Robert Parker is to be congratulated for a group of bold moves that will certainly reenergize The Wine Advocate and propel it once again to the forefront of American wine criticism. The drag placed on that publication by Pierre Rovani and Daniel Thomases will be replaced by the energy, knowledge and authority of new writers Antonio Galloni (Italy), Dr. J. Miller (Pacific Northwest, Spain, Australia, and South America) and the expansion of David Schildknecht’s role beyond Germany and Austria to include Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, the Loire Valley and the Languedoc-Roussillon. Parker himself will refocus his considerable talents on his strong points; Bordeaux, California and the Rhone.
Each of these new writers offer a strong personal perspective that does not necessarily mirror Parker’s own and their addition marks the transition of The Wine Advocate from a publication based on the cult of personality that developed around Parker himself to a full-fledged wine publication with a team of stars that will each draw their own readership. In particular, Galloni has quickly established his credentials as a critic of Italian wines and his coverage will return to The Wine Advocate many Italian wine consumers that had abandoned that publication years ago. The same goes for Burgundy where Schildknecht’s famed obsession with detail will give him the tools required to attack this most complex of wine regions.
It is well worth noting that this change from a publication dominated only by Parker himself to a true team effort makes The Wine Advocate a much more sellable brand. Before this The Wine Advocate brand was worth nothing without Parker himself, but now The Wine Advocate will have many readers that don’t even bother to read the sections that Parker pens himself as their interests and palates diverge from his, but match well with one of these new writers. There will be many new subscribers who sign up to follow either Galloni or Schildknecht on their own merits who have little interest in the wines that Parker himself covers. We can certainly expect to see a major expansion of The Wine Advocate brand on all fronts and that soon it will become a much larger and more frequent publication than it is now. This is truly the beginning of a new era for The Wine Advocate.