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Wine Advocate

3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Price: $75.00 ($12.50/issue) & shipping is always free.
Issues: 6 issues / 12 months
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Wine Advocate + Wine Spectator + Wine Enthusiast
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Product Description

Covers various aspects of wine from harvesting the vineyards to wine tasting.

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Product Details

  • Format: Magazine
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • Publisher: Wine Advocate/Robert Parker Jr
  • ASIN: B00006L27L
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917 in Magazines (See Top 100 in Magazines)
  • This magazine subscription is provided by Magazine Express, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fruitbomb, Fruitbomb, You're a Fruitbomb... June 4, 2003
Subscription Term Name:1 year
There is quite a cult of personality around Robert Parker, the founder of Wine Advocate. It's hard for an oenophile not to be jealous of Mr. Parker, tasting fine wines from dusk `til dawn, and he's certainly revered. Positive Wine Advocate reviews on relatively low priced wines have caused sellouts at my local wine warehouse mere hours after they'd sent out the email.
Wine Advocate is a serious magazine that looks more like a trade publication or hobbyist's classified page. There are no photographs, illustrations, advertisements, or lifestyle articles. Ever. It suits the magazine well, however, and no one ever levels the same criticisms that are hurled at Wine Spectator (e.g., advertising skews the ratings, numerous vapid articles). The beige pages are filled with enticing reviews and vintage summaries. His coverage of the Rhone region is unmatched and his coverage of the Bordeaux, while controversial, also seems accurate to me.
That said, there are a few myths. Parker himself claims that his 50 point system (which runs from 50-100) is better than the 20 point scale used in other publications (which run from 80-100, but are really more like 70-100). Having said that, no one really pays attention to anything less than an 80 in either system, and those with a good local store using the point system to choose a wine (simplistic and narrow-sighted, but common) won't consider less than an 86. Even so, I conducted a survey on the two web sites and Parker consistently rates more wines 95+, in some vintages up to three times as many (as a percentage of wines tasted), than Wine Spectator. I don't mind this at all, though, and find that my tastes match Parker's fairly consistently and that his descriptions use certain words as a tip off as to what I won't.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Subscription Term Name:1 year
After reading a neighbor's Wine Advocate while catsitting, I decided to subscribe (to the electronic version eRobertParker). What I like about the reviews is actually not the numerical ratings, or even Parker's adjectives, but his incredibly detailed notes on the grape blends involved, vineyards, producers and winemaking. For example, here's a review of one of my favorite wines taken from the April 2004 Wine Advocate, which is fairly typical of a Parker review:

2001 Numanthia


Toro, Spain

Tempranillo (a dry red table wine)

The flagship offering, the 2001 Numanthia, is fashioned from a 70-100 year old Tinta de Toro vineyard planted at a 2300 foot elevation. After a 28 day maceration, the wine undergoes malolactic in barrel, is aged 19 months in new French oak, and is bottled without fining or filtration. The spectacular, opaque purple-colored 2001 offers an explosive nose of melted licorice, barbecue smoke, blackberries, creme de cassis, camphor, and graphite. Full-bodied with gorgeously rich, concentrated fruit, a layered texture, and tremendous purity, it can be drunk young, but should hit its prime in 1-2 years, and last for 10-15.

Wine Advocate includes info on U.S. importers, a rating, and an often unreliable estimated cost (especially "bargains" which tend to be affected by Parker's ratings). All in all, a set of information that's not available elsewhere, typically not even from a winemaker's web site, when there is one.

Parker is not the only taster. There's also Pierre Rovani and Daniel Thomases, who carve up the world by region. Parker seems to have dibs on my favorite regions: Chateauneuf and Hermitage in the Rhone, Toro and Ribera del Duero in Spain, and California Zinfandel.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best publication in its class, but not perfect February 16, 2005
Subscription Term Name:1 year
Of the two major wine magazines, Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, I have to say that Wine Advocate is my preferred source for finding a truly exceptional wine to enjoy. Wine Advocate is primarily the work of the noted wine critic Robert Parker, who is sometimes accused of being one of the leading "wine snobs" in the industry. Although Parker does use some pretentious lingo and some obscure references in his tasting notes, I find his tasting descriptions generally more accurate than those of the critics of Wine Spectator. Sure, he dislikes Burgundy, but at least now he has hired a more than competent fellow critic (Pierre Rovani) to cover that region for him.

Both Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate have been criticized for writing too many superlative reviews of less than exceptional wines, but I feel that Parker and Wine Advocate are less guilty in that respect, even though, as a previous reviewer noted, he does put more wines in the coveted 95+ point range. Still, Wine Advocate does a far better job than Wine Spectator of placing wines and their ratings in perspective, and avoiding clichés such as "vintage of a lifetime" that the Spectator frequently falls prey to. I have found Parker and Wine Advocate to be superior to Wine Spectator in their coverage of Bordeaux, especially in my favorite sub-regions, Sauternes and Barsac.

My only major complaints about Wine Advocate is that Parker generally assumes that all of his readers can afford to pay the relatively high price for his publication (currently more than $12/issue on Amazon). There are many 90+ point wines available for the difference between the yearly costs of Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I do not recommend it all. I do think that this publication is totally out of step.
Published 11 months ago by oscar
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, thoughtful, but skewed and human
Okay, a four star review.

The Wine Advocat is a valuable newsletter written by experts and helps you save money and time buying better wines by rating and reviewing... Read more
Published on October 3, 2011 by Bachelier
5.0 out of 5 stars The standard against which all other critics are compared
Some of the reviews written here are quite comical. They are indicative not only of Parker's occupation of the pinnacle of wine evaluation and his tenacious hold thereon, but of... Read more
Published on October 1, 2008 by New England Yankee
5.0 out of 5 stars overwhelming
The amount and detail of information on the wine areas and the wine itself if fantastic.Gives the reader a real sense of the wine and its quality.
Published on March 29, 2007 by rjkla
1.0 out of 5 stars Highly Subjective and Outdated Scoring System
There is new research by Linda Bartoshuk of Yale University that scientifically proves that there are 3 levels of peoples ability to taste. What type is Robert Parker? Read more
Published on January 19, 2007 by John Wood
4.0 out of 5 stars Superior evaluation and commentary.
I've subscribed to "The Wine Advocate", "Wine Spectator" and "Wine Enthusiast" concurrently for several years now. Read more
Published on November 15, 2006 by TJD
5.0 out of 5 stars An Invaluable Source of Wine Information
Parker is the leading consumer analyst for the wine industry. Anyone serious about wine should subscribe to the Wine Advocate. Read more
Published on June 29, 2004 by Silence Dogood
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