"Where Parker sees himself as a crusader on behalf of beleagured consumers, Robinson views her role more as an educator and entertainer."
I recently reviewed Red, White And Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass by Natalie MacLean. It was a very interesting book and caused me to think about several different issues. One of the quotes in the book that really stood out to me is provided above. It made me think about my own writing and whether I fit more into the mold of Parker or Robinson.
I would also ask my fellow wine bloggers, are you more like Parker or Robinson?
I feel that I am more like Robinson as my blog is more to educate and entertain. I certainly review wines and provide consumers my thoughts on such. But, I do not review hundreds or thousands of wines, trying to provide more comprehensive tasting notes for the larger wine community. Parker's Wine Advocate is a rather dry newsletter that reviews many different wines, but provides little else. He is much more like the Consumer Reports of wine. Even his Business Week articles are rather dry.
Robinson on the other hand provides more than just dry reviews. She writes in-depth about many different wine topics. She provides backgrounds on wine regions, wine makers and many other wine-related subjects. Like Robinson, I aim to touch on many different wine-related topics. I certainly have a long way to go before my own wine writing is on the same caliber as her, but our basic motivations are similar.
I suspect that most wine bloggers are closer to Robinson than Parker. I see far more effort to educate and entertain rather than try to provide a more disciplined and structured approach of just wine reviews. I am not sure a wine blog similar to Parker's style would really do too well unless it was written by a perceived expert in the industry. Though Parker may not really have formal training in wine, it probably would be more difficult nowadays for someone without such credentials to really be accepted by the general public as an authoritative "expert."
And do we really need many wine writers like Parker? How many such consumer advocates are necessary? I would think that there would be far more interest and need for witers like Robinson.