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Wine Publications: What We Think...
The Wine Advocate

Wine Advocate: The Advocate is a bimonthly wine review journal that does not accept advertising. It was founded in 1978 by Robert Parker who while he did not invent the 100 point wine quality scale, it was his publication that made it the standard. It is available by subscription only at $99 a year that includes access to the web site, archives and articles. While Robert Parker has faced his share of criticism for applying such an objective measure to such a subjective process, his meteoric success has made him the most influential wine critic in the world. Bordeaux vintages rise or sink on his reviews and a 90 point-plus score from him can be the difference between a sold out vintage for a winery or being faced with discounting to clear the vintage.

Wine Advocate today has a staff of five tasters including Antonio Galloni, Neal Martin, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, David Schildknech and Mark Squieres and they publish over 75,000 wine reviews a year. And, while his reviews add serious credibility to the $150 bottle of California Cabernet or French Bordeaux, the real value for us is two fold.

What I find most valuable about Wine Advocate is the depth of their coverage, especially when I have to order wines I am unable to taste first; like German Rieslings, Bordeaux and higher end Italian wines like Barolos and Brunellos that are sold as direct imports and take months to arrive. I have used Wine Advocate extensively over the years and I can honestly say I have never gotten a clunker by pre ordering based on a Robert Parker 90 point-plus score. The other place Wine Advocate shines is in identifying where the serious values are coming from. Ten years ago it was Australia, then Argentina and Chile eclipsed Australia and now Spain and Southern France seem to be where the finds are. The 90 point Evodia Old Vine Grenache from Spain at $9.99 and the 91 point Andezon Cotes du Rhone at $11.99 that are my current "House Wines" are a great case in point. You can check Wine Advocate out at