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The former Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator is considered an influential connoisseur and, like Parker, is a career changer who studied political science and journalism at Utah State University. He then worked his way up as a journalist and came to wine through his father. Starting in 1981, he hired on at Wine Spectator, which at the time was just a local publication with 800 subscribers.
The US-American James Suckling has a nose for wine, but more important for him is the mouthfeel, which earns wine a good review with him. Since 1982, James Suckling has been tasting specimens from all corners of the earth and - fortunately for all wine lovers - honors the outstanding wines with Suckling points - an indication of the best wine enjoyment.
James Suckling and his wines
The path that James Suckling followed as an editor for, for example, the now renowned Wine Spectator, led him to the wide world, but Italy has a firm place in his heart. So it is said that James Sucking is to Italy what Robert Parker is to France; an ambassador for the local wine. James Suckling is particularly fond of the products of Tuscany, so much so that he occasionally spends his life not far from the Sangiovese vineyards.
The man from Los Angeles has been writing wine reviews professionally since 1982 for the Wine Spectator, at that time a small publication. Just three years later, James Suckling was entrusted with setting up the European office of the Wine Spectator. With him as editor-in-chief, the readership grew rapidly and helped the trade magazine to a place at the top. All of a sudden, James Suckling left his post in 2010 and started his website jamessuckling.com, which publishes videos and blog posts about wine. In addition, James Suckling is a consultant and head of numerous projects and leads events from America to Hong Kong.
Even if James Suckling has tasted about 250,000 wines in his career, he cannot cover the current vintages alone. Therefore, he has gathered a team around him for his internet presence, who test and evaluate between 18,000 and 25,000 wines annually.
The Suckling points rating system
The points rating is based on the common 100-point scale as introduced by Robert Parker. There are differences, however, because while Parker still considers wines with 85 points to be very good wines, Suckling does not even recommend a wine with such a score.
95 and more (A+)
"must buy" - of which one should drink the whole bottle
90 and more (A)
excellent wine - you should drink at least one glass of it
could still be worth buying, but should be treated with caution
87 and less
Wines from barrels or still unfinished wines are rated with a 2 point scale (for example 92-93).
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