Jay Miller leaves the Wine Advocate

In a posting on eRobertParker.com, Robert Parker has announced that Jay Miller will no longer be writing for The Wine Advocate. Parker says: “After several months of consideration, Big Jay, who has done such a thorough and professional job of bringing emerging wine regions such as Spain, South America, and the Pacific Northwest much needed coverage and attention, has decided to return to wine consulting, lecturing and wine retail.”

Miller says he will be returning part time to Bin 604, a wine store, working on a book and may start a wine blog. He added:

Some may believe my stepping down is in response to my critics. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have felt constrained in responding while still on The Wine Advocate staff. While the office has defended my actions, justifiably, now it is time for me to speak for myself… I leave The Wine Advocate with a clear conscience. I have never accepted (or requested) fees for visiting wine regions or wineries.

Neal Martin will take over reviewing the wines of Spain, Argentina, and Chile for the publication. David Schildknecht will review the wines of Oregon and Washington.

Related: “Campogate: No pay, no Jay” [Jim’s Loire]
Regional group charges wineries fees for Wine Advocate tasting

43 Responses to “Jay Miller leaves the Wine Advocate”

  1. […] Vino reports on Jay Miller leaving the WA. Here is an excerpt: In a posting on eRobertParker.com, Robert […]

  2. Herman Cain and Jay Miller in the same weekend. There is a GOD.
    Tyler, you are welcome.

    : )

  3. Let me see if I got this straight: Jay Miller is leaving the Spain coverage, right? This after Pancho Campo sold him to several denominaciones de origen as an expert (to taste their wines and give them marketing advice). Wait, I am confused, the critic for Spanish wines for Ralph Nader crusader-esque Robert M. Parker, Jr. The Wine Advocate wine consumer protector was being paid for giving “marketing advice” to the foreign wine promotional agencies, regulatory boards and wineries that he was supposed to be covering as a wine journalist? No way!!!! And he was sold as doing that by Pancho Campo and his Spain Wine Academy? No way!! And Robert M. Parker, Jr. just came out on his website with barely veiled threats to sue Jim Budd and the other bloggers, presumably, Dr. Vino and Mike Steinberger’s Wine Diarist, as well as me probably (but someone claiming to be Pancho Campo’s lawyer already threatened me in 2009). And the top wine write in Spain, Pepe Peñin (the only one amongst the silent Spanish wine press), just came out to on elmundovino.com http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/spains-top-writer-jose-penin-on-pancho.html to express his opinions about the impropriety of what Pancho Campo and Jay Miller were doing. No Way!!! And Jay Miller is just withdrawing to pursue other interests. No Way!! Golly, gee, folks, the Spanish denominaciones of origen, Navarra and Valencia must be really pissed off about spending wads of money for what they must of thought was privileged access to Miller and now he is not going to write another word on Spanish wines for Robert M. Parker, Jr.’s The Wine Advocate. No Way!!! Oh, well, Miller lost his notes on his visit to Toro anyway, so the story goes, so he won’t have to worry about that report. No Way!!!! I guess someone really got the message, but my message and (I presume the message from the rest of my fellow “low-rent” bloggers, as we have been called) is that if anyone thinks that the resignation of Miller is going to make the story of Robert M. Parker and his association with Pancho Campo (of Interpol) fame is going away, guess again. No Way!!

  4. “….”


  5. The folks from the Madrid DO must be feeling pretty happy at this moment…

  6. “I leave The Wine Advocate with a clear conscience.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

  7. “I leave The Wine Advocate with a clear conscience.” Nothing could be further from the truth….

    Full pockets & a full belly then! ;^)

  8. I have a feeling Jay is gonna do some talking (out of turn?) soon: “I have felt constrained in responding while still on The Wine Advocate staff. While the office has defended my actions, justifiably, now it is time for me to speak for myself. In what format I will do that remains to be seen.”

  9. It feels like yesterday — okay, it was actually last month — that Campo and many of the world’s wine bigwigs, including Parker, Robinson et al — were in Hong Kong talking about Wine Future. We just got a taste of Wine Present where a free flow of information puts nearly everything under scrutiny and our current technology means almost anyone can call someone out…

    Cheers, Boyce

  10. And Pancho Campo’s Twitter account is no longer.

    Very strange.

    So, I assume that WineFuture2015 in Monkton has been cancelled?

  11. Great news… hopefully we will get someone “normal” and passionate to write about our wines from Spain, for the real pleasure of the consumer ! IVO

  12. Mr Miller,

    We, all in Spain, know that your have not requested a single cent to any winery or DO for tasting their wines.

    However, Pancho Campo and his sales team did in several occasions for marterclasses in your name. If they did not agree to pay, like DO Madrid, no masterclass and no opportunity to taste their wines and show their wine region to the TWA´s readers. No pay, no Jay.

    It is true that you did NOT ask any wine region for money, but your agenda manager did.

    At the same time, several wineries and DO visited were (are!) Pancho´s sponsors so they have a privileged visit from the TWA´s ambassador in Spain.

    Yes, your are right ” I leave The Wine Advocate with a clear conscience. I have never accepted (or requested) fees for visiting wine regions or wineries.” TOTALLY right. We all know it.

    But you were wrongly advised by one the most corrupt person in the wine industry in Spain (Interpol warrant is just one ….) Everyone knows around here but not one would dare to say anything meanwhile he is who organizes your agenda.

    José María

  13. For people who read French… That man, Vincent Pousson, was the first one (one month ago) to open the JumillaGate case. Congratulations!

  14. […] now he’s gone – not because of the pressure, by the way: Some may believe my stepping down is in response to my critics. Nothing could be […]

  15. Well, as Tigger would say, and I have dropped the “FN” as I no longer want to read any of his wine writing, “TT”!

  16. Isn’t that very similar to the end of Rovani at Parker’s Wine-Advocate?

  17. What a whitewash.

  18. Wait, he’s “returning” to consulting and lecturing? Really?

  19. Sounds like Herman Cain wrote The Wine Advocate and Jay Miller statements.

  20. 12/04/2011 Spain’s Top Writer José Peñin on the Pancho Campo-Wine Advocate-Robert M. Parker Jr., Jay Miller “Pay for Play” So-called “Murciagate” Controversy http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/spains-top-writer-jose-penin-on-pancho.html

    Even members of the shamefully silent Spanish wine press corps were beginning to squawk.

    For those who read Spanish, here is elmundovino.com’s report on Miller’s resignation: http://elmundovino.elmundo.es/elmundovino/noticia.html?vi_seccion=2&vs_fecha=201112&vs_noticia=1323073889

    The piece begins with: “The world of Spanish wine has been like a stone, which had closed piously eyes and ears in the face of growing controversy surrounding the presence in Spain of Jay Miller, the taster of ‘The Wine Advocate’, the publication of Robert Parker, but the news is this: Miller has ceased December 4 in that function, and will be replaced by the British writer Neal Martin, until now a collaborator, although not responsible for any country, of TWA. It is not known even if The Wine Academy of Spain, the company of Pancho Campo, will continue to organize visits to Spain by Martin.”

    And in the last paragraph of the article: “Martin arrives accompanied by his own controversy. In 2006 he wrote that he did not understand Spanish wines nor did they interest him.”

    Stay tuned.

  21. You might like to read this about a new bout of Parkerson (in French, but you can googletranslate it).


    And hullo to Knalli!

  22. I wonder: Will the D.O. Valencia try to sue Campo and company, maybe even Jay Miller, for taking a payment for an appearance a few days before he resigned and then not delivering the hoped for reviews of their wines in The Wine Advocate?

  23. Is anybody surprised? I’m not. Anyone who has a clear conscience after reviewing a wine at 91 points without offering a tasting note is ostensibly of weak morals and should not be taken seriously.

  24. In an interesting twist to the story, David Schildknecht has emailed at least a couple of people saying that Parker verbally offered him the job in January 2011, saying that Jay Miller was going to retire by the end of the year. Schildknecht said he accepted the offer in August.

    See the letter here.

  25. The $64,000 (or rather euro) question is will Miller be writing up for the Wine Advocate his recent visits to a number of Spanish wine regions, in particular Murcia and Valencia who paid a total of 64,000€ for Miller to visit, assess and rate their wines.

    If, as it appears, Miller’s retirement was long planned and if these visits are not to be written up in TWA have not Murcia and Valencia been seriously misled at best?

  26. […] yesterday’s announcement from Robert Parker that Jay Miller will be leaving The Wine Advocate, five wine regions will be getting new reviewers for the […]

  27. Please note clarification just received from The Wine Advocate:

    ‘Dear Mr. Budd,

    Yes, Jay will be writing reports on the wines he recently tasted in Spain. However, depending on timing and space limitations in the paper copy, those reports may only appear on the eRobertParker.com web site.

    Sincerely, Joan Passman, Secretary, The Wine Advocate’

  28. Didn’t Joan Passman retire in 2006, as per Parker?

  29. “However, depending on timing and space limitations in the paper copy, those reports may only appear on the eRobertParker.com web site.”

    Where they’ll be easy to scrub, unlike printed copies?

  30. All of a sudden, this emerging region of Spain, with export sales being soooooo high, according to Parker, and he is going to bury Miller’s last reviews, away from the paper copy.


  31. Someone paid him to leave.

  32. I have been following Mr. Budd´s “thorough” investigation of Mr Campo. I have also wondered about the time he has been spending on this journalistic research. Either someone is funding this investigation or he is a very rich man. Which brings me to the following; has he actually been doing this investigation himself or is he relying on third parties. It is my understanding that a proper investigative “journalist” would actually travel to the places in question, in this case Spain, ask for proper documentation on the spot (not emails that could have been cut, pasted) and perhaps even show up at The Wine Academy and question staff. Why has this not been done?

    I posted a question on his blog the other day of whether this was not perhaps a smear campaign against Mr. Campo, similar to the one he was victim of back in 2000 http://www.harpers.co.uk/news/news-headlines/437-jim-budd-victim-of-smear-campaign.html, but of course, he withdrew the post immediately.

    Another issue that I find strange is why Mr. Budd, an English teacher in London give up teaching in his forties, to write about wine? Although a teacher’s pay may not be massive, at least you get a pension once you retire after a number of years. Was his leaving his career related to the accusations made against him back in 2000? Does he have a degree in journalism? Is he an actual investigator? I am curious…

  33. When Peter Park posted on Jim’s Loire he used the name ‘James Bond’.

    The facts are as reported in the article by Tim Atkin MW. I have never been arrested by the police in the UK or any other country. Nor incidentally have I ever been to Los Angeles except on the occasion in 2007 of a flight to and from New Zealand. Spending a few hours in a transit lounge while the plane refueled.

    I launched investdrinks.org in 2000 and in 2001 a smear site was set up as described by Tim Atkin. All the allegations are entirely false. Once I discovered the site I went to the police in South London and took measures successfully to close the two versions of the sites down.

    I suspect that Peter Park/James Bond may well be connected someone whose company is listed on my investdrinks blog as one of the companies I would not buy wine from. If I’m correct this individual once accused me of stalking his girl friend. Pure fantasy as a) I had no idea whether he had a girl friend or not, b) if so, no idea of her name, c) no idea where she lived. Furthermore I have never harassed or stalked anyone.

    For a number of years I worked an English teacher in South London where I ran a department. I ceased to work regularly in the classroom in 1983 when I was seconded to a joint assessment project that involved The University of London Schools Examinations Board, and the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and Kent and Essex education authorities.

    This project continued until 1988 when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher abolished the ILEA. Although I had enjoyed my time teaching, this gave me the opportunity to make a career change and I started to write about wine.

  34. And the gloves come off. This is just a reminder how trolling is not limited to 4chan and reddit. Here is a link to my expose that reveals the shocking truth behind the accusers of the accused accuser and everyone else who might be involved: http://bit.ly/hXmOiy

  35. It should be noted that “Peter Park,” aka “James Bond” aka “petermurphy69” tried to post the very same post on my blog and did post the same on Mike Steinberger’s Wine Diarist. Not only is he as transparent as they come, he is apparently too lazy to even change his “smear” spiel.

  36. I think that everybody can imagine the truth. Hope James Bond/Peter Park (Pan?)/petermurphy69 doesnt’ have an awful spanish accent…

  37. It is unfortunate that “Peter Park” posted this innuendo. But Jim Budd has directly addressed the comments here.

    To other web owners: In case this commenter appears on your site, he/she posted from the IP address , 8.Red-83-32-161.dynamicIP.rima-tde.net

  38. […] Miller´s decision to leave the magazine took place a few months after Decanter wine writer Jim Budd reported that winemakers in Spain were being told to pay 20,000 euros in management fees to have Miller visit their wine cellars while he toured the country during a visit organized by the Wine Academy of Spain, institution founded and directed by Campo (to read Budd’s report click here). […]

  39. Jay Miller was a psychologist licensed by the state of Maryland for over 25 years. Has anyone checked his disciplinary record. These matters are usually a matter of public record. Maybe something maybe nothing.

  40. Cripes. What is wrong with you busy-bodies?

    José María has posted a lucid explanation about the situation in question-with Dr. Jay held an innocent party. How many stripes you gonna give an innocent man?

    As a wine distributor, I can easily see how an agenda manager could hold his suppliers hostage for attendance fees and implicate Miller in the process. They’re called trade shows, fairs, tasting events: the sponsor is providing, sometimes at great expense, all the site accommodations for hundreds of suppliers and thousands of guests.

    Why is there a gate? Because SOMEBODY’s buying. So from whom do you ask cooperative costs for the event? If you were attending any other kind of convention, your customer would be lured to attend with a HOOK-a politician, rock band, tech guru, scholarly or industry experts, right? Here’s Miller on a travel schedule to taste 2000 wines at 150 wineries on a 2 to 3-week scheduled itineray in a foreign country. He’s not demanding the wineries give him ANY fee, just the chance to assess and compare their wines; products for his publication.

    Now here’s one of your posters implying Miller had issues in his psychology practice (on the premise he’s such a crook). You people are a lynch mob.

    You WILL NOT find any wine-critical periodical with greater integrity than the Wine Advocate, nor a kinder, more honest and intelligent person than Dr. Jay Miller. Jay’s MO is DISCOVERY. HIS eyes light up when encountering unexpected, expertly artisan, honestly-made wine jewels. He’s a wine evangelist. This publication has been preaching and advocating flavor excellency for 30-some-years. Still Jay tastes a great new bottle it’s like a teenager’s first romantic kiss.

    Parker sets the standard as an advocate for the wine consumer since something like 1978, his periodical a simple tool based on his (own) qualitative assessment of hedonistic enjoyment of the beverage. The reviews are based on over 40 years of tasting; with the winemakers, in the cellars, vertical and horizontal comparisons going back well into the 1800’s. Parker didn’t INVENT the 100-point-system, your school-teacher did. Maybe she should have taught you some manners as well.

    And you ingenues who have your dignity, oh, so insulted because only the SCORE was published in Jay’s notes? Sit down, day-after-day to 100-200 wines (at least), no labels, no pedigree and taste them blind. How many accomplished bottles you think are there and how many stinkers, flawed, dirty, poorly-made, unripe, over-ripe, SO2, stripped? Sure there are notes-but SCORES are invariably KINDER.

    Go find somebody else’s head for your platter.

  41. Mark

    Can you disclose your relationship with Jay Miller and the Wine Advocate? That will help us all get a clearer picture of where you are coming from?

  42. Sure.

    I became acquainted with Dr. Jay around 1976/77 when I was a waiter in Baltimore at The Prime Rib. Later their wine buyer, opened my own restaurants and then pursued wholesale fine wine distribution with regional importers.

    Parker was, after all, a local attorney in civil law and wrote a wine column for the Washington Post. I waited on his party at the Rib the night he left law practice to begin publishing the Baltimore-Washington Wine Advocate. I believe Jay began tasting with Parker as his assistant around that time.

    Fast-forward through two restaurants I owned that Parker and Miller patronized; bringing many winemakers and importers to a place with a private room to take as much time as needed, often 9AM-5PM, to taste wines and have food provided.

    They are, then, wonderful business acquaintances/friends but always maintain a professional distance when it comes to their critical process of assessing hundreds of wines-and maintaining a meticulous veil of secrecy so no one has the jump on insider information before publishing dates of the WA.

    In all the time I’ve served them, managed and owned the restaurants, dined with them in a wine dinner club we shared-the rule is: Parker gets the check, never let the suppliers or guests pay a penny. There’s never even been a “we’ll spit the check but I brought the wine”…it’s an extremely sensitive issue with either of them.

    I’ve traveled with Miller several trips, in fact, (and our wives on occasion) through Tuscany, Champagne, Bordeaux Premieres-same rule. He either pays or it’s dutch: supplier, winemaker, winery owner, distributor, retailer, restaurateur.

    I’m not trying to incur favor with them here either-I’m on sabbatical from the wine industry and no longer reside near. But I do miss the comraderie and integrity of these true gentlemen-and I’m sure this story is consistent with thousands of wine profesionals they’ve encountered.

    The allegations, in the light of all these years, just don’t add up.

  43. Mark

    When was the last time that you either

    a) travelled with Miller or Parker
    b) dined with Miller or Parker

    I highly suggest you google ethics and Robert Parker. There is a great article written in the Wall Street Journal, particularly involving Jay Miller. It seemed to have added up to them. Probably to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, to date.


Wine Maps

Monthly Archives


Blog posts via email

@drvino on Instagram

@drvino on Twitter



One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.” -Forbes.com

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...


Wine books on Amazon: