Larger than life: Profiling Parker

Biography: Robert Parker

Robert_ParkerAuspiciously born in one of the most revered Bordeaux vintages in recent history, 1947, before entering the wine world Robert M. Parker Jr worked for a decade as an attorney in Baltimore, leaving law in 1984 to become a full-time wine writer. His passion for wine was ignited in the late ‘60s during a visit to Alsace, which spurred him to produce his own consumer wine guide. The first issue of The Wine Advocate was sent out in 1978 free of charge to fewer than 600 people from mailing lists bought from major wine retailers. Today, TWA has over 50,000 subscribers in 37 countries. Described in a 1999 LA Times profile piece as “the most powerful critic of any kind, anywhere,” Parker made an early call on the 1982 vintage, which did much to propel him into the limelight as the go-to Bordeaux critic. Having become popular for his 100-point scale, which is still slavishly followed, during the ‘90s and early noughties his influence over the wine world was so great, certain winemakers were accused of making wines to deliberately suit his palate, which is believed to favour bold, rich, ripe flavours. In 2001 Parker’s nose and palate were allegedly insured for US$1m. In late 2012, he sold a major stake in TWA to Singaporean investor Soo Hoo Khoon Peng for a reported US$15m (HK$116m) and stepped down as editor-in-chief, appointing Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW as his successor. Parker handed over assessing Bordeaux en primeur to Neal Martin in February this year, but continues to cover Bordeaux in bottle and northern California for TWA and He lives in Maryland with his wife Patricia, daughter Maia, and troop of basset hounds and English bulldogs.



One Response to “Larger than life: Profiling Parker”

  1. Cyrene says:

    A Hard-working man, modest, with a solid sense of humor, who love wines and food, with a true dignity and a sense of honesty that most journalists could only dream of. He did a lot for the world, getting dozens of millions to understand and aprreciate wine. Thank you Sir Robert, for what you have done and for always being true to your word. The wine world owes you a colossal statue to show its gratitude.

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