Robert Parker Declares That History Is on His Side

In a speech at this year’s Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, Robert Parker shared his thoughts on the future of wine writing, opening with this statement: “when I retire I don’t want to see the writing profession sort of whittle away.” In a room filled with the likes of Eric Asimov (Chief Wine Critic at the New York Times), Jon Bonne (Wine Editor at the San Francisco Chronicle), Jay McInerney (Wine Columnist at the Wall Street Journal), Ray Isle (Executive Wine Editor at Food & Wine) and many others, it was either a bit self-important or, well, oblivious.

In a roughly 30-minute speech, followed by a Q&A that lasted about as long, Parker addressed everything from his influence, his tastes, his rise and the future of wine and wine criticism. As expected, no one in the room left wanting for controversial statements. In a performance that was enlightening, confusing and often maddening in equal measure, Parker made declarations that ranged from defending superiority of his tastes for big, rich, fruit-driven wines (“truth is on my side, history is on my side…but I’m not an absolutist”) to denying that he ever had the ability to make or break a winery (“I think the press from the get-go has overestimated my power and also tried to pigeonhole my taste”). Head over to for a full video of the speech. [Vinography]