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THE EMPEROR OF WINE: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr., and the Reign of American Taste (Ecco/HarperCollins), won the 2005 World Gourmand Cookbook Award and was a finalist for James Beard and IACP wine book of the year. Foreign editions have been published in the UK, Brazil, Korea, Taiwan and Japan.


The book has garnered international praise in nearly 200 reviews since its publication in July, 2005. A sampling:

“No wine book will receive more attention than The Emperor of Wine….scrupulous and balanced…McCoy does justice to the paradoxical tale of this voice of the people who became the most powerful man in wine.”  The New York Times

“…highly anticipated…The thoroughness of McCoy’s reporting is impressive… prodigious.”-Los Angeles Times

“Beyond exploring Parker’s career and the cult of personality that grew up around him, the book offers a compelling look at the evolution of the global wine industry…”International Herald Tribune

“This illuminating biography of America’s preeminent oenophile not only traces Parker’s ascension from bored, pot-smoking 1970s government lawyer to global arbiter of vino taste, but also scrutinizes his phenomenal impact—for better or worse—on the world of wine…fascinating analysis…”Business Week

“Ms. McCoy chronicles Mr. Parker’s rise and in the process charts the recent history of wine politics. It’s a cautionary tale…an informative, fair and even entertaining book.”The Wall Street Journal

“[An] absorbing portrait…As  McCoy convincingly argues…[Parker] is probably the most powerful critic ever in any field.” USA Today

“…Elin McCoy…[is] uniquely qualified to chart the rise of the most powerful wine critic in the world…Unlike most of the wine industry, McCoy isn’t afraid of Parker, and while she finds him personable, she’s critical of his influence.” San Francisco Chronicle

“The tale of how Parker, a kid from the Hereford zone, rose to the heights of the testy wine world is an appealing one, and McCoy…tells it well.” – Baltimore Sun

“…the book is a pleasure to read…a well-written step forward for literature historicizing the wine industry.” The Daily Californian

“…the book beautifully chronicles…his rise to unparalleled prominence…well-researched history, highlighted with gossipy intrigue….For anyone with an interest in the way wine is made, sold, marketed, promoted and critiqued, The Emperor of Wine is a must-read.”–The Seattle Times

“Elin McCoy tackles the Parker phenomenon, warts and all, in her new biography…Hers is the first book to fully appraise this kingmaker, and she does so with precision and insight.”MSNBC.COM

“…a fascinating and in-depth profile…a fine read on a complex man.” –Dayton Daily News

“…a book every oenophile should read.” –Booklist

“This is an extraordinary exploration of the Parker phenomenon.  It’s impeccably researched…” –

“…balanced, timely and brilliantly written…The Emperor of Wine is a fascinating portrait…a superb book.”  The World of Fine Wine

“…if you have any interest at all in Parker and in the growth and development of wine culture—particularly in the U.S.—during the past generation, you won’t regret reading it.”–Robin Garr’s Wine Lover’s Page

“At its core, The Emperor of Wine is a study of power…The author is steely herself…she is both tough and fair…This biography helps readers gauge an extraordinary life—and nose—at the center of all the fuss.”–The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“…exhaustive…a remarkably even-handed look at a man who’s influencing not only what many people drink, but also the way wines are made and priced.” —San Jose Mercury News

“McCoy offers us the best portrait yet of the man, his sins and his virtues…this is a very solid book, well-written, copiously documented, and presenting a well-rounded picture of the man so many love to hate and hate to love.” –Barron’s

“…an essential book for anyone interested in wine…[McCoy] writes exceptionally evenhandedly and lucidly about this man, who some credit with improving wine around the world and others damn because they believe that winemakers tailor their wines to his tastes to ensure high ratings.”—The Boston Globe

“…stunning…McCoy, a wine journalist, is a fine guide to the gossipy, prickly, tradition-ridden world of wine. Her book goes beyond biography into history, science, and economics…A must-read.”—

“… don’t miss this book if you want to know what has influenced the wine world in the last 30 years – and why.”–Sunday Times

“It’s a fascinating story and Ms. McCoy is clearly the person to tell it….she gives us an incisive, behind the scenes tour of the world of wine.  Her prose is clear and elegant…Like a top-rated Parker wine, this book is rich, layered, well proportioned, and stays in your mind long after you have finished it.” —The East Hampton Star

“Eminently readable…[an] impartial assessment of Mr. Parker’s taste and influence.”—The Economist

“McCoy, a longtime freelancee wine writer, articulates this rags-to-riches story well, with plenty of telling anecdotes.” —Wine Spectator

“Perhaps the most influential critic writing on any subject, Robert M. Parker, Jr. is a polarizing figure… In this well-researched biography of Parker and his wine milieu by Elin McCoy, herself a respected wine writer, Parker’s fans and detractors will find plenty to stew about.”—The Washington Post

“… For pure reading pleasure, this year’s most entertaining drinks book had to be American wine and food journalist Elin McCoy’s exhaustive and balanced biography of Robert Parker” —Wine and Spirit Magazine

“Elin McCoy’s wonderfully readable biography shows how odd it was that Parker’s tastebuds, out of all the tastebuds in the world, should have become so critical in how wines are judged and made. As McCoy comments at the end of her wise and witty book, the problem with Parker is simply the ‘tyranny of one palate’ —Sunday Telegraph

“The Emperor of Wine is terrific—meticulously researched, well written, and balanced. McCoy has captured Parker in full: He comes across as a man of uncommon enthusiasm, integrity, egoism, and prickliness…McCoy ends her book on exactly the right note: ‘There will never be another emperor of wine.’” —

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