Comments on: The decline of the Robert Parker empire A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: DrGourmet Thu, 27 Dec 2012 17:46:17 +0000 New owner of Wine Advocate owns fine wine company in Singapore…potentail conflict of interest…

By: wbmason Fri, 21 Dec 2012 01:44:04 +0000 Yesterday’s email to each of our Judges.


As promised, here are your marks, as compared with the marks of other judges for a couple of the Finalist Categories – part of the never ending learning process. Fascinating comparisons. As if there could ever be a single opinion about a given wine! This array of marks emphasises former Chairman of Judges’ Huon Hook’s profound statement “Every palate is as unique as that person’s finger print.”

And that is exactly why we have six or seven Judges assess each of the finalists, separately and individually – with food – and publish their comments. And it is why we DO NOT seek to bludgeon our Judges’ diverse opinions into a single statement from on high on the merits of any given wine. That said, whilst offering a dissenting voice’s opinion, it is always the individual judges’ collective opinions (as expressed in the marks they allocate) that determine the Award winners. If a dissenting voice is consistently the dissenting voice… you begin to ask “could it be that the whole Battalion is out of step?”. So it is useful for Kym and I, too, to review these arrays.

It is also interesting to observe the marks of a judge who hardly ever expresses a strongly affirmative or a strongly dissenting opinion, always marks in the 4-7 range. Safe? May as well not be there! Ahh-so.

These results are listed from highest to lowest aggregate points.

Guess we never stop learning. Hope you will have some time to relax from your constant travel and teaching commitments during this 2012/2013 interchange.

Merry Christmas!


W. B. Mason, Competition Director
Sydney International Wine Competition
P O Box 210, Wentworth Falls, 2782 NSW
Tel +61 2 4757 4400 Fax +61 2 4757 4499

By: bvan Wed, 19 Dec 2012 17:07:36 +0000 I find in this column intriguing hints of irony, insight and, of course, damp ferret fur. Oh, and a dash of schadenfreude.

By: Juan1 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 15:45:17 +0000 This is the last time I’ll quote this, even if this time I’ve modified it a bit.
“The market for wine is unlike any other, because it’s built on some notion of true, underlying value”

As Lindmann would say: De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum.
But to take that seriously that would have to apply to values as well, so the point is not the right and wrong but the argument. Would you rather have an ongoing debate about wines, or follow someone else’s prescriptions? The criticism of Parker’s enological monoculture is longstanding.

And of course Taleb would call it “fragile”.

Your focus as a finance writer colors and limits your coverage of anything else, and therefore limits your coverage of finance itself.

By: Chris08 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 14:40:54 +0000 “Acceptable, truly pleasant, inspiring”,…what are those but expressions of personal taste? I stick with two categories.

By: Frwip Tue, 18 Dec 2012 08:05:55 +0000 Two categories?

No, let’s make that four:
– The undrinkable, ‘nough said
– The acceptable, many wines, actually. It’s hard to really foul up a wine nowadays, anyway. Most affordable decent Parker favorites rank there.
– The truly pleasant, all those little unexpected wonders you can stumble upon now and then, those wines that have that little quelque chose that makes for memories, just not those overtly wooded bludgeons Parker spent his career promoting.
– The inspiring, like a really good quarts-de-chaume you marry on a whimsy with a well matured livarot at the close of a late summer lunch, and then, shhhhpahhhh, a moment words cannot describe.

Then, there is a fifth category, the unaffordable, which, even if you can actually afford it, blows such a hole in your pocket and your self-respect that you cannot really appreciate it, no matter how good it is (and it isn’t always so great anyway).

By: Chris08 Tue, 18 Dec 2012 04:50:12 +0000 There are only TWO objective categories of wine: the undrinkable that anybody with taste buds can identify and the drinkable. Within the drinkable it is all just personal taste. Everything else is silly pretense. Useful for snobs and others to waste time discussing.

By: MattL Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:07:22 +0000 I’m mostly on board with you – huge Talia Baiocchi fan, never really cared about Parker in part because I can’t afford to drink along with him – but I will say I find “cow manure” and “petrol” and similar unromantic olfactory terms accurate and helpful. And I find the old-British sexualized style of wine writing extremely tiresome and unhelpful when, for instance, Jay McInerney does it every two weeks in the Journal.