Robert Parker is handing over the reins of his publication The Wine Advocate to its Asia-Pacific correspondent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW.
The world’s most powerful wine critic announced the major shake-up on his website eRobertParker.com on December 9. He will step down from his role as editor-in-chief but will continue to play a part in the revised team, he told subscribers, “bringing you the world's best coverage of great wines, no matter what their price.”
The company’s headquarters will remain in Parker’s native Maryland in the United States but a new office will open in Singapore, where Perrotti-Brown and three new investors in their 30s and early 40s are based. The location of the new office also indicates that The Wine Advocate intends to target the burgeoning Asian markets, as well as its traditional stronghold in the U.S.
However, Parker was quick to quash any suggestion that he was quitting the Advocate. “While rumors about me retiring have circulated for years, nothing could be further from the truth. I am still in this profession for the long-term as I remain the CEO and chairman of the TWA board, and an owner. Moreover, I will continue to comprehensively cover Bordeaux, the Rhône, retrospectives on California vintages, and profiles of under $25 wine bargains from our finest importers,” he said.
The Wine Advocate started as a “simple 8-10-page rough-hewn document” in 1978. It now has some 50,000 subscribers. However, the 34-year-old newsletter will be phased out under the new regime and all content will be moved online, he told The Wall Street Journal.
The Wine Advocate will also offer “wine education conferences, with plans to tour a range of cities around the world.”
Following the announcement on the website, the publication’s UK-based Bordeaux reviewer, Neal Martin, added, “One thing I am particularly looking forward to are the wine education conferences, although I might need to smarten myself up ... a bit at least.”