Robert M. Parker Jr. first conceptualised the creation of the Wine Advocate in the early 1970s. Working then as a practicing lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland, he was taken with the work of Ralph Nader, an American political activist who sought to 'out' corporate and political corruption by challenging compromised propaganda.

Parker recognized that much of what was then being written about wine was corrupted by the financial agendas of many of the famous wine writers of the day. He dreamt of a publication that could be free of financial ties to wineries and merchants, a guide that would produce wholly unbiased views on wines and that served only the interests of wine consumers.

And so the Wine Advocate started in 1978 and remains true to this day.