April 1, 2008 - Robert Parker Retires. Announces Surprise Successor!
Well, we all wondered when it would happen. And we've wondered what the wine world will be like after it does - after The Emperor retires. Today we get to find out.
In a short press conference this morning, Robert Parker, the most powerful critic in the history of wine, announced his plans to retire "While I'm still young enough to enjoy it." People have wondered how The Emperor could ever cede his throne, particularly after the stunning departure of Pierre Rovani, his heir apparent, in 2006.
"I've found my successor" Parker announced. "His name is Hans Sheppard, and he may be a surprise to many. But then, whoever thought a fledgling attorney from Smallsville Maryland would become the most powerful figure in wine?" he asked, presumably rhetorically. Parker's reassurance seemed to fall on deaf ears, as the skeptical wine paparazzi who gathered for the announcement were visibly disturbed by Sheppard's appearance. For his part, Sheppard never made a sound as he sat obediently at Parker's side, breathing through his mouth.
When asked how he found his successor, Parker responded "I was reading about some fake jewelry intercepted by a special police officer working in U.S. Customs. What tipped him off to the fake was the subtle scent of the chemicals used to make the fake jewels. This barely detectable nuance of scent is much like the subtle aromas a world-class wine critic detects, so it seemed wise and logical to re-purpose this talent into a safer and more useful field."
"Then I read that the cartel responsible for the fakes had issued a death warrant, forcing this gifted officer into early retirement. I had to move quickly before Shanken thought of this, and started up his well-known recruiting machine. So I contacted the authorities and succeeded in recruiting Sheppard as my protege - I've been working with him to hone his wine evaluation skills ever since. At first, Sheppard couldn't resist the temptation to lap up every drop of wine I put before him, but he's a quick study and I found him easy to train. He was a natural talent, and quickly became as discriminating as I am."
When asked about his own future plans, Parker said "I have been called to Hollywood. Seems somebody thinks there's room on the silver screen for yet one more wine movie, and this one's about me. Compared to the slings and arrows I have suffered, Barrack Obama has had it easy, so I'm going out there to make sure my portrayal is fair and balanced."
April 1, 2008 - Young Winemakers Embarrassed At First "Free Run" Competition
In other news, two young winemaking superstars - Dave Corey and Doug Timewell - were recently surprised after being invited to participate in what they thought was just another wine tasting contest. "We assumed this competition was to see who could make the best wine from Free Run juice" said Dave Corey, owner and Winemaker at Core Wines, as he popped some Advil to ease his bruised and aching body. "We showed up with a case of hand-labeled wine we'd bottled just in time for the competition."
"It turned out we'd badly misunderstood the invitation" Timewell said, in what might just be the understatement of the year. "Our competitors showed up with no juice of their own, so we assumed we'd won by forfeit. When we began toasting each other, they eyed us rather curiously, then took off running across, over, under, around and through the city. We did our best to keep up, but only managed to embarrass ourselves (embarrassing video), until the post-event party, at which our version of Free Run was deemed 'Righteous Juice!' Timewell said, satisfied.
"Sadly, the other team couldn't drink much" Corey said, who appeared as if he may have enjoyed his share of the leftovers, "they had an early wake-up call for their cool music video the next day. We're just hoping for a product placement!"
Dave the Wine Merchant
"Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: It's good to be silly at the right moment." Horace (65 B.C. - 8 B.C.)
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