Robert Parker Wine Advocate and RobertParker.com, the world’s most widely read independent consumer’s guide to fine wine, announced that it will unveil a new website on April 1, 2016. The announcement was made during a press conference featuring Robert M. Parker, Jr. and the publication’s entire 9-member review team at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. The nine reviewers including Robert Parker, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, Jeb Dunnuck, Luis Gutierrez, Monica Larner, Neal Martin, Stephan Reinhardt, Mark Squires and Liwen Hao convened in New York for the Wine Advocate’ssignature Matter of Taste tour as part of a global series of exclusive events for RobertParker.com members and guests.
The press conference included an overview of the highlights of new offerings on the redesigned RobertParker.com website, where Wine Advocate Editor-in-Chief Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW walked the press through a beta version, currently available to subscribers at beta.robertparker.com as of February 20, 2016. Perrotti-Brown said, “We are incredibly excited to at last unveil our new website. The lengthy process of transforming and improving our old database has been a painstaking labor of love. The new, robust search facility enables our members to more easily access the wealth of tasting notes, articles and resources we host on our website.” The website includes a variety of new features, beginning with a new design and functionality. The aesthetic is particularly informed by the Wine Advocate’s dedicated photographer, Johan Berglund, whose beautiful images have won a host of awards in his native Sweden including “Picture of the Year” and “Photographer of the Year.” Berglund cites the Bordeaux region as his most enduring muse and has said of his work, “I feel a great connection between wine and documentary photography. In both cases they represent a window through time to a moment in history frozen by a cork or the release of a shutter.” The revamped RobertParker.com will also include an enhanced search capability, enabling members to search the entire Wine Advocatedatabase of more than 300,000 tasting notes with a powerful and intuitive proprietary search tool, which features nine different filter criteria including searches by color, sweetness, type, variety, rating, author, price and location(s). Articles will now be searchable for the first time, using the same advanced search filters as the site’s tasting notes. A new wine information page will also include bottle shots and relevant vintage chart material. Finally, fans of the popular dining section of RobertParker.com, Hedonist’s Gazette, will find far more flexible search capabilities when searching for specific restaurants, destinations, recommendations and/or wines. Perrotti-Brown continued, “We could not have achieved our goals without the tireless efforts of our wine-loving IT director, Augustine Low. We also have the passionate efforts of our own review team to thank, who have spent many hours reviewing the site from their various perspectives, ensuring it meets all our many requirements. The clean, modern design, look and feel were created by Brand Union in Singapore and have been greatly enhanced with the images supplied our new photographer Johan Berglund. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and their results.” In addition to news about the website, the Robert Parker Wine Advocate team outlined a few other recent initiatives at the media event, including the expansion of the publication’s global presence and reach by the recent hiring of Liwen Hao as its new Asian Wine Reviewer. A Chinese national and experienced wine writer and educator, Liwen Hao is based in Shanghai. His responsibilities now include reviewing Asia’s best wines including those from China, India and Japan. He will also be overseeing the translation of parts of theRobertParker.com website and database in simplified Chinese. The Chinese version of RobertParker.com is expected to launch in June 2016. Finally, Robert Parker Wine Advocate recently opened a new office in Napa, California to house its expanding editorial, marketing and business development teams. Perrotti-Brown relocated from Singapore to Napa to manage operations from the new west coast headquarters.