Robert Parker finally elected to Vintners Hall
Which is as welcome as it was overdue. Parker redefined wine writing not only in the United States but in the world, and his 100-point scoring system made him the most powerful person in the wine business well into the 21st century.
Somehow, though, the wine writers and and Hall members who vote didn't elect Parker to the Vintners Hall the first two times he was on the ballot. That changed this year, when the 81 people who voted (out of some 220 who were eligible) put him in. As I wrote in July, when I sent in my ballot — with Parker's name on it:
There is no reason why Parker shouldn’t be in. We’re told we should vote
for someone who made "the greatest contributions to the California wine
industry in any area of achievement." I’ve got news for them. That’s
Parker, no matter how jealous they are of his success or how envious
they are of his prestige and popularity. If I’m writing this, and I
think the 100-point system is dumb, then the rest of the other 216
writers (and current hall members) who have a ballot have no reason not
to vote for Parker.
Also elected were winemaker Merry Edwards, wine writer Frank Schoonmaker, and labor leader Cesar Chavez, all of whom I voted for. The late Chavez, who has been on the ballot at least three times, was a surprising — but well-deserved — selection.
Parker's election does raise a couple of questions. First, what will happen when he and hall member Randall Grahm — no fan of Parker, the 100-point scoring system or the Winestream Media that Parker epitomizes — see each other at the induction ceremonty? Second, what will I have to complain about when I vote next year?