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It’s the end of an era. Today, wine critic and founder of the Wine Advocate, Robert M. Parker, Jr announced his retirement. Of course, to anyone paying attention, the end of his reign as tastemaker and singular force in the wine world happened when he sold a majority stake in the Wine Advocate to a Singapore-based investment group in 2012.
As in many such corporate acquisitions, especially when the founder is inextricably linked to the brand, Parker stuck around and did his part to provide the impression that the status was quo while attending expensive wine dinners and speaking engagements. But with Lisa Perotti-Brown taking over as editor and the addition of new staff, followed by the acquisition of a 40% stake by Michelin in 2017, Parker’s nominal contributions to his publication slowed to a trickle and eventually stopped.
With Parker’s traditional beats (California and Bordeaux) covered by other …