The Emperor of Wine: Robert Parker, Jr. (New York Times)

‘The Emperor of Wine’
First Chapter, New York Times (reg. req’d)
Published: August 7, 2005

Monkton, Maryland, population 4,615, seems an unlikely hometown for the world’s most important wine critic. When Robert McDowell Parker, Jr., was born in Baltimore on July 23, 1947, the landscape north of the city around Monkton was much as it is now – a typical rural American mix of working dairy farms, white clapboard farmhouses and modest brick ranch houses, and patches of second-growth woods and rolling fields. As I drove to his house to spend a day with him, though, a few large, white-fenced horse farms alerted me to the presence of the affluent elite of huntcountry blue bloods who have long presided over point-to-point horse races each spring and fall and attended the annual Blessing of the Hounds at the local Episcopal church. (more…)

‘The Emperor of Wine’: The New World Order
By TONY HENDRA (book review)

ROBERT M. PARKER Jr., wine cop to the world, is a polarizing figure whose fierce judgments are echoed by the ferocity of his advocates and opponents. Elin McCoy reveals herself in ”The Emperor of Wine,” the first biography of Parker, as leaning to the former camp, but she does offer some tasty amuse-gueules. For example: meeting Robert Chadderdon, a New York wine importer, for the first time in the 1980’s, Parker was given a white and a red to sample. He also chose to identify them, saying that the white was a grand cru Burgundy (and therefore a Chardonnay) when in fact it was a Chasselas, a delicate floral wine from Switzerland to which white Burgundy bears absolutely no resemblance: the vinous equivalent of an art expert mistaking a Matisse for a Mantegna. (more…)

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