A Totally Honest Guide to Wine Industry Titles

American journalist, critic, author and longtime San Francisco newspaper columnist Ambrose Bierce began The Devil’s Dictionary — a collection of satiric definitions for common words — as a series in a local newspaper in 1881. The biting definitions spared no one, with the author casting a cynical eye on all that crossed his path. In a foreword to a 1911 collection of the “dictionary” in book form, Bierce writes that the book is intended for “those enlightened souls who prefer dry wine to sweet, sense to sentiment, wit to humour and clean English to slang.” In much the same spirit we begin our own series of a sort of Devil’s dictionary of wine terms, with all due respect to Bierce and our subject matter.

Someone who used to make wine, but now sells it and hosts fancy dinners

Assistant Winemaker 
Hose dragger

Consulting Winemaker
Former hose dragger

Someone with enough money to put his name on the label

Enologist (or Oenologist)
A person who likes wine so much wine they got an advanced scientific degree in it (and usees microscopes and lots equipment that ends in -trometer and everything)


A fancy title for a grape grower

Vineyard Manager
A well-paid farmer

Wine Educator
Sales person

Wine Critic
One who thinks his palate is worth more than his soul

An egotist with a deep interest in the sorts of wines he likes

Master Sommelier
A nerd with a superiority complex (nota bene: this is the exact opposite of an inferiority complex)