The More Things Change… / Plus ça Change…

Dear Readers,

As someone who counts the first paperback edition of Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide among the first wine books I purchased—alongside Tom Stevenson’s Sotheby’s World Wine Encyclopedia and Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine—it’s with a great sense of privilege and responsibility that I write today as the incoming Editor-in-Chief of Robert Parker Wine Advocate.

For this opportunity, I owe a great deal to Bob himself, who recognized more than two decades ago that the wine world had grown too large for any single person to be an expert in everything, and to my immediate predecessor, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, who recruited me as managing editor nearly five years ago. Both of them were incredibly supportive of my efforts during their time here, and their regular counsel and steady hands will be missed.

Looking ahead, aside from Lisa’s departure, we’ve retained our entire cast of expert reviewers and are actively seeking to add at least one more member to the team. William Kelley, DPhil, has been promoted to Deputy Editor and will take over reviewing responsibilities for Bordeaux, in addition to Burgundy and Champagne. William has been a passionate follower of Bordeaux since his student days at Oxford, with extensive exposure to the great wines of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Now based in France, he’s ideally situated to provide readers with the same boots-on-the-ground coverage of Bordeaux as he’s been delivering on Burgundy since 2017.

I’ll be following a path blazed by Bob for decades, regularly traveling to Napa to review the wines that originally captured my heart. Some of my most formative wine experiences revolve around Napa Valley: my first wine-region vacation in 1990, the first long-form article I penned as a professional wine writer and two invitations—once as a speaker—to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.

While I’m looking forward to returning to those roots and rediscovering all that Napa has to offer, I’ll be adding Napa to my already over-filled plate, so you can expect to see some tweaking of tasting responsibilities when we hire a new reviewer. What exactly those will be will depend on who we recruit. 

In addition to adding another reviewer, with the extensive backing of the Michelin Group now behind us, in the near term, we expect to revamp our website, develop additional video content and relaunch in-person tasting events when and where public health conditions allow. 

William and I are excited to be leading a team of wine critics that’s committed to building on Robert Parker’s legacy as the ultimate consumers’ guide to wine. To truly fulfill that mission, we’d love to hear from you. Our marketing team recently sent out a survey so that we can get a better idea of what exactly you want—if you haven’t already done so, please take the five minutes or less it takes to fill out this survey and press the submit button. 

Regardless of these changes and any others that result from your feedback, we know that you value our team’s expertise and independence, and those priorities—the bedrock of Robert Parker’s publication—won’t change. You’ll be able to continue to depend on our reviewers to call things as they see them, giving you the information you need to make your own wine-buying decisions.


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