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Who are the Most Famous Wine Critics & Personalities?

Wine is a complex and often confusing subject matter. With so many wines to pick from, wine critics provide a trusted service to consumers in order to keep them better informed about the wines that they love. Passing on their knowledge, expertise, wine ratings and wine reviews each one helps to make wine more accessible and understandable with many gaining a loyal following by consumers who share a similar passion and palate.

Listed in no particular order, we have collated an independent (and by no means, exhaustive) list of some of the most famous wine critics you should look out for and refer to if you’re interested in their particular wine region or field of expertise.

List of Famous Wine Critics

Robert Parker JrRobert M. Parker, Jr.

An industry household name and probably the single most influential critic in the world of wine, Robert Parker has in many ways shaped the wine industry to where it stands today. Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson of the Financial Times once described his taste buds as “the world’s most prized palate”. 

Back in the 1970s, Parker founded The Wine Advocate, a bi-weekly wine newsletter, which has garnered more than 50,000 subscribers, though it is most known for his influential ratings and wine reviews on Bordeaux, Rhône Valley and California wines, amongst many others. His 100-point wine-scoring scale is now so widely used within the industry it can often ‘make or break’ a wine. 

More recently, Parker stepped down from reviewing Bordeaux En Primeur and passed over his role of editor-in-chief to Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, as well as selling his interests in The Wine Advocate. 

Website: www.robertparker.com

Socials: Twitter @Wine_Advocate | Instagram @wine_advocate

Jancis Robinson MW

Jancis Robinson MW

As the best-known British wine critic and journalist, Jancis Robinson is dubbed by Decanter as “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world”. She contributes to a weekly column in The Financial Times, writes for her website JancisRobinson.com and has collaborated on some of the most popular wine books, such as The Oxford Companion to Wine, The World Atlas of Wine and Wine Grapes. 

Most notably, in 1984, she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and was honoured with the royal stamp of approval, an OBE, by Queen Elizabeth II for whom she regularly provides advice on the Palace’s wine cellar.

Website: www.jancisrobinson.com

Socials: Twitter @JancisRobinson | Instagram @jancisrobinson

Antonio Galloni

Antonio Galloni

Antonio Galloni started out as a budding wine enthusiast and tasting staff member of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, where he gained attention and respect within the global wine community. He would eventually become a lead critic there and authored a third of their wine reviews by 2012. 

Galloni eventually left The Wine Advocate to start Vinous, a popular and trusted online wine publication that focuses on his wine regions of expertise including Italy, Champagne, Burgundy and California. In 2020, Vinous took ownership of Cellar Watch, a wine collection valuation tool, previously owned by Liv-Ex. Galloni’s ‘all-star team’ of critics now provide consumers with the opportunity to make more informed wine decisions.

Website: www.vinous.com

Socials: Twitter @AntonioGalloni | Instagram @antoniogalloni 

Neal Martin

Neal Martin

Before venturing into the world of wine publishing, Neal Martin worked for Lloyd’s of London and briefly moved to Tokyo to work as an English teacher. It was in Japan that he gained exposure to wine while working for a Japanese wine export company. In 2003, he launched his own website, Wine-Journal, which gained the attention of Robert Parker. Soon after, in 2006, Robert Parker took Neal under his wing as a protégé and contributor to The Wine Advocate

Martin’s contributions to The Wine Advocate included articles and tasting notes on Sauternes and Burgundy. In 2016, he went on to take over Parker’s role as the main reviewer of Bordeaux En Primeur. After only two years in the role, Martin announced that he was joining Antonio Galloni at Vinous as Senior Editor and reviewer of Bordeaux, Burgundy, South Africa and New Zealand. 

Website: www.vinous.com 

Socials: Twitter @nealmartin | Instagram @nealmartin123

James Suckling

James Suckling

A wine critic, journalist and cigar aficionado, James Suckling’s taste for the finer things in life have propelled him to being one of the most well-known and influential wine experts of the world. He has over thirty years of experience in wine and was the senior editor and European Bureau Chief of The Wine Spectator

In 2010, he left The Wine Spectator to set up his own, self-titled wine publication site that provides up-to-date reports and information on current wines, en primeur, tasting notes, blog posts and videos.

Website: www.jamessuckling.com 

Socials: Twitter @JamesSuckling | Instagram @james.suckling 

Allen Meadows

Allen Meadows

Allen Meadows started out as a successful financial executive but found his higher calling in the world of wine. In 2000, he set up his own wine publication, BURGHOUND, which offers newsletters, wine reviews and tasting notes from the Burgundy region. 

He is a highly respected and critically-acclaimed publisher in over 60 countries, holding a particular interest in pinot noir wines from California and Oregon, but his passion for Burgundy wine remains the boldest. 

Website: www.burghound.com

James Laube

James Laube

James Laube is The Wine Spectator’s leading authority on wines of California and has published multiple books regarding the matter. The first edition of his California Wines won the 1996 James Beard Award for Best Wine Book of the Year. 

He has been contributing and publishing for The Wine Spectator since 1980 and is the main contributor to promoting Californian wines on the world stage. 

Website: www.winespectator.com

Stephen Tanzer

Stephen Tanzer

Stephen Tanzer is a wine critic, editor and was the publisher of the bi-monthly International Wine Cellar since 1985, with a particular focus on the wines of Burgundy, Piemont (Italy), California and Bordeaux. 

In 2014, Antonio Galloni’s Vinous moved to acquire Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, where the articles and published reviews are now a part of Vinous’ extensive and impressive archive. 

Website: www.vinous.com

Tim Atkin

Tim Atkin MW

Tim Atkin is an active and high-profile British wine critic who regularly produces wine reviews for Women and Home, Intelligent Life, Off License News, The World of Fine Wines and Imbibe. His contributions have earned him many awards, including the UK Wine Guild Correspondent of the Year. He also hosts his own website with reviews, reports and tasting notes focusing on Rioja, the Rhône Valley, South Africa, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Argentina, Brunello, Washington State, Napa and Oregon. 

Website: www.timatkin.com 

Socials: Twitter @timatkin | Instagram @timatkinmw

Jeannie Cho Lee MW

Jeannie Cho Lee MW

Jeannie Cho Lee is a Hong Kong-based wine critic, journalist and educator. She initially launched her career as a business journalist in Asia, writing for many business publications including Far Eastern Economic Review. Later, she pursued her love for wine and moved to contributing articles for international wine publications such as The Wine Spectator, The World of Fine Wines and La Revue du vin de France. In 2004, she joined Decanter as the contributing editor for Asia. Lee is currently a professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where she helped to launch the Master of Science (MSc) in International Wine Management program. 

Website: www.jeanniecholee.com 

Socials: Twitter @JeannieChoLee | Instagram @jeanniecholee 

Monica Larner

Monica Larner is an American wine critic, born into a family of wine enthusiasts. Her wine critic career, however, launched upon her move to Rome. She began reporting on Italian wines for Italy Daily and was later approached by Wine Enthusiast to be their very first Italy-based correspondent. 

The years that followed would be characterised by Larner’s love for Italian wine: Firstly, by becoming the Italian Reviewer for The Wine Advocate, and then later succeeding Antonio Galloni at eRobertParker.com. Perhaps Larner’s most notable contribution to The Wine Advocate was the addition of a host of Italian regions to their ‘Vintage Chart’, which lists the most cellar-worthy wines in the world.  

Website: www.robertparker.com 

Socials: Twitter @MonicaLarner | Instagram @monicalarner 

Jeb Dunnuck 

Jeb Dunnuck is an American aerospace-engineer-turned-wine-critic who discovered his passion for the wines of the Rhone Valley after travelling throughout the wine region for work. This led him launch The Rhône Report in 2008, where he published newsletters reviewing all things Rhône. By 2013, Dunnuck was an established critic with a global following. 

In recognition of this, Robert Parker asked Dunnuck to join The Wine Advocate team, to which he agreed and began writing about wine full-time. After four years of publishing more reviews than any other wine critic, Dunnuck left The Wine Advocate to launch his own platform, JebDunnuck.com.  

Website: jebdunnuck.com 

Socials: Twitter @jebdunnuck | Instagram @jebdunnuck 

Richard Juhlin 

Appropriately titled ‘the world’s number one champagne expert’, Richard Juhlin is a Swedish critic who holds the record for the most champagne ever tasted (over 12,000!).

He has centred his career around sparkling wine, having made films about it, designed his own optimised champagne glasses, and created a non-alcoholic wine called ‘Richard Juhlin Blanc de Blancs’. He even invented the concept ‘Champagne Hiking’, where he hypothesises that champagne tastes better depending on when and where you are drinking it. He is also a member of Decanter’s international jury and now publishes his work on his own website, champagneclub.com. 

Website: champagneclub.com 

Socials: Twitter: @RichardJuhlin 

The Author

JF Tobias