Robert Parker has hired a little-known British wine writer to present the UK perspective on his website.
While not a household name, Neal Martin, whose website wine-journal.com started only three years ago, has achieved a cult following among the wine trade for his off-beat but knowledgeable line on wine.
Martin will be joining erobertparker.com before Christmas.
‘The prolific and talented British wine writer Neal Martin as well as his entire web-site wine-journal.com will be joining the erobertparker.com team,’ Parker announced on 1 November.
Parker, who is revamping his website, heaped praise on Martin as having ‘the most important attributes of a wine taster and commentator: passion, independence, and an unending fascination for the subject.’
Referring to the cultural wine criticism divide between the UK and the US, Martin posted a ‘goodbye’ on his website, with reassurances to his readers: ‘Let me get one thing straight from the start,’ he wrote. ‘Those prematurely lamenting the loss of wine-journal.com as they know it, anticipating a loss of independence, some watering-down of style and such like, have absolutely nothing to worry about and everything to look forward to.’
He also compared himself to Parker at the beginning of his wine writing career: ‘Wine-journal started on 2 June 2003, written by someone with not a book to his name, no column in a magazine or newspaper, no reputation to build upon. But neither did Robert Parker when he started off in the 1970s, and if he can do it, then why not I?’
Reactions to the news on Parker’s website are positive, some praising the shrewdness of adding a British perspective. Indeed, Parker also wrote that Martin ‘will offer more depth and flavour dimension to the site, in addition to that distinctive British-trained point of view.’
Written by Panos Kakaviatos