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Parker writers 'accepted free trips'

Published:  05 June, 2009

Members of Robert Parker's team have accepted paid-for hospitality from wine producers, it has been revealed.

Parker has always maintained that accepting free trips would compromise his impartiality, and he has criticised rivals who regularly travel the world as guests of those whose wines they are reviewing.

But the Wall Street Journal has published details of hospitality enjoyed by Jay Miller and Mark Squires - originally posted on the Dr Vino website - both of whom write for Parker's Wine Advocate newsletter.

Miller accepted a $25,000 trip funded by Wine Australia and Squires has admitted travelling to Greece, Israel and Portugal at the expense of generic bodies.

The Wall Street Journal was unable to obtain comments from Parker, Miller or Squires. Parker has said on his own website that he has "never found any case of bias" in the reviews published by his writers.

He posted: "I don't hold the independent contractors such as Jay and Mark to the same stringent standards as I adhere to. Yet I do have serious guidelines regarding conflicts of interest, and they are well aware of them."