Parker and his assistant use his 100-point system to rate Old and New World vintages and producers with single-palate objectivity and the aplomb of one of his early influences, Ralph Nader. It's no mystery why his periodical contains the term advocate: readers of the Guide will learn why the author never participates in wine judgings and doesn't accept freebies. Parker also weighs in on monster vertical wine tastings, nondrinking wine collectors, ego-driven "collector-spitters," wine producers' greed, wine writers' ethics and competence, and restaurant wine-pricing policy. And that's just in the guide's 40-page introduction! The chapter on Bordeaux beautifully dismisses the moldy 1855 Classification as "out of date" due to "negligence, incompetence, and just plain greed" and being "of only academic interest to the consumer." His judicious use of an exclamation point may also unearth a relative bargain: the wines of St. Julien "are frequently indistinguishable from" their higher-priced Pauillac neighbors, "so consumers take note!" But calling the tune doesn't preclude a couple of flat notes: the Guide is chock full of nonspecific cellaring recommendations. When do we drink, for example, our 1996 Sierra Vista Zinfandel? Parker suggests "over the next 1-2 years," but when to start counting? The wine's vintage? The Guide's date of publication? The year we read the entry? Parker also uses an unusual lettering guide to wine prices, and chapters aren't delineated well. So maybe it's not a Buyer's Guide at all--it's too heavy to tote to your local wine shop, and the vagaries of publishing prevent the inclusion of the latest available vintages. But what a read! Meticulously researched and brimming with thoughtful vinous commentary, this Guide demonstrates why the five words to send a wine lover gulping in breathless anticipation are "Parker gave it a 92." --Tony Mason --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.