Wow, W. Blake Gray and Alder Yarrow. Amazing. I had no idea they even knew who I was. Quite an honor. I mean, I’m in the Vintners Hall of Fame, but they’ve won Wine Blog Awards! You can understand why I’m so flabbergasted. It’s like your local meth lab voted you the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
|"Ah, smells like mendacity."|
I am the most influential critic of any kind who has ever lived. Unless you count Pol Pot. The kind of power I’ve wielded in the wine business for the past thirty years is remarkable, and will never be duplicated. Galloni? I give him ten years, tops. Then he’ll go nuts and give 19 100-point scores to the 2020 Baroli in exchange for some Armani suits and a 2006 Maserati, and that will be that. Mark Squires? Come on, give me a break. I tossed him the Portugal bone and look how the stock in those wines has plummeted. Squires makes Jay Miller look like a sentient being instead of the title role in “The Blob.” Schildknecht? The guy has the writing style of Wikipedia. You read a couple of sentences and wonder why the hell you started. And those are just my guys.
It’s always been a hobby for critics and writers to take potshots at me. Maybe I should take some Pol Potshots back. But at whom? James Laube? Please. They say wines I like are Parkerized. With Laube, they’re “Laubotomized.” Will Jay McInerney ever make it to the Vintners Hall of Fame? That idiot? I will say this for him; he’s the one guy who figured out what I figured out a long time ago. Writing bullshit sells. Just tell them what they want to hear. It’s like politics. It’s like marketing. Always remember that the truth is fungible and serves at your convenience. Don’t be a slave to it. Oh, proclaim it to the heavens, put it in print, attach a number to it, give it the weight of your authority, but don’t fall in love with it. It’s the wine business. Truth in wine reviewing is like sulfites in wine—low doses of it are best. McInerney gets that. But he’s a pretender, a name-dropper, and even the Mammon worshippers who read the Wall Street Journal will tire of him. On the upside, at least he’s not writing novels any more.
It’s hard to imagine why it’s taken so long for me to be elected to the Vintners Hall of Fame. It’s harder to imagine why I should care. After all, it’s hard to say who’s been dead longest—Schoonmaker, Cesar Chavez, or me. I can tell you one thing I’ve noticed, they serve a lot of Frank Schoonmaker Selections by-the-glass in Hell.
I have heard that I was a controversial nominee for the Vintners Hall of Fame. Really? Nice to know integrity is a stranger here as well. No one has done more for California wine in the past 30 years. I’ve put more wineries on the map than Google Earth. My ratings have sold more California wine at ridiculous prices than the French Laundry. When I started reviewing California wines, Napa Valley Cabernets sold for about $20. Now you can’t buy Helen Turley’s bathwater for that. Which, by the way, I rated 93. It was totally unctuous. And you clowns weren’t sure I belonged here in this pantheon of self-promoting baloney? I’m the epitome of self-promoting baloney. I invented self-promoting baloney in wine writing, though Kermit Lynch has perfected it. But it appears you’ve gotten past your envy of my unprecedented critical power and have done the right thing. Really, I’m serious, do I get my own wing?
When I began The Wine Advocate, I never dreamed I would become so powerful. Here’s the thing about power, it’s really fun. You can totally screw with people and there’s not a thing they can do about it. Like the 100 Point Scale. When I started that scam, I was the only wine reviewer using it. Now everyone uses it, even those snots at Decanter, with their high and mighty M.W.’s. And we all pretend that the score is broken down into parts like Appearance (0 to 5 points) and Aroma (0 to 15 points) when all we really do is smell it, taste it, spit it out and declare, in our authoritarian voices, “89!” or “97!” Truth and sulfites, my friends, use them sparingly.
And I about peed my circus tent after I rated 19 different 2009 Bordeaux 100 Points! I always wanted to do that. Just throw around hundreds like Charlie Sheen at TrannyFest. That’s power. Oh, the outrage that spawned! How can there possibly be 19 perfect wines from one vintage? I don’t know, maybe because I said so. Don’t you know who I am? I’m Robert Parker. I’m in the Vintners Hall of Fame. I’m the most powerful critic ever.
Now where’s the fucking foie gras?