Any discussion of today's foremost wine critics or reviewers surely begins with Robert M Parker, Baltimore-born and Bordeaux market-maker and breaker.
In a reverse of the story of Michael Fish and his denial of hurricane-force winds, Parker praised the 1982 Bordeaux vintage as 'superb' when other critics were not so convinced. Prices for 1982 remain consistently higher than all other vintages.
Robert Parker's magazine, The Wine Advocate, marks wines using a 100-point system and is highly influential to US markets and round the world.
Robert Parker is certainly unique but he is no longer a sole operator and has now invited correspondents to work alongside him. Over a decade ago, Parker heard about UK-based Neal Martin, who was ahead of the curve with his website Wine-Journal, which he began on an afternoon in 2003 when he was a 'bit bored'.
Before becoming part of The Wine Advocate at Parker's request, Martin had attracted over 100,000 page hits with his mixture of part-personal, honest and non-stuffy wine-related blogs.
For wine reviews and clear advice, many wine lovers are familiar with Janis Robinson's Purple Pages. Robinson rose to prominence after becoming the first person outside the wine trade to gain an MW. Now an author, FT columnist and wine adviser to the Queen, Robinson is a household name and got many a person to drink Riesling while watching the advance of the new world wines which were not a feature of the market when her own illustrious career was in its infancy.