I really didn't want to weigh in on the recent Robert Parker rant, and I won't, but my extern, Harry Oldman, insisted that I publish what he has to say. Please, I'm just the messenger, so don't shoot me!
I can't sit idle any more and watch an idol be dragged through the mud. When I read Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s "Article of Merit," I stood up an applauded. I said, "Well, Parker's the best critic in the game! When you try him with a sorry wine like crappy trebbiano, that's the result you gonna get! Don't you ever
talk about him! Crappy trebbiano! Don't anyone open their mouth about the best, or Bob's gonna shut it for you real quick! Legion of Boom!" Granted, I was alone in my living room drinking a delicious 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but it's the thought that counts. My balls are big enough, and sag low enough, that I am not afraid to stand by my man!
I was, however, a bit surprised that he sold himself short. He should have called it, "Article of Honor!" First, like the Medal of Honor, it is the highest honor one can be bestowed. And second, everyone should have been honored to just read the beautiful poetry which just flows naturally from Mr. Parker. But, no! There were those naysayering blobbers that had to get their 15 minutes of fame.
Alder Yarrow just had to open his big mouth. Bob did not invite you to sit down for a discussion, so stand back up and keep walking with your iPad and wine glass holder. Bob will see you in Napa at the Writer's Symposium and put you in your place. You just wait.
And who is this Jason Wilson? Table Matters? Your table doesn't matter! You think you wrote a well-reasoned and thoughtful response, but guess what? You didn't. Wine's all Greek to you because you don't understand it! You ramble on and on about all these Alternative Reds you think you enjoy. You question why you like the Tikves Bela Voda from Macedonia. You know why you like it? Because Mr. Parker gave it 94 points! 94 points! That's why you like it.
Thank goodness there is at least some modicum of rationality on the Internet. My faith in the power of my Gateway desktop was reaffirmed this morning when my pal, Steve Heimoff, spoke out in support of his brethren. Steve did a service to the wine world. First, how many wine bloggers knew what hackles were before today? Steve, you are a true educator! Second, I consider him a first responder in this war on wine! How else are we going to stop this "Taliban of Wine" if leaders like Steve don't put them in their places? Steve feels Bob's pain; his ankles are also full of bite marks (and not just Gus').
As much as I hate to, I do have to disagree with Steve on two points. First, Steve, you don't subscribe to eRobertParker.com? Why the hell not? How do you know what is good wine? Second, Bob is not "only human!" He is a deity and shall be respected as such. It is right for him to repay with affliction those who afflict him.
Of course all those tepid, insipid and flaccid wines from heaven knows what varieties afflict Bob's palate. And after hundreds and hundreds of years of viticulture, every 100-point terroir has been found. We don't need to search for the supposed next great region. Bob's been tasting wine for 35 years. Of course he knows what the best wines taste like and from where they come. Why even publish his recommendations if they aren't worth a damn? And like a good writer, Bob is only asking questions instead of making the supposed inflammatory statements of which he's been accused. For example, "Has anyone enjoyed eating an under-ripe apricot, peach, apple, tomato or pineapple?" The answer is no, but Bob eloquently and calmly leads his followers to the conclusion! Why would you eat an under-ripe pineapple? That's is just absurd. Wine should be made from ripe grapes and the riper the better. And when you can show me a wine made from ectoplasm, I'll concede that there is such a thing as artificial wine. Until then, just stop with all this natural wine dung-filled horn stuff.
Now, about this talk about Parker sounding like an old man yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. Well, he's not old, he's in the prime of his career. And it's his lawn! He built the wine industry into what it is today! If he wants the anti-alcohol teetotalers off his lawn, they'd better scurry! What's the point of drinking wine with little-to-no alcohol. I want to feel the wine in my brain and not just my tongue. I know that most people feel the same, too. I see so many stories about purple drank. I don't know exactly what what AVA that comes from, but I assume Parker gave it 100 points.
The plain and simple fact of the matter is that success comes from real
achievement. Any no-name can have their fifteen minutes in the spot light. Bob has had 35 years in the spotlight. That's achievement! My advice to winemakers, winery P.R. folks
and others interested in selling wine to an ignorant public is to stick with
writers who are professional, fair and polite. Stick with pros like Bob. Avoid, at all costs, anyone who blogs.