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Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the Reign of American Taste

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2007

    A GREAT topic, a missed opportunity. Too much fluf and anecdotes

    I love wine. I am a Francophile. I think the world of Parker. The book is great for the Gettys, the people who dine at the best restos and buy $200 wines and more. What about people such as myself who buy wines that range from $12 to $30. Parker rates them too, but nothing about that range is mentioned. The author did not explore analytic subjects such as 'what is the meaing of 90 pts for a $15 bottle of wine. Is ot equivalent to a 90 for a Chateau Margaux? {And Parker's web site sort of brushes this important topic off.] Parker's own books have sound, great advice for wine drinkers. Rather than discussing his tapes, his dogs and the various times the author rode in a car with him, couldn't she 'copy' some of Parker's excellent points about tasting, nosing, storing wine. There was a lack of info about wine, too much on personalities, and trips and trips and trips. And what about a discussion of the ability of Parker to remember thousands of wines.... Is it true. There was only one mention of this interesting and fantastic topic

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Read this before buying one of Parker's Buying Guides

    Overall, a well written, finely researched look into the most influencial wine critic. Although I had a strong curiouslty as to Robert Parker's rise and power within the wine world, I was not as drawn into the narative as I had hoped to be. The reader will certainly understand more about Parker and why his opinion seems to matter moreso than any singular individual, but the read is a little slow. By the end, I was glad to finally get there and move on to the next book. Nonetheless, because there are several buyers guides and ratings listed penned by Parker, this book will shed some light on his personal habits and preferences for wine and hopefully allow for more objectivity to the consumer when confronted with a "Parker Wine" in their local wineshop. Yet,without a well established intrigue for wine and all things related, I wouldn't recommend this book. However, when it comes to books regarding wine I always appreciate glossaries of common wine terminology, which the book is better off for including.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wine enthusiasts will benefit from this bio

    As the title suggests, McCoy's book is divided into two parts: the incredible rise of Parker as a wine reviewer and then his role leading the American influence over the global wine industry. In addition to educating me about the man, I also learned a ton about the wine industry in general, especially the history and culture of the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions in France.

    I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about wine and the impact America has had on the global industry.

    McCoy provides an incredible amount of context and detail to Parker's story, at times making the narrative too extracted, like many of the wines Parker recommends. But she is to be excused, for this usually offers needed support for telling the Parker story in the context of American taste.

    In fact, the second half of the book becomes less about Parker and more about "the reign of American taste" over the global wine industry. This influence, which Parker clearly served as the catalyst for, has had a profound impact on the types and styles of wine being made around the world. McCoy does an excellent job detailing the downside of this trend, in terms of the homogenization of wine as a result of American preference for fruitier, sweeter, fuller wines.

    In reading this book, I appreciate even more the difference between tasting vs. drinking wine. I share in McCoy's concern that Parker's palate maintains a strong influence over which wines thrive, if not survive, in the marketplace. Whenever one person dictates not only what should be drunk, but also how wine should be made, all wine consumers will suffer.

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