I've been out most of the day and had hoped someone might have beat me to this. It's sad to read of the death at 82 - not so old by today's standards - of Frank Prial, who served as wine critic of the New York Times starting in 1972, at the birth of modern wine writing, and continued for 30 years or so.
I guess I always gravitated to Prial because he came up through the ranks as a general news reporter, a career path that I would mirror a decade later on a much less imposing path, adding wine writing to my duties as news reporter at The Louisville Times starting in the early '80s. I always looked up to Prial as a kind of model, I guess, and felt close to him even after Parker and the Spectator came along and brought a very different approach to wine reporting.
Here's the NY Times obituary ...http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/dinin ... at-82.html
And a really nice piece he wrote in 2008 that I quote not so much because it's head-and-shoulders above the rest but because it's the kind of wine reporting that Frank did routinely:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/dinin ... rankjprial
Rest in peace ... may choirs of angels bearing crystal stemware filled with fine and rare Burgundy and Bordeaux sing you to your rest.