The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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December 2017
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Steve Heimoff and his pooch

Steve Heimoff and his pooch

I’m posting this in response to Steve Heimoff’s entry “Why do bloggers hate Parker?”


I completly agree with your assertions. 

It is disappointing to see people feel the need to try to rip down someone who has helped more people drink more wine than perhaps anyone else in our country’s history.  The man is a legend worldwide and should be respected as such.

Now, that being said, it is just the course of human events where the young supplant the old, and typically with advanced technology and vigor.  Communicating about wine to consumers is no different.

However, I say to other bloggers and print columnists out there:  Stand tall.  Speak of what you believe.  Create your own niche by preaching of, and promoting what, you do best.  This is what will get you noticed and respected over the long haul, just as Mr. Parker has done for so many years.

My readers won’t be finding piles of negativity on The Cork Head, just unbiased advice and opinions from a trained wine geek who believes he has something to offer people who love wine.  Oh yeah…you also will find that I show respect for those who came before me.

Mark Stuart

aka “The Cork Head”


  1. Posted 09/29/09 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Sorry, but I disagree that many bloggers diss Parker. Bloggers diss what has become of the wine industry *because* of Parker. He has done a world of good for consumers throughout his career, but unfortunately, the 100 point rating system and the globalization of wine styles are both scary and sad.

  2. Posted 09/29/09 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Hi Katie,

    Many, maybe not, but some, yes. I am tired of the ongoing feud between some quite frankly. It is unhealthy and serves no purpose but to self-promote.

    I along with pretty much every wine professional in the free world agree the 100 point scale certainly has it’s drawbacks, but there has yet to be any other form of rating system that has the traction and simplicity of it. Other forms of wine description are coming online, including perhaps the most effective riesling scale of sweetness levels. Harumph!

    The fact of the matter is with the 100 point scale, it works for the general consumer. That’s it. I have yet to speak to a wine professional, including writers at The Spectator who don’t speak of it’s drawbacks, but speaking of it’s drawbacks is yesterday’s news. Look to embrace its virtues and one may become enlightened to an entirely new understanding of its positive influences.

    Also, when I read your comment, I see a strong discord of purpose. You speak of what wonderful things Parker has done, yet in the same breath you call them scary and sad. Maybe you could elaborate?



  3. Posted 09/29/09 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I ditto what Katie said. And I would suggest that your kneejerk agrement with Steve H. is not responsible journalism. Can you cite one, maybe two examples of bloggers raining hate on Robert Parker? It’s nice that you “respect” those that came before you; you should have the same respect for fellow bloggers.

  4. Mark Stuart
    Posted 09/29/09 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Hi Tish,

    Hope you are well. I never gave you the compliment you deserved for your April Fools project! I found it to be very well done.

    I think if you take the time to read exactly what I’ve written, there was no kneejerk reaction on my end. I’ll I wrote of was the notion that one does not need to tear down others to self-promote. We all know many bloggers, writers, and other journalists who dislike Parker and use his royal name to do exactly that. I won’t promote others blogs or writings of things I don’t believe help the consumer enjoy more wine and therefore will not cite examples here. Enough of the examples were posted in Heimoff’s post.

    I might suggest that the only knees that were flying around came towards me, not from me.

    Hope to see you again at next year’s wine writers symposium.

  5. Posted 10/06/09 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry to jump in on this :

    I don’t think it’s so much that anyone truly hates Parker, in fact even those who have demaned him in the past seem to have a respect for him. I think as a wine professional, Parker helped many of us navigate through our first sips of wine.

    What I will say is that after working in the wine industry, I have found Parker’s system to be based on some political aspects rather than actual merit. The fact that not all wines are qualified for ratings is also a factor.

    Ratings do help the general consumer and they also help the supplier, distributor, retailer, etc. sell the product.

    I don’t think it’s that anyone should hate Parker — just those who “know better” should take the system with a grain of salt and rely on their own palate to distinguish a wine’s value. .

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