It’s only natural. The elite, controversial wine reviewing publication built on personalities with cult-like followings is now owned by the elite, controversial restaurant reviewing publication built on anonymous contributors. On Friday, the Michelin Guide announced the complete acquisition of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Parker, now 71-years-old , spent the last few years working towards a retirement that became official in May. Earlier, he began handing off many his writing roles; in 2012 sold off a small stake to Asia-based investors; and in 2017, he sold 40% of Advocate to Michelin. That transaction proved a test balloon for the full control that Michelin acquired last week.
“We got to know each other for the past two years before we decided to complete the acquisition and we realized that Michelin and the Wine Advocate had the same culture in regards to the importance of their independence,” said Nicolas Achard, the new CEO of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (RPWA).
Of course, there is also the common thread of ratings. However, the similarities run deeper.
Both publications focused on international, especially Asian, expansion over the past five years. During the Friday presser, leaders stressed that the merger will also assist with those goals. In addition, both teams referenced the Advocate’s growing events business. These two angles are industry standards for legacy print staples like the merger parties.
No cash values or details of the transaction were disclosed.