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Parker hires Brit to work on website

Published:  23 July, 2008

Robert Parker has tapped a little-known Essex boy to bring a British perspective to his popular wine website.

Online journalist Neal Martin launched his own three years ago and used quirky humour and an off-beat but knowledgable approach to wine to build a following among enthusiasts and the trade. But with the nod from Parker, Martin will now move this work to as critic-at-large.

With the announcement, Parker referred to Martin's work as 'prolific and talented' and praised him for possessing the 'most important attributes of a wine taster and commentator: passion, independence and an unending fascination for the subject.'

Martin posted a goodbye on his own website, and reassured readers that they were not losing his distinctive voice: 'Let me get one thing straight from the start. Those prematurely lamenting the loss of as they know it, anticipating a loss of independence, some watering-down of style and such like, have absolutely nothing to worry about.'

He even compared theorigins of his own wine writing career to that of Parker's:'Wine-journal started on 2 June 2003, written by someone with not a book to his name, no column in a magazine or newspaper, no reputation to build upon. But neither did Robert Parker when he started off in the 1970s, and if he can do it, then why not I?'

Parker also said that Martin 'will offer more depth and flavour dimension to the site, in addition to that distinctive British-trained point of view'.

Martin has described Parker's website as 'awesome and multi-faceted', adding that the last time he spoke with Parker, the American stressed that he did not want 'an echo of his own voice'.