‘Wine Advocate’ Reformulated

Speaking of Robert M. Parker Jr., it’s just been announced that the influential wine critic is departing from his post as editor in chief of the Wine Advocate newsletter amid other changes. As Lettie Teague reported in the Wall Street Journal (content restricted):

Mr. Parker intends to phase out the print version of the newsletter, which he built over the past several decades into one of the most influential voices on wine. He also said he intends to step down as its editor in chief, turning editorial oversight to his Singapore-based correspondent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown.

Finally, the fiercely independent publication—which Mr. Parker has often described as inspired by his hero, consumer advocate Ralph Nader—will start accepting advertising, though none that is wine-related.

It will take some time for all this to sink in. How will an emphasis on China (and even Chinese growers) impact the rest of its coverage? What does Parker plan to do now that Perrotti-Brown has been named to replace him? Who are the investors behind this move?

No question China is the next frontier for liquor and wine. Distillers of brown spirits do a brisk business in the Middle Kingdom. As for wine, as I noted in a 2011 post, Chinese are highly interested in acquiring luxury goods—one Chinese individual even spent $539,280 at auction for 300 bottles of Châtueau Lafite-Rothschild. I’m guessing Parker will make a mint off of all this—perhaps he should celebrate by dining with his wife at Daniel in New York City. I recommend the bottle of Château Pétrus 1982 for $12,000.

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