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

Overview

The first book to chronicle the rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world's most influential and controversial wine critic, who, over the last twenty–five years, has dominated the international wine world and embodied the triumph of American taste.

This is the story of how an American lawyer raised on Coca–Cola caused a revolution in the way wines around the globe are made, sold, and talked about.

To his legions of fans, Parker is a cross ...

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

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Overview

The first book to chronicle the rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world's most influential and controversial wine critic, who, over the last twenty–five years, has dominated the international wine world and embodied the triumph of American taste.

This is the story of how an American lawyer raised on Coca–Cola caused a revolution in the way wines around the globe are made, sold, and talked about.

To his legions of fans, Parker is a cross between Julia Child and Ralph Nader –– part enthusiastic sensualist and part consumer crusader. To his many enemies, he is a self–appointed wine judge bent on reducing the meaning of wine to a two–digit number. The man who now rules the world of wine has been the focus of both adulation and death threats. He rose to his pinnacle of power by means of the traditional American virtues of hard work, determination, and integrity –– coupled with an unshakeable ego and a maniacal obsession with a beverage that aspires to a seductive art form: fine wine.

Parker's influential bimonthly newsletter, The Wine Advocate, with more than 45,000 subscribers across the United States and in more than thirty–seven countries, exerts the single most significant influence on consumers' wine–buying habits and trends in America, Europe, and the Far East, and impacts the way wine is being made in every wine–producing country in the world, from France to Australia. Parker has been profiled in countless magazines and newspapers around the world and most of his dozen books have been best sellers in the United States and abroad. Yet, despite the world's attention and unending acclaim, Robert Parker stands at the center of a heated controversy. Is he a passionate lover of wine who, more than anyone else, is responsible for its vastly improved quality, or is he, as others claim, waging a war against centuries of tradition and in the process killing the soul of wine?

The Emperor of Wine tackles the myriad questions that swirl about Parker and reveals how he became both worshipped and despised, revered as an infallible palate by some and blamed by others for remaking the world's wine industry into a single global market, causing prices to skyrocket, and single–handedly reshaping the taste of wine to his own preference.

Elin McCoy met Robert Parker in 1981 when she was his first magazine editor, and she has followed his extraordinary rise ever since. In telling Parker's story, McCoy gives readers an unmatched, authoritative insider's view of the eccentric personalities, bitter feuds, controversies, passions, payoffs, and secrets of the wine world, explaining how wine reputations are made, how and why wine critics agree and disagree, and tracking the startling ways wines are judged, promoted, made, and sold today. This fascinating portrait of a modern–day cultural colossus shows how a world that once was the province of gentlemen's clubs and the pastime of stuffed shirts turned into a sensual hobby for the middle class, creating a luxury industry bent on making money on a worldwide scale –– and how one man has revolutionized the way the world thinks about wine.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062354884
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 650,535
  • File size: 763 KB

Meet the Author

Award-winning journalist and international wine judge Elin McCoy has chronicled the world of wine for thirty years. She is the wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg Markets, and a longtime contributing editor at Food & Wine. Her writings have also appeared in the New York Times, House & Garden, and many other publications.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • 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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