Thankfully, the Pew Research Center has more important things to do than to figure out what the public thinks about wine writers. I fear that if they undertook the task, they would find that many people view wine writing with some degree of scorn.
Pliny the Elder, the Roman author, was a fan of wines from the Rhône Valley. Something he wrote nearly 2,000 years ago struck winemaker Pierre Gaillard, a student of wine history, as a tip for finding something almost incredible today: unused Grand Cru-level terroir in the heart of French wine country.
I’d fallen in love with studying art history in high school and regretted, throughout college, that I’d chosen a different—seemingly more practical—route (at the time studying journalism still seemed like a splendid idea). Wine reminded me that I use my brain best when the subject concerns beauty.
The pipeline has dried up. Five or six years ago, almost any casual wine enthusiast could launch a WordPress or Blogger blog, write a post about each new wine he drank—from the plonk to the good stuff—and wait for wine samples to come pouring in.