Parker in Peking flashback: The man, the visit, the poster…

By Jim Boyce

It’s been more than four years since Robert Parker made his first — and only — visit to Beijing, a trip that included sipping and nibbling on the Great Wall of China. Today, regular reader Mr Miyagi reminded me of this by sending the above e-poster.

The wine scene has changed a good deal since early 2008 — the quick rise of social media, the massive growth in the number of imports and distributors, the increasing power of buyers from China both in auction houses and in the world’s wine regions, etc — but Parker continues to have a significant influence.

His scores are still widely used by distributors and retailers to sell bottles. People in wine circles still tend to have passionate opinions about Parker and his power. I know buyers who, as a general rule, consider a 90-point score from Parker as a cutoff when deciding which wines to start bringing into to China. Etc.

Anyway, it’s been four years. Perhaps it’s time for another Parker Peking visit. This time around, that wine dinner could be at the Summer Palace.

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