Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Sociology, Anthropology, Social topics, Women's and gender studies, Linguistics, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES

Publication Details

Dublin Gastronomy Symposium 2018 (Food and Power)


Within the accepted daily language used to describe wine is a type of social exclusion, an absence of meaning for those lacking the cultural capital to engage with it and Watson (2013, p.16) underpins this by stating that “the language of wine has its own rhetoric”. Today’s wine writers and critics have become “powerful actors…involved in the public discourse about wine” (Rössel et al., 2016. p.16; Hommerberg, 2011) and often assume the role of quality assessor. Wine language too has evolved from a more technical and economic format to one which focuses on authenticity and cultural capital. To Rössel et al. (2016, p.2) the modern wine journalist is part of the "agenda-setting media" whose weekly columns inform the public with powerful cultural analysis which classifies and legitimatises. Decanter magazine, publishing since 1975, is one of the world’s foremost specialist wine magazines. The first twenty years of its publications were tinged with sexist writing in its articles, on front covers and in the advertising, ranging from subtle to overt in nature. This paper will discuss the rise in power of the wine writer, including the embellishment of sexism within its culture and publishing while coming full circle to note the curious emergence and uneasy coalescence of gender roles in certain areas of wine and wine culture today.