Best job in the world...Meteorologist or Burg Reviewer for the WA?


My impression was that Schildknecht was on time with his reviews, but Parker delayed their publication in the paper version, and finally decided they would not make it to the paper version and released them on the web… 2 years later. Does anybody know the REAL story behind this?

It’s really a moot point for me since I don’t read the WA reviews (nor any other for that matter), but Schildknecht always seemed to be one of the few good guys.


That is not the case. David was late getting these reviews to Parker.

Parker even “promised” readers that these reviews wouldbe completed before the New Year. That never happened.

Eric, if DS is spread too thin, then he shold speak up to his boss.

Just because he reviews wines in an asinine method (he still speaks into a recorder and then transcribes it to paper) and then is late getting his work to his boss, is not his boss’s fault.

Many of his notes are great, but so many are completely over the top, I have a hard time understanding WTF he is talking about.

What Schildknecht is experiencing here is a pretty much a classical problem in stochastic processes and queuing theory.

There are all sorts of theorems in probability theory about how once you get behind in your workload [or in your betting at the blackjack table, or whatever], you can “never” catch up again.

Given that he is a perfectionist, there is probably too much on Schildknecht’s plate as it is [Burgundy, Germany, Austria, Alsace, Loire, Languedoc], and the WA was already way behind in its coverages of these regions when he came aboard.

In retrospect, he should have bit the bullet on some of these regions and vintages and just skipped over them entirely, in the interest of catching back up to “zero”.

That’s excellent, Frank!

And thank god we’re not in it. rolleyes

BTW, totally disagree about David’s reviews and Germany. I can use old reviews when he used stars working for Tanzer and the wine will sell well off the shelf.

Nathan, I am likely the only one here whose eyes lit up when seeing the phrase “classical problem in stochastic processes and queuing theory”. Here’s a story you might find amusing:

Years ago one of my former professors was an editor for a journal. He is an expert on Stochastic Control and related topics. A couple of months after he sent me a paper to review, he sent me one of those standard letters “reminding” me to do it. The phrase that caught my eye was “It takes no more time to review a paper promptly than it does to review it late.” I could not resist writing back (along with my review), “you of all people should know the difference between waiting time and service time”.

I guess the good news is that he never sent me another paper to review. [berserker.gif]

There was a thread topic on the Parker board last year, where Yaacov, Drew S (I think) and I all suggested that DS just skip the 2006 vintage in Burgundy and move forward to catch up. I did not realize, at that time, that he had already tasted the wines 12 months prior to that.

Eric’s comments are spot on. David is a novelist being asked to write one-liners. It’s just not his wheelhouse. That doesn’t excuse David from taking responsibility for himself, but RP needs to take responsibility for his business. Sadly, RP is like a talented chef who thinks he needs to run his own restaurant, but can’t.

That would be terrible to see. There are other excellent voices on Burgundy, but David is priceless on German wines.

The problem is management. In addition to the regular WA reports, David was asked to do sections of the Buying Guide and the Bargain Buying Guide (or whatever it was called.) Like David was going to mail in a half-assed fuckjob like Miller. In the typical disdain RP displays for his subscriber base, he placed priority on those rather than Burgundy or anything else. Management’s role is manage talent and placing priorities is part of that. Subscribers should well be torqued that a seperate revenue stream was placed ahead of delivering value for their already-paid money.

In reality, having David do individual wine reviews in the WA format is like restricting Tolstoy to Twitter. I love David and I respect his talents, knowledge and passion immensely. He is also an intellectual in the true sense of the word and his breadth of knowledge greatly informs his writings on wine. Writing essentially sale pitches for wines is just a complete waste. His Languedoc material is just useless as the scoring is quite reasonably compressed almost completely into an 88-93 pt range with the WA style guide of descriptors and there is no opportunity for really differentiating the wines - something that region needs. If the WA spun David off to write stuff like John Gilman does, I’d pay for a subscription despite my desire to give the WA no money whatsoever.


Dude, stick to the ethical issues. Leave David alone. Since you don’t seem to give a shit about anything the WA writes then why do you really care? You really just need to let it alone.



Have you heard how he takes tasting notes while at Domaines?

He needs a secretary to transcribe it, if he is going to do it in that manner. Otherwise, we are stuck on 2 year delays.

Is there any ethical standard associated with how a reviewer actually records and transcribes their notes? Has David made a pledge to take notes in his own blood, but instead you found that he is doing it with the blood of sacrificed virgins instead? Why would I really give a shit?

David was perfectly timely when he worked for Steve Tanzer. He is no longer timely, so I drew the management conclusions that I did. Either way, I don’t care about how he works, just the end product.

Daniel, I think youwill find that plenty of people are willing to listen to you rag on Jay Miller. However, but I think you will have a far harder sell if your target is Neil Martin, Antonio Galloni or David Schildknecht. Please find something else to whine about in life. This is beyond ridiculous.


My point is that his current system, with his current job, does not work.

FYI, with Tanzer, he was also behind in his reporting, but not like this.

Something has to give.

I think we are in agreement on that.

Like I said, hire a secretary.

That is your two cents. Mine is that he shouls cover fewer regions and in a method/format that allows the reviewer to express himself. The comparisons to Gilman are apt. But I think mocking him is unfair, as I think he has been asked to do something which he simply can’t do. I don’t blame David.

He accepted the job and the responsibilities that come with it.

If he could not handle it, he is an adult, he should open up his mouth.

I would think that there are tools to transcribe recordings to a word processor, no? The Bob should spring for something like this for DS.

Yeah, I am sure there was no bait and switch, no changing of definitions and responsibilities. Dude you are obtuse.