The influential wine critic founded the publication in 1978.
Entirely separating critic Robert Parker from the publication he created, Wine Advocate, is impossible. Heck, the website for Wine Advocate is still RobertParker.com. But over the past seven years, the now 71-year-old wine tastemaker has slowly been relinquishing control over the magazine. And yesterday, Wine Advocate announced he has officially retired.
“The father of modern wine criticism, our publication’s founder and namesake, my greatest mentor and a dear friend, it is with mixed feelings that I announce that Robert M. Parker Jr. will, as of today, be formally hanging up his wine criticism boots and retiring from Robert Parker Wine Advocate,” current editor-in-chief Lisa Perrotti-Brown wrote in an article entitled “A Tribute to Robert M. Parker Jr.” “I say ‘mixed,’ because if anyone deserves a rest from our frenetic world of wine reviews, it is Bob. And yet, his contribution to significantly raising the bar of critical, unbiased wine writing and wine quality cannot be overestimated. His unrivaled tasting experience and expert, straight-talking opinions will be sorely missed by consumers and trade alike.”
Parker launched what was originally known as The Baltimore-Washington Wine Advocate in 1978 and introduced the world to his 100-point system which is now considered a standard across the industry. In 2012, Parker sold a controlling stake in the publication and stepped down as editor-in-chief. In the following years, he continued to give up more of his duties before ceasing all official wine reviewing two years ago, though he still occasionally contributed to the site. But now, he’s stepping away entirely.
“As I retire from The Wine Advocate,” Parker commented, “I have the honor of passing the baton to our wonderful team. The time has come for myself to relinquish all editorial and board responsibilities with immediate effect. I raise my glass to all of you for being part of this journey and hope all will continue to share the enthusiasm for discovering wines with our dedicated reviewers.”