steve Plotnicki.  Taking on the persona of a statesman instead of a street fighter is a better strategy.