If it's not one thing, it's another. The American wine critics and the European ones seem to make it a habit to disagree on nearly everything, but its rare that they lash out with personal attacks. It does happen though. Last year it was a fierce battle of ego and interpretation of a particular vintage of Chateau Pavie. This week it's a general character assassination of Robert Parker by the venerable Hugh Johnson in his latest book.
Johnson called Parker the "dictator of taste" and compared his critical work to the "imperialist" government of the United States, saying he "deals with absolutes" and tends to "castigate backsliders."
Such attacks are expected I guess, when people become such powerful critics that they affect wine prices around the world, but it's funny that people can get so outraged over something that is clearly just about subjective opinion. Informed, of course, and marketmaking no doubt, but subjective nonetheless.
Who CARES if Robert Parker pisses people off? Like my colleague Tom over at Fermentations, I expect better of Hugh Johnson.
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