Last week, ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼ber wine critic Robert Parker announced his new “critic-at-large” will be Neal Martin from wine-journal.com. The response in the wine blogosphere has been positive but not very widespread except for coverage of the story, congratulations or an opportunity to cartoon. Reading the reaction over at eBob, it would seem Mr. Martin joining the Wine Advocate (WA) has satisfied high end wine lovers, but is it a good thing for wine bloggers?
Before I state my opinion, I think this latest move is simply brilliant on several levels. First it brings a talented wine writer already known to many WA readers. His point of view on Bordeaux and Burgundy will give the right counterweight to the American perspectives there. It should also be noted that Mr. Martin is quite a bit younger than other WA writers which will give voice to younger wine lovers particularly those consuming content online. Finally, it brings someone with a blogger ethos to a relaunched and updated eRobertParker.com. Notice I didn’t say a blogger, as Mr. Martin is not one now nor was he in the past. But it is his brand of writing and humor that would be perfect for blogging.
So is this a good thing for wine blogging? Absolutely, because, unless I’m totally wrong, the updated eRobertParker.com will feature blogs and Neal Martin will be one of the lead voices there. Mr. Parker is tech-savvy enough to know that he has fallen behind the Wine Spectator online and needs to catch up. His sudden increase in staff makes it easier to compete in blogging. All this will create more RSS aware readers who will venture to some of the other destinations in the wine blogosphere. All good for those of us already here.
I’m quite excited to see what develops here; stay tuned, and congratulations Neal.