Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #141  Postby Eric LeVine » December 6th 2011, 1:35pm

Ken, fair enough. I was just pointing out that they do very regular updates now so there is more than one train leaving the station. Too late now...

And in fact, to be clear, it is NOT the last set of reviews from Jay per the WA: http://jimsloire.blogspot.com/2011/12/s ... necht.html
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #142  Postby David M. Bueker » December 6th 2011, 1:50pm

Ken V wrote:
M A T T H A R T L E Y wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:If you guys are now implying that David Schildknecht is lying then I have to take issue. He is a stand up guy, and I do not believe that he is telling anything but the truth.


What is all this calling David a liar stuff and where is it coming from? Some dode said I called David a liar on Ebob...I seriously have no idea what he is talking about...

I personally have NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that David is telling the truth...

I would say it is coming from your post #120, which seems to be strongly agreeing with Eric's post, which seems to be implying doubt about the post of Mark K and KJJ about what David said. The implication (though perhaps not intended) in Eric's post, is that he doubts what David said, and you seem to be agreeing with him.


That's how I read it. My apologies if I misinterpreted.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #143  Postby T. Melloni » December 6th 2011, 4:45pm

WvanGorp wrote:Gawker has picked up the story.

http://gawker.com/5865476/professional- ... la-scandal


From Gawker: "Jay Miller has stepped down from his job as a wine reviewer for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, a wine publication which is considered very well-well-well by the la-dee-da set."

I am not a member of the la-dee-da set.
I sometimes belong to the AFWE but not always.
I sometimes hum "la de daah" but that is quite different than la-dee-da.

Sorry for the interruption with my confessional; carry on.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #144  Postby David White » December 6th 2011, 7:52pm

The Baltimore Sun has picked up on the story -- and scored an exclusive interview with Miller.

Key parts:

Budd is quick to say he's not necessarily accusing Miller of bribery — but that the bouquet of the situation is somehow, clearly, off.

"I'm not saying that Miller pocketed this money," the blogger explained. "I'm not saying these were prices Miller was demanding. It was much more Pancho Campo."

Miller said he doesn't know if Campo attempted to bribe any wineries. "That's the 64,000 dollar question," he says. "But in the end, only he knows."


--
Robert Parker, meanwhile, is standing behind Miller, even as he launches an international investigation focusing in particular on Campo, who he has worked with in the past and introduced to Miller.


http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/bs ... 4257.story
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #145  Postby GregT » December 6th 2011, 8:53pm

Seems like it will be a while before things settle down.

Nola - I'm sure Neal will figure out something. It's one thing to be in the US and talk to importers here in the US, quite another to be in Britain and talk to importers in Britain who may have wines with different labels than here in the US, and who may have wines not available here. I don't think Neal is stupid and he has to be sensitive to the fact that the appeal of the WA is in the US. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to contact him somehow.

I HOPE that he goes back to the original WA philosophy and I hope that he spends some time seriously learning too. There are a lot of people who are happy to teach him and there are a lot of people who know Spain far better than he, so if I were him, I'd try to tap into that. Meantime, I greatly respect David but I'm thinking that he tends not to write a lot, so it will be interesting. Both David and Neal however, have palates that differ from what came before, so I'm really curious to see how some wines fare.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #146  Postby Nola Palomar » December 7th 2011, 5:57am

Thanks Greg, I sent him a PM through TWA.

Interesting post by Ryan Opaz http://catavino.net/cha-cha-cha-changes-spanish-wine-needs-to-learn-from-the-pancho-affair/
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Hmmmmm...

Post #147  Postby TomHill » December 7th 2011, 8:05am

Nola Palomar wrote:Thanks Greg, I sent him a PM through TWA.
Interesting post by Ryan Opaz http://catavino.net/cha-cha-cha-changes-spanish-wine-needs-to-learn-from-the-pancho-affair/


Thanks for the link to Ryan's post, Nola.
One thing that puzzles me is:
Personally, I’m sick of it! Spain makes great wine and should be recognized as a quality wine producing country – at the same level as France, Italy, and others.


To my mind, and I'm by far no expert on Spanish wines, this statement just does not ring true. I think most wine geeks, least the ones that I hang with, regard
Spain as a producer of great wines every bit the level of France or Italy.
But I think Ryan is right on chastising the Spanish wine industry for relying so much on getting big scores from WA and WS for marketing their wines.
They all need to get their oars into the water and pull together, both on a regionwise basis and a national basis. I don't see much signs of this being
done on an organized basis in this country.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #148  Postby GerryDawes » December 7th 2011, 9:28am

I am with Bill Klapp on David Schildknecht's explanation and defense of the Jay Miller resignation announcement. David sent his missive to me a couple of days ago and I have answered it with my own questions on my blog. I think David, who has in impeccable reputation for honesty, thought he was throwing some light on the situation and offering a defense of sorts for a fellow TWA critic, but in my view, he threw a lot more gasoline on the fire.

If as David says, they all knew that Jay Miller was resigning and Parker still let him go ahead and put on these dog and pony shows with Pancho Campo, it is more cynical still, because there was no evidence that either Campo and Miller informed the regulatory councils and wineries of Navarra, Murcia, Madrid, Malaga, and Valencia (where they charged 35,000 Euros for their appearances just three days before Miller resigned, that Miller's resignation was imminent).

Does anyone here think that the Murcia and Valencia organizations would have paid a total of 64,000 Euros for Jay Milller to give these tastings (which some attendees said were "a joke") if they knew Miller was not going to be filing notes in The Wine Advocate any longer and would announce his resignation within the week after the tastings?

From what I hear from Spanish sources there is a "very high level of tension" at the Valencia regulatory council. Stay tuned. I am sure that there will be some reports coming soon from some of the regions taken in on Miller's last majestic sweep through Spain with Pancho Campo.

Some of you may also be interested in these entries:

[url]David Schildknecht of The Wine Advocate's Statement On The Resignation of TWA Spanish Wine Critic Jay Miller Raises More Questions Than it Answers http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/ ... cates.html[/url]

[url]"(Robert M.) Parker is God’s fool for associating with and trusting in some of the people that he has over the years." - Poster Bill Klapp on Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist" http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/ ... l-for.html[/url]
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Re: Hmmmmm...

Post #149  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 7th 2011, 6:12pm

TomHill wrote:
Nola Palomar wrote:Thanks Greg, I sent him a PM through TWA.
Interesting post by Ryan Opaz http://catavino.net/cha-cha-cha-changes-spanish-wine-needs-to-learn-from-the-pancho-affair/


Thanks for the link to Ryan's post, Nola.
One thing that puzzles me is:
Personally, I’m sick of it! Spain makes great wine and should be recognized as a quality wine producing country – at the same level as France, Italy, and others.


To my mind, and I'm by far no expert on Spanish wines, this statement just does not ring true. I think most wine geeks, least the ones that I hang with, regard
Spain as a producer of great wines every bit the level of France or Italy.
...
Tom

Huh? It seems to me you and Ryan are saying the same thing, Tom.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #150  Postby Peter Chiu » December 7th 2011, 6:42pm

GerryDawes wrote:I am with Bill Klapp on David Schildknecht's explanation and defense of the Jay Miller resignation announcement. David sent his missive to me a couple of days ago and I have answered it with my own questions on my blog. I think David, who has in impeccable reputation for honesty, thought he was throwing some light on the situation and offering a defense of sorts for a fellow TWA critic, but in my view, he threw a lot more gasoline on the fire.

If as David says, they all knew that Jay Miller was resigning and Parker still let him go ahead and put on these dog and pony shows with Pancho Campo, it is more cynical still, because there was no evidence that either Campo and Miller informed the regulatory councils and wineries of Navarra, Murcia, Madrid, Malaga, and Valencia (where they charged 35,000 Euros for their appearances just three days before Miller resigned, that Miller's resignation was imminent).

Does anyone here think that the Murcia and Valencia organizations would have paid a total of 64,000 Euros for Jay Milller to give these tastings (which some attendees said were "a joke") if they knew Miller was not going to be filing notes in The Wine Advocate any longer and would announce his resignation within the week after the tastings?

From what I hear from Spanish sources there is a "very high level of tension" at the Valencia regulatory council. Stay tuned. I am sure that there will be some reports coming soon from some of the regions taken in on Miller's last majestic sweep through Spain with Pancho Campo.

Some of you may also be interested in these entries:

[url]David Schildknecht of The Wine Advocate's Statement On The Resignation of TWA Spanish Wine Critic Jay Miller Raises More Questions Than it Answers http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/ ... cates.html[/url]

[url]"(Robert M.) Parker is God’s fool for associating with and trusting in some of the people that he has over the years." - Poster Bill Klapp on Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist" http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/ ... l-for.html[/url]



Gasoline in fire.

Very high level of tension; stay tuned and reports coming soon.............. hitsfan
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #151  Postby Dan Kravitz » December 7th 2011, 10:47pm

Just back from a long trip and don't have time to read the whole thread, but here is my take on Jay Miller:

I met and tasted with him ~15 times in a professional capacity since he rejoined the Wine Advocate, and half a dozen times in a non-professional capacity a long time ago. During these tastings our discussions would digress from wine to memories of people in the business we both knew and occasionally other topics. I disagreed with him about wine more than is usual with most professional wine critics. I sometimes thought his ratings and comments were generous to a fault. Over the years I felt that his work for the Wine Advocate improved substantially. I very much appreciated his introduction of 'haiku' tasting notes (my term, I'm referring to his very brief descriptors of good wines that were not of enough interest to merit full-blown prose; IMO he succeeded in conveying a lot about them in a few words, while wasting little time or paper).

I don't claim to have an exceptional BS detector, but I think Jay Miller to is an open and honest person. I find it very hard to believe that he was 'selling' access to the WA and would have to see smoking gun proof.

I wish him well in the future.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #152  Postby Ignacio Villalgordo » December 8th 2011, 2:33am

Being a Spaniard, and tasting for elmundovino.com here in Spain all of this is both good and bad news. I would rather have someone with more credit, love and background of Spanish wines writing for the Advocate. Nevertheless, the situation could not continue as the former writer of the WA was ever questioned.

I grew to learn many of the wines and regions through Parker's newsletter. Although I made mistakes along the way, it provided a wealth of information and fun. Also his board was great, with the most amazing group of knowledgeable people I have ever seen. But RP has stopped reviewing lots of regions, and whilst some are covered by knowledgeable people others are covered by people that do not know the region, the history, and the characters involved in making Spanish wine. In this shrinking tasting role, Parker has introduced some tasters in some regions they do not know or understand. Some have done a good job (Squires) and others clearly have not.

Although to assign points to a wine you just need to be a consistent taster, it is also true that to review such a complex and historical country as Spain is a complex task. Spanish wines range from Sherry to Rioja, from Albariño to Monastrell; from Artadi to Tondonia; from the sunny South to the cold North. Without an open mind, passion, an understanding of the place where the wines are made, and knowledge of the people that make the wine, I personally think that the reviews lack perspective.

Don’t get me wrong. Let me say that Neal’s palate is more tuned with mine than other critics’, but has made some statements in the past in which he admits he does not understand some of the styles, grapes or wines made here.

On the whole Pancho / Miller situation, it did not sound right from the start. Miller had no clue about Spanish wines and Pancho was a newcomer with no known background of wine that became “the first Spanish MW” in an astonishing timeframe. The combination was a time bomb that could and has exploded.

I never met Miller, but have been told that Big Jay is quite a nice guy and knows wine. Nevertheless, his reviews are all over the place and so have little credit; and his name has moved from one scandal to the next, which was no good news for the Spanish wine scene. I think that the fact that he will no longer review the wines from Spain is positive.

Pancho is quite a character. On the plus side, someone that has taken promotion and networking to a level the wine industry had not previously seen, and has helped to promote Spanish wines abroad. On the minus, a let me call it “fishy” way of working in such a difficult environment as the Spanish wine market is; with a clear agenda; and attitudes that are far away of the WA standards.

All in all, I hope we move away from all of this ASAP. I think the wine scene here is one of the most interesting in the world. It is ever changing and dynamic. It is fascinating. We need someone that loves the wines. If it is Neal, so be it. Best of luck to him.

Finally, I would like that the Wine Advocate took a more humble approach to the complex world of wine. In order to regain credit they need to hire subject matter experts for each region, with a balanced view of wine. Coverage by experts on the field could then be deeper and the page will have regained interest. Then, I will re-subscribe

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #153  Postby Peter Chiu » December 8th 2011, 6:03am

I don't claim to have an exceptional BS detector, but I think Jay Miller to is an open and honest person. I find it very hard to believe that he was 'selling' access to the WA and would have to see smoking gun proof.

I wish him well in the future.

Dan Kravitz


Dan....thanks for your information regarding your observation and comments towards Jay Miller. [cheers.gif]

It only makes sense that Miller has to let go by WA due to recent event. But who started all this....? Open and honest is of course important but working for WA as a wine writer should need more than that....?

Why an organization like WA engaged someone likt that, is well beyond logic.

Sneak, without a head, does not go anywhere !

Dan - my last comment, needless to say, is not about you.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #154  Postby Jeff Lewis » December 8th 2011, 9:05am

I just posted the following on the ebob Dr J thread and it was taken down by Chairman Maork. Can't imagine why...

Will I Never Ever Be Eternally Really Sure Except Reading Key Expert ReviewS?
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #155  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » December 8th 2011, 10:02am

Jeff Lewis wrote:I just posted the following on the ebob Dr J thread and it was taken down by Chairman Maork. Can't imagine why...

Will I Never Ever Be Eternally Really Sure Except Reading Key Expert ReviewS?


?
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Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #156  Postby Alan C h a n » December 8th 2011, 10:03am

Matt, think acronym.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #157  Postby Victor Hong » December 8th 2011, 10:08am

Jeff Lewis wrote:I just posted the following on the ebob Dr J thread and it was taken down by Chairman Maork. Can't imagine why...

Will I Never Ever *e *ternally *eally *ure *xcept *eading *ey *xpert *eview*?

Fixed.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #158  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » December 8th 2011, 10:12am

Victor Hong wrote:
Jeff Lewis wrote:I just posted the following on the ebob Dr J thread and it was taken down by Chairman Maork. Can't imagine why...

Will I Never Ever *e *ternally *eally *ure *xcept *eading *ey *xpert *eview*?

Fixed.


ah ha...little slow today!

MS must just be pissed...not only does he get passed over for a "promotion" he spends all day taking stuff like that down...
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #159  Postby Cris Whetstone » December 8th 2011, 10:18am

Jeff Lewis wrote:I just posted the following on the ebob Dr J thread and it was taken down by Chairman Maork. Can't imagine why...

Will I Never Ever Be Eternally Really Sure Except Reading Key Expert ReviewS?

Nicely done Jeff. [berserker.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #160  Postby Bob Wood » December 8th 2011, 10:19am

Jeff Lewis wrote:I just posted the following on the ebob Dr J thread and it was taken down by Chairman Maork. Can't imagine why...

Will I Never Ever Be Eternally Really Sure Except Reading Key Expert ReviewS?

[berserker.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #161  Postby Dan Kravitz » December 8th 2011, 6:38pm

Kudos to Squires for picking up on it.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #162  Postby David M. Bueker » December 8th 2011, 7:05pm

There's no need to post juvenile shots "over there." It just discredits what happens "over here."
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #163  Postby Peter Chiu » December 9th 2011, 6:42am

In a way....yes. We are not in China.......where I left when I was young and did some rice farming there.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #164  Postby Neal.Mollen » December 9th 2011, 6:47am

According to David Schildknecht, Jay's departure was in the works last summer, long before the most recent mess. Maybe his previous problems forced his hand. Whether he would have been booted out had he not already been planning to leave is a question we will never be able to answer.

Jay did TWA harm. It was past time for him to go. I have difficulty seeing Neal Martin fill that particular spot, but he has the credibility, the writing skills, and (to me anyway) the palate to make those reviews of consequence again, so I am happy about the change.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #165  Postby Ken V » December 9th 2011, 7:21am

Dan Kravitz wrote:Kudos to Squires for picking up on it.

Dan Kravitz

Dan,

Just curious if you give kudos to Squires for having his software blank out "berserkers" in the first place? I don't support bothering to try to sneak it in over there, but can you really give kudos to Mark for this?
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #166  Postby Dan Kravitz » December 9th 2011, 7:59am

Ken,

Kudos to Squires for sharp eyes. Shame on Squires and the Wine Advocate for blocking posts that have something to do with wine and are not obscene or inciting to violence.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #167  Postby SteveC » December 9th 2011, 8:10am

Squires is a worm. I was a paying member of TWA for years. Shortly after the Squires board first started, I questioned why Bob Parker should taste at the wineries rather than at an independent location. I also thought that Bob should have to buy the wine like you and me. My post was deleted and I got an email warning. I then posted a few more negative comments. I was banned from the board but not from my WA online access otherwise.

I never knew that also happened to others. I just quit wine boards all together.

A year or so ago, I went in search online of wine geeks like myself. I found Beserkers.

I had no idea that others ha been banned. I had no idea so many like minded folks existed out there. I am proud to be a berserker! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #168  Postby Peter Chiu » December 9th 2011, 8:36am

Steve...perhaps someone can not handle the truth.

I heard that Bob gave awards ( as a contest ? ) to some of the posters there. I am not sure but perhaps Hank ( who posts here too ) got it. I am very happy for him [cheers.gif] .
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #169  Postby WvanGorp » December 9th 2011, 9:01am

Someone mentioned above that Jay harmed TWA. While true, in my view, it was really Bob who harmed TWA by putting Miller in that job and keeping him there (the same could be said for Squires as board moderator). I can attest from personal experience and knowledge that many people warned Bob about Jay and Squires and he was deaf to any feedback.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #170  Postby M.Kaplan » December 9th 2011, 9:13am

WvanGorp wrote:Someone mentioned above that Jay harmed TWA. While true, in my view, it was really Bob who harmed TWA by putting Miller in that job and keeping him there (the same could be said for Squires as board moderator). I can attest from personal experience and knowledge that many people warned Bob about Jay and Squires and he was deaf to any feedback.


Hostile to feedback, ultimately, privately and temperately given years ago by many, including you and others who previously had a friendly personal (as opposed to online) relationship with Parker.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #171  Postby SteveC » December 9th 2011, 9:22am

Peter Chiu wrote:Steve...perhaps someone can not handle the truth.

I heard that Bob gave awards ( as a contest ? ) to some of the posters there. I am not sure but perhaps Hank ( who posts here too ) got it. I am very happy for him [cheers.gif] .


What kinds of awards Peter? For what?
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #172  Postby Neal.Mollen » December 9th 2011, 9:24am

WvanGorp wrote:Someone mentioned above that Jay harmed TWA. While true, in my view, it was really Bob who harmed TWA by putting Miller in that job and keeping him there (the same could be said for Squires as board moderator). I can attest from personal experience and knowledge that many people warned Bob about Jay and Squires and he was deaf to any feedback.


True, but Jay was (and I suppose is) Bob's friend. Loyalty and friendship can blind us to the faults of others, and I have some sympathy for those who make mistakes for that reason. I know I have. Loyalty dies hard, and on the whole I think that's a good thing
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #173  Postby M.Kaplan » December 9th 2011, 9:27am

Neal,
That is why crony jobs are unwise.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #174  Postby Peter Chiu » December 9th 2011, 9:58am

SteveC wrote:
Peter Chiu wrote:Steve...perhaps someone can not handle the truth.

I heard that Bob gave awards ( as a contest ? ) to some of the posters there. I am not sure but perhaps Hank ( who posts here too ) got it. I am very happy for him [cheers.gif] .


What kinds of awards Peter? For what?



Bob did a wine-question kind of contest. The awards were special wine glasses ( hand-crafted or something like ). The info should be in a form of thread there.

I learned about it ( from friends ) because Hank ( Mr. Gillespie who posted there and here ) was one of the winners. Hank very nicely and politely expressed his thanks to Bob in one of the threads there.

Hank is the one who posted the following message ( link : http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtop ... =1&t=55663 ) ( in reply to a message passed by Neal Mollen ) in the thread : More Dr. Big Jay Miller and The Spanish Wine Industry Controversies

Pleaee note that I know Hank and that I have nothing but good admiration for him [cheers.gif]



You seem to be somewhat ambivalent, Neal. Last time I looked the courts convicted those charged before sentences were handed down ( something
about being innocent until proven guilty ).

Reading between the lines it appears to me that the promoter is picking off some hard $$$ from those wineries wishing to participate. The entire allegations appear
pretty weak in the light of what Miller is doing. Yes, he made a mistake in Australia some time ago, but that was dealt with and isn't likely to be repeated in
any fashion. However, the disgruntled former participants in Parker's Bulletin Board seem to want to believe anything negative about TWA.

"Interesting", Tex? Only if one wants to participate in unfounded gossip, I suppose.

Hank
Last edited by Peter Chiu on December 9th 2011, 9:43pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #175  Postby SteveC » December 9th 2011, 10:04am

Like I said, I got banned quickly. I was on TWA's board for a very short while (weeks at most - then I was locked out).

BUT ... like an idiot, I kept my hard and online subscriptions to TWA for years. (I was a dope).

Finally cut the cord this summer.
Ste ve C o yl e
""Too

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