I’m nearly finished with a book on the wine critic, Robert M. Parker, Jr. The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr., and the Reign of American Taste (2005) by Elin McCoy.
The book is informative and entertaining as it catalogs Mr. Parker’s ascent to becoming the most influential man in wine. Plenty of stories and anecdotes about wine globalization, price fixing, conflicts of interest, market manipulation, product tampering, defamation, and how much the French dislike Mr. Parker. Certainly enough treachery to capture the spirit of the most tepid of wine aficionados.
Mr. Parker’s influence even stretched to a 30 Rock episode from 2007 (season 1, episode 16, “Source Awards”). In it Mr. Parker reviewed a Donaghy Estates champagne finding it “tastes like the urine of satan after a hefty portion of asparagus.”
While the book is not necessarily a blue print for those seeking to commandeer a field or industry, there is plenty of personal and business insight for motivated oenophiles.