Wine is not a spectator sport


I’m sure I’m not the first sober person who has commented on the awkward naming of one of the wine industry’s most prized publications, Wine Spectator.

Wine. Spectator.

I don’t get it. Not “Wine Savant”, “Wine Devotee” or more fittingly “Wine Guzzler”?

“Look, but don’t touch, our magazine is for people who wish to enjoy wine from afar. Not quite ready to be a “Wine Participator”? Like the idea of a delicious alcoholic beverage derived from grapes, but don’t think you’re up for the kind of fun your friends always have a dinner parties? We’ve got just the periodical for you.”

Maybe by the time they started the magazine all the good names were taken. Wine Enthusiast. Wine Connoisseur. Wine Advocate. And maybe they didn’t want to slum with the cigar crowed by using the term “aficionado”. But “spectator”? I can think of few things less enjoyable than sitting back and observing wine. That’s why people have wine cellars. If I can’t drink it now, for the love of God, get it out of my sight.

Have I’ve misunderstood their editorial strategy? Perhaps it’s a magazine for people who like to have a glass or five and slur shit about the things they’re spectating. I can relate to that. It sounds fun, and is far less snobby than “Wine Connoisseur”.

OK. I’m convinced. And the promotion on their website is a classy branded lawn chair, free with your paid subscription. Wine Spectator, thank you for knowing your audience. I may have found my new favorite magazine and pastime.