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Wine,Wine Writer

I’m With Parker on This One ~ Possibly the last weigh in

Why?

Robert Parker, Jr., spent his entire wine career adhering to very a strict rule; namely, he’s paid his own way.

This has allowed for him to candidly say and write whatever he’s wanted. As a consequence, his reviews and assessments have always been from a very pure, unencumbered place.

When he decided that he needed to branch out and hire employees, he gave his new people their parameters, based on his established ethics (one can only imagine). These ethics created the reputation. Very simply put, any employee (including Jay Miller – whom is no longer in Parker’s employ and has set the wine world reeling with opinions) is representing his or her boss. Simply put, “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.” For anyone becoming a Parker associate, it means that you’ve stepped onto a very visible stage, and the responsibility is yours to adhere to the rules and regulation. You, too, will eventually get a shiny star if you “represent.” When you step outside of the rules, however, you’re skating on thin ice.

This is just life, period.

I’m an employer, and if I’m going to take the time to train someone and give that person a chance to develop and bloom and represent me, that person owes me the respect of adhering to the rules (and I have very few). If she or he isn’t happy, the door is right there, and I don’t hold anyone back. Down the drain goes all of my training, caring, etc., but please move on. Employers are used just as much as employees use their employers. When it’s for mutual benefit, everything prospers and grows. When the party’s over, as it seems to have been for Jay (regardless of who’s pulled the plug), it’s time to move on.

THE DEBATE: Is it appropriate to have junkets?

  • Sure, just as long as you haven’t signed onto a code of ethics that says, “The money you’re earning from me also needs to be used for your travels. Do NOT, I repeat, do not take any money from anyone for your travels.”

THE BIG QUESTION: If an employer has launched you and your cache is built from someone else’s payroll, when you become a free agent to do whatever you want to, do you believe that standing is going to instantly follow you?

THE BIG ANSWER: No, it won’t. There will have to be a readjustment time, so you’d better have some reserves. (Been there, done that, and got plenty of scars/good stories in the process.) If you don’t believe this, just reflect on when the Beatles broke up. They were a worldwide, wild sensation as a group; individually, they all had to start over. Yes, they had some cache, but the audience for them now had to choose sides…

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4 Responses to “I’m With Parker on This One ~ Possibly the last weigh in”

  1. Andrea says:

    Well said Jo. The Beatles analogy is perfect!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Andrea. Having reincarnated a few times myself, I know the ropes… Finding someone we can all relate to, was still the best way to go. 🙂

  3. Jo, I’m relatively new at this site, new at wine altogether, but I was captured by your laid-back take on the Jay Miller “affair”; Seems that envy is brash no matter how you look at it (Put’s you in a good light), but there is a “feeding frenzy” going on out there, that would be better feasting on elected officials (Who allowed Bernie Madoff to make off with 50 BILLION dollars?).
    When you taste a wine that is 80 points, but it got a 94 points, then you know which reviewers to trust, and if people stop paying attention to contrived reviews, then the logical outcome will be at hand.
    Thanks for a little peace in the tempest in a glass,
    Dennis Tsiorbas

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Dennis,

    Thanks for your comments. Wow… do I agree with you on the insane frenzy going on attached to Robert Parker. I realize that nature provides for one generation to buck the older one, in order to get to a higher level in the pecking order, but we’re not billy goats or cats… Or, are we? Just when you want to give human beings a higher level of consciousness, we revert to animal instincts. (LOL)

    My laid back attitude has to do with having lived long enough – in God knows how many lifetimes, with half of them in Maine, thank you very much – to realize there are much bigger fish to fry, as you suggest with Wall Street criminals. Why isn’t there a feeding frenzy there? I just don’t get it. Perhaps it takes too much thinking, so it’s a lot easier to go after the wine kingpin?

    And, yes, what is a 95 point wine for someone, could easily be an 80 point for someone else. I’ve often said, I hate eating fish, so what might be a delicacy for someone else is going to be trash in my mouth. We’ve all got our personal likes and dislikes. The bottom line is taste wine and decide for yourself. I can’t get into the point system for that very reason; although i gave it a brief try. It’s not like we’re being tested on the 12 cranial nerves, and whether or not their sensory, motor, or a mixed combination of the two. It’s just a liquid food… We don’t score anything else that we put into our mouths like we do with wine. I say, let’s get down with peanut butter!

    We are very funny creatures, aren’t we?

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