Robert Parker leaves Wine Advocate. Changes are coming, but which ones?
On December 9th we get news of the putting on sale of Wine Advocate and now we hear that the new owners are among the major distributors of luxury wines in Asia
Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Since 1978 the bimonthly magazine belonging to Robert Parker Jr has been a cult for lovers of great wines all over the world. This magazine owns its fame and its enormous influence to its absolutely independent character. Printing in two colours, no publicity, absolutely impartial ratings, and great competence in the tastings …. In other words Wine Advocate deserved respect at the first glance.
Everybody expected a rotation and that Robert Parker Jr would have left his creation in the hands of the super expert taster Antonio Galloni. Everything made one think that through the succession there would have been continuity, but now this rotation seems to revolutionize the bases of the famous lawyer’s newsletter.
The new owners are from Singapore and they will put in charge of Wine Advocate Ms. Lisa Perrotti Brown transforming the paper newsletter -which will continue at least for all of 2013- into a digital bulletin. Wine Advocate will accept advertisements even though not those advertising wineries.
But the best has yet to come, because Decanter.com the digital newsletter belonging to the major English wine magazine, Parker’s lifelong antagonist, published and even more surprising piece of information: Soo Hoo Khoon
Peng, who guides the group has bought the majority packet of share of Wine Advocate seems to be husband to Josephine Ng Choo Ping main shareholder and senior director of Hermitage Wine one of the main distributors for luxury wine in Asia.
Really mindboggling news about which Decanter supplies details and titbits which seem credible so much so that the Master of Wine Debra Meiburg who lives in Hong Kong and Dr.Vino are trying to probe into the subject by asking Robert Parker questions. The great American wine expert declares that he has no knowledge regarding a connection between the Wine Advocate major shareholder and the Hermitage wine merchant but that such a situation would create an evident conflict of interests, so, if things were as it seems, the solution might be with the sale of the distribution company. Everything seems very messed up. We will have to wait and see how things work out.