In a stunning reversal of unwritten policy, the wine industry’s most powerful critic, Robert M. Parker, Jr. and his fellow staff members at the publication he founded, The Wine Advocate, held a press conference earlier today to “apologize for our recent boorish, bullying behavior.”
“We at The Wine Advocate have, in short, been terribly, terribly wrong in our actions,” admitted Parker to a packed crowd of seven wine industry veterans gathered near his home in Monkton, Maryland. “My god, our behavior has been so infantile and vile that I don’t even know where to start, quite frankly. Oh, are those cookies over there? Could someone pass those?”
Parker began by extending a virtual vinous olive branch to Jon Bonne and Eric Asimov, wine writers for the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, respectively. Both men were publicly derided by Parker as unprofessional in a post in the online bulletin board of Parker’s website. “Really, that was totally uncalled for, and bitingly ironic considering that only a few days before I had, in their presence, publicly called for more civility among wine writers. I mean, dang, I’m making the whole profession look like a bunch of douchebags when I do things like that!” He then slammed his open right palm into his forehead, temporarily shaking the stage and causing microphone feedback that delayed the remainder of the press conference for several minutes. The normally recalcitrant Parker had been referring to statements he made as the keynote speaker at a wine writers conference, given only a short time before his remarks about Bonne and Asimov, both of whom were in the audience during Parker’s keynote address.
Parker was followed by several The Wine Advocate staff writers and critics in offering public apologies, including Master of Wine Lisa Perrotti-Brown, who referred to her mis-identification and lambasting of Bonne’s and Asimov’s “new California wines” session at the 2014 Professional Wine Writers Symposium in Napa, California (in which she mistakenly referred to wines that weren’t actually poured during the session) a “real fuck-up.” On the bulletin board, Perrotti-Brown called the wines “vaguely interesting,” “neutral,” “dilute,” and “flavorless, without vibrancy and texture, not unlike most of wine writing itself these days.”
“Well, what can I say, I just balled that up big time,” she told reporters and industry insiders…