The Difference Between Wine Writers, Bloggers and Critics
Over the course of the past week, I’ve been interacting with different folks in a number of forum where the subjects of the wine media and the wine trade in particular have been commingled in the discussions. It became clear that too often these conversations are stalled when different terms are used differently, particularly where the subject of the wine media is concerned.
So, I thought I’ve offer a few definitions and explanations on this subject. Below are words often bandied about in different ways when the issue of the Wine Media is discussed along with descriptions of what I mean when I use them and what I think they ought to mean when others use them.
They who are more informed, more learned and more experienced in the subject of wine or a sub-set of wine subject matter than the vast majority of others who possess either a passing or professional interest in the subject. They are often recognized for their expertise by being sought out for their counsel or advice, through the regular publication of their ideas and thoughts, and by often appearing at public events—almost always for a fee. They may not be Wine Writers, but they often do write about wine for publication. Wine Critics are often Wine Experts, but Wine Experts are not always Wine Critics.
Practically a synonym for “expert”. Oftentimes one sees “recognized” appended before the word, though this seems redundant.
In their most basic form, a wine blogger writes about some aspect of wine in a self-published format that is commonly defined by “posts” or articles that appear sequentially, with the latest on the home page or the top o the blog. While not always true for most wine bloggers, it can be said that they generally are not writers first, they generally are unpaid beyond occasional ads on the blog, they have a regular schedule for new posts and they have a relatively small readership compared to established wine media. The Wine Blogger has, however, become established as a part of he wine media.
Not a term one sees commonly, but when used it tends to describe a person who has had their work published in book format by a reputable book publisher and they are paid. A Wine Author might be a Wine Authority, but isn’t always a Wine Authority or a Wine Critic.
A Wine Critic has as their primary pursuit the review of individual wines. The term is almost always applied to a person who critiques wines as a profession. They may or may not rate wines on a scale or some sort. A Wine Critic is most commonly also a Wine Expert, but not always a Wine Expert. A Wine Critic is not always a Wine Writer, but they often are.
(See “Wine Critic”)
A generic term that is often applied to Wine Critics, Wine Bloggers, Wine Authors and those who are paid to write about wine in a variety of publications. When the primary moniker used to identify the person, it is likely they get paid for their writing, but it is not a requirement that one be paid in order to be deemed a Wine Writer (See Blogger). A Wine Writer is almost always a Wine Expert, but isn’t always a Wine Expect, nor are they always Wine Critics, but they may also be a Wine Critic.
A relatively obscure term, but sometimes used to identify an individual who in one way or another promotes the consumption of wine as a positive thing. They may promote the consumption of wine in professional writing, in blogs, on social media platforms, as a member of the wine trade, or simply in their daily interactions.