This week I sat down with most influential wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. of The Wine Advocate and eRobertParker.com to talk all things wine. Mr. Parker grew up in the Baltimore area and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. His interest in wine began in 1967, when he spent a month abroad in France, visiting a girlfriend (who is now his wife of 37 years) at the University of Strasbourg in Alsace, France.
By 1975, he began to think about writing about wine and commencing his own “independent, consumer’s guide,” largely because of the paucity of reliable information on wine quality. Friends and family advised that his career in law should be given top priority, and that wine writing was a romantic, unprofitable profession. Nevertheless, by 1978, the concept of a wine publication was formulated. The first issue of The Wine Advocate, a complimentary issue, was sent out to mailing lists purchased from several major wine retailers. The initial number of charter subscribers in August, 1978, was less than 600.
Twenty-eight years later, The Wine Advocate has over 50,000 subscribers, in every state in the United States, and in over 37 foreign countries. Today, virtually every knowledgeable observer agrees that The Wine Advocate exerts the most significant influence on the serious wine consumer’s buying habits and trends not only in America, but in France, England, Switzerland.
Sips of the Week
Laurie suggests trying these value priced Spanish wines that have been rated 89 points by Robert Parker.
Finca Sobreno Crianza 2009 Toro, Spain, $15 Importer: Kseyla
Winemaker’s Notes: This Crianza is made from 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) grapes grown on some 50 hectares of vineyards (average age of 30 years) purchased specifically for the Sobreño project. The vines are planted at a very low density (900 plants/hectare), with reduced production levels in the range of 4,000 kilos/hectare. Grapes are hand-picked, fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for a total of 7 months in American oak barrels. Intense dark red color. Blackberry, black cherry fruit on the nose, ripe and full flavored.
Evodia Garnacha 2011 Catalyud, Spain $10 Importer: Eric Solomon, European Cellars
Winemaker’s Notes: This 100% Garnacha offers a lovely perfume of spice box, mineral, and wild cherry. This perfectly balanced mix of flavors lends itself to an intensely fruity wine with loads of taste, a smooth texture, and a pure, fruit-filled finish. Pairs well with white and red meats roasted or grilled, big game, meat casseroles and stews, complex sauces, foie gras and legumes or blue and cured cheeses.
All the sips of the week are available at Wells Discount Liquors check them out at www.wellswine.com
3/8: Something to Wine About Wine Tasting Comedy at Waltz Vineyards in Manheim PA, 6:30 PM
3/16: The Cask of Amontillado Wine Festival at Westminster Hall in Baltimore, MD, 12-5PM
3/19: Something to Wine About Wine Tasting Comedy at Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD, 7PM
3/21: Something to Wine About Wine Tasting Comedy at Red Hen in Easton, MD, 6:30 PM
We’ll be back next week with Raven Beer and Wine Cartoonist Doug Pike to explore the recipe for a delicious life!
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