Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Changes Coming at Wine Advocate

Eric Asimov writes about the changes coming to Parker's mag now that he is stepping aside a bit. His influence on the industry has been deep and wide. Not everyone agrees with his taste or approach but he has been one of the biggest influencing forces for many years.

For many wine lovers, the news that Robert M. Parker Jr. is planning to sell a portion of his influential newsletter, The Wine Advocate, to a group of Asian investors and step down as editor in chief does not so much signal an end of an era as acknowledges changes that have been under way for a decade.
The article, by Lettie Teague in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, also reports that the print edition of The Wine Advocate will soon be eliminated, and that Lisa Perrotti-Brown, a correspondent for The Wine Advocate based in Singapore, will take over editorial control. Mr. Parker will assume the role of chairman, and he will continue to write for the newsletter, primarily covering the wines of Bordeaux and the Rhône.
Mr. Parker is still the world’s most influential wine critic, at least in the sense that his words help set the prices of the top-flight Bordeaux market and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as the auction market for old benchmark wines. In a larger sense, though, the peak of Mr. Parker’s influence, when he along with other publications like Wine Spectator shaped how several generations of Americans thought about wine, has passed. The move recognizes a new reality, that the center of orbit for critics like Mr. Parker is now in Asia rather than North America. MORE

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