New book: How I saved the world from Parkerization by Alice Feiring

quote:
Originally posted by Mark Squires:
Of course, attacking Parker is the easy cheap-shot way of getting some PR, so I guess she needs it badly. It won't be here. I see no reason why we should allow our forum to be used to take cheap shots at us.

Then let's use this one. Wink
Seriously though, anyone looked at this book yet?
Original Post
If memory serves, she's some sort of minor writer who got into a spat with Mark some time ago and got banned from his board. I didn't pay much attention but it was along the lines of the book title.

She needs to get a life. Parker is a big deal in wine circles, but outside of wine, which is actually a pretty small community, nobody knows or cares. And even fewer people know or care about her. Like him or not, Parker hasn't become who he is by obsessing over other people's opinions and influence. People who do that will never acquire the same level of influence or credibility. This is just an attempt to cash in by using his name.

Developing an obsession with someone to the point that you'd spend part of your life writing a book about how you're saving the world from his influence? That just calls out for therapy. You MIGHT be able to respect her if she hadn't tried to tie into his name.

And no, I haven't read the book so I can't comment on the content. Just the marketing.
Mini bio from Amazon.com:

ALICE FEIRING is a James Beard Foundation Award–winning journalist whose blog, In Vino Veritas, was named one of the seven best by Food & Wine. Formerly the wine/travel columnist for Time, she writes for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Traveler, and Gourmet, among many others. She lives in New York City.

The synopsis of the book sounds interesting enough.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Mini bio from Amazon.com:

ALICE FEIRING is a James Beard Foundation Award–winning journalist whose blog, In Vino Veritas, was named one of the seven best by Food & Wine. Formerly the wine/travel columnist for Time, she writes for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Traveler, and Gourmet, among many others. She lives in New York City.

The synopsis of the book sounds interesting enough.

PH


So much for the minor writer comment.

Excellent credentials I would say.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
ALICE FEIRING is a James Beard Foundation Award–winning journalist whose blog, In Vino Veritas, was named one of the seven best by Food & Wine. Formerly the wine/travel columnist for Time, she writes for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Condé Nast Traveler, and Gourmet, among many others. She lives in New York City.
Sounds impressive. Forgive my questionning mind, but does 'writing for = published in' If so, then it's a good bio.

Either way, I like the title. It's good to poke the emperor occasionally
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Parker hasn't become who he is by obsessing over other people's opinions and influence.


For someone who alledgedly doesn't care, he's remarkably thin-skinned, as is evident from some posts he's made in response to various criticisms.
Just recently i read a review about a brandnew Parker 'Biography' by Authors Hanna Agostini and Marie-Françoise Guichard that made a lot of noise in France. The book titles: 'Robert Parker - Anatomie d'un Mythe'.
(The book review explains that Author Hanna Agostini formerly organised the logistics of Mr. Parker's activities in Bordeaux and also translated some of his books. The collaboration ended after a dispute, so the book seems not to be entirely objective.) Sounds entertaining at least. It seems Mr.Robert Parker is chased by a few angry women Wink
quote:
Originally posted by Old_Winyards:
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Parker hasn't become who he is by obsessing over other people's opinions and influence.


For someone who alledgedly doesn't care, he's remarkably thin-skinned, as is evident from some posts he's made in response to various criticisms.


Yawn.
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Just recently i read a review about a brandnew Parker 'Biography' by Authors Hanna Agostini and Marie-Françoise Guichard that made a lot of noise in France. The book titles: 'Robert Parker - Anatomie d'un Mythe'.
(The book review explains that Author Hanna Agostini formerly organised the logistics of Mr. Parker's activities in Bordeaux and also translated some of his books. The collaboration ended after a dispute, so the book seems not to be entirely objective.) Sounds entertaining at least. It seems Mr.Robert Parker is chased by a few angry women Wink


She's the one who got him in trouble because she was accused of ethical violations while under his employ and he stood by her. So, after playing him for a sucker, she turns around and stabs him in the back.
Usually it is the publisher who chooses the title.

"Parkerization" is a misnomer. He likes light-bodied, austere, well balanced wine, as well as sickly over-ripe crap. I can see how it would be irksome.

The little blurb I saw about this book made it sound like a well reasoned attack on the incipient flabby Port-down-the-sink style, so we'll see...
quote:
So much for the minor writer comment.

If she were a major writer, why didn't she title her book "Alice's Opinions on Wine" and without reference to Parker?

Because nobody would care?

So since Perker has name recognition, she puts his name into the title in hopes of getting a wider audience. She could have talked about him in the book if she wanted - seems nobody wants to talk about wine today without mentioning him. But she advertises that she's defined her tastes by what she thinks are not his tastes. That's not minor league?
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:

Like him or not, Parker hasn't become who he is by obsessing over other people's opinions and influence. People who do that will never acquire the same level of influence or credibility.



Have you ever heard of Jancis Robinson?

Have you ever heard of most Australian wine critics?

Do you know Pomerollvr by any chance?

I sincerely beg to differ.
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
quote:
So much for the minor writer comment.



If she were a major writer, why didn't she title her book "Alice's Opinions on Wine" and without reference to Parker?



Well, now you're being an obtuse tool! Roll Eyes

Her credentials speak volumes.
Mimik - so when he was starting his career in the 1970s, he titled his books and articles with their names? If that's how he began, then can you reference some books or articles? Are you suggesting that he became the pre-eminent wine critic because he attacked other critics, rather than delinating his own preferences?

Jancis mentions him now. Most critics were dismissive of him when he called the 1982 Bordeaux contrary to their collective judgment.

I actually got to ask her about him once. It always struck me as petty jealousy - she's the "trained" and "educated" palate who should wield the influence and this guy from the American South actually moves markets while he would actually write things like "gobs of fruit". And because of that, he speaks, or spoke, to the US market in a way that an articulate, elegant, mildly ironic Englishwoman never could.

So he got to be top dog, so to speak, and draws fire, and he replies from time to time.

When I wanted to learn about CA cabs a number of years ago I started to read some of the past columns and articles by Jim Laube. He talked about what he liked, trends he saw, etc. Offhand I can't recall a single instance where he defined his tastes as NOT being those of someone else. And I respected that.

As far as Alice's credentials speaking volumes - When was she the wine critic for the NY Times? Of course, if she writes about travel, that explains her need to find a hook for her wine writing.

If I'm looking for information from a wine critic on some wine and the best they can give me is a diatribe against someone else's opinion, what value is that? If she offers me nothing unique, why would I care about Alice if I can just read Parker directly? I have more respect for anyone on this board who simply states their opinions on wine as TNs or whatever, w/out using other opinions to define their own.
quote:
Originally posted by yhn:
quote:
Originally posted by MoselleLuxemburg:
Just recently i read a review about a brandnew Parker 'Biography' by Authors Hanna Agostini and Marie-Françoise Guichard that made a lot of noise in France. The book titles: 'Robert Parker - Anatomie d'un Mythe'.
(The book review explains that Author Hanna Agostini formerly organised the logistics of Mr. Parker's activities in Bordeaux and also translated some of his books. The collaboration ended after a dispute, so the book seems not to be entirely objective.) Sounds entertaining at least. It seems Mr.Robert Parker is chased by a few angry women Wink


She's the one who got him in trouble because she was accused of ethical violations while under his employ and he stood by her. So, after playing him for a sucker, she turns around and stabs him in the back.


Ouch! Hanna Agostini is the one said to be involved in that Geens affair :-0 ?
Agree with yhn: Publishers usually choose the title, not authors, especially with topical and time sensitive material.

Also, when a writer has been described as having "written for" usually means that they were not an employee of the publication and they were either assigned a writing assignment on a independent contractor basis or they submitted material that was published as a free lancer.
quote:
Originally posted by Alice F.:
Did someone call?
Happy to answer any questions about the book or me. I must warn you though, this book is not about Parker bashing though I might be pointing a few fingers. It really is quite a personal book.


Alice F, since these forums do not require the use of real names, and some posters are known to have multiple personalities, how do we know Alice F is the author of the book?
The book sounds interesting to me. It's available on Amazon for $15.64. Clicky

Here's the "Book Description" from the Amazon site:

"I want my wines to tell a good story. I want them natural and most of all, like my dear friends, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue,” says Alice Feiring. Join her as she sets off on her one-woman crusade against the tyranny of homogenization, wine consultants, and, of course, the 100-point scoring system of a certain all-powerful wine writer. Traveling through the ancient vineyards of the Loire and Champagne, to Piedmont and Spain, she goes in search of authentic barolo, the last old-style rioja, and the tastiest new terroir-driven champagnes. She reveals just what goes into the average bottle—the reverse osmosis, the yeasts and enzymes, the sawdust and oak chips—and why she doesn’t find much to drink in California. And she introduces rebel winemakers who are embracing old-fashioned techniques and making wines with individuality and soul.

No matter what your palate, travel the wine world with Feiring and you’ll have to ask yourself: What do i really want in my glass?
Tanglenet, I see the problem! Even if I tell you to go to my site, alicefeiring.com, that won't help will it? I suppose only my answers will give you a sense of whether I'm me or not. Or.....hmm...I once wrote for this magazine in 2000? A story on tempranillo? Does that help?
Well, to answer MorBorDo's question, it was indeed my title. My first title was a complete dud, Honest Wine or something equally dull. I was having a hard time selling the proposal. I went to ballet class. After 15 minutes I left, because I had the title and had to write it down before I forgot. Parkerization has got a wikipedia and it didn't come from me.
quote:
Originally posted by Old_Winyards:
Greg, I'd suggest reading the book (get it at a library if you don't want to pay for what you perceive as an attack on RP) before pronouncing judgment.


Maybe he doesn't want to start on a new book until he's finished colouring the one he's got.
The banning is old news. I was shocked at first. It seemed so arbitrary. And it was pulled off like people disappearing into the night, very political, very scary. The other members didn't know why I stopped showing up. I think to be fair, they need to at least have a Banned By Bob board. It felt political like the Right going after the Left.

When I realized I was in grand company, it felt better. And when I picked up several refugee readers to my blog it felt even better.

I admit, it feels really odd that they can bash me and I'm defenseless. But I've realized I've a few champions over there and they come to my rescue.

By the way, the book comes out in May so you can't get it at the Library yet.
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong BBP:
quote:
Originally posted by Old_Winyards:
Greg, I'd suggest reading the book (get it at a library if you don't want to pay for what you perceive as an attack on RP) before pronouncing judgment.


Maybe he doesn't want to start on a new book until he's finished colouring the one he's got.


That funny, Dave. Big Grin
Here's the abstract from Amazon:

quote:
"I want my wines to tell a good story. I want them natural and most of all, like my dear friends, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue,” says Alice Feiring. Join her as she sets off on her one-woman crusade against the tyranny of homogenization, wine consultants, and, of course, the 100-point scoring system of a certain all-powerful wine writer. Traveling through the ancient vineyards of the Loire and Champagne, to Piedmont and Spain, she goes in search of authentic barolo, the last old-style rioja, and the tastiest new terroir-driven champagnes. She reveals just what goes into the average bottle—the reverse osmosis, the yeasts and enzymes, the sawdust and oak chips—and why she doesn’t find much to drink in California. And she introduces rebel winemakers who are embracing old-fashioned techniques and making wines with individuality and soul.
Old Winyards - As I said, I wasn't commenting on the book, just the title. If someone wants to discuss their opinions, or make a name for himself or herself, fine. If they do it on someone else's back, it relegates them to second string.

As far as attacking Parker, he willingly puts his opinions out there, so they're fair game. But by analogy, Siskel and Ebert offered you their own thumbs up or down. So we remember them. Had they only spent their time disagreeing with Pauline Kael or whoever, would anyone have cared?
quote:
Had they only spent their time disagreeing with Pauline Kael or whoever, would anyone have cared?


GregT - Alice posted this on page one of this thread:

I must warn you though, this book is not about Parker bashing though I might be pointing a few fingers. It really is quite a personal book.

It certainly doesn't sound like she's "only spending time" bashing Parker. And until you have actually read the book, it's patently unfair for you to allege that this is the case. Frankly, I think the title of the book is goofy, but I'm not losing any sleep over it either.

PH
quote:
If someone wants to discuss their opinions, or make a name for himself or herself, fine. If they do it on someone else's back, it relegates them to second string.



The book is a lot of angles, but it is mostly about how I perceive Parkerization has directly effected my wine life. The book is extremely personal. Personal to me and to those with similar palates. There will be others, like yourself, who will be offended and offensive before they give the book a chance. That's the world. But, perhaps you should be armed with a little more information before you let it rip?

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