Who has the best job in wine?

best job in wine
And I don’t even have to wear a tie.

The Wine Curmudgeon, of course. I drink wine and tell people what it tastes like. How much better does any job — in wine or otherwise — get than that?

Which is why I was surprised to see this, “10 of the world’s best jobs in wine,” from the British trade magazine, The Drinks Business. Wine writing was only fourth, and while it was rated ahead of vineyard worker at No. 6 (No. 6? obviously written by someone who has never picked grapes on a 100-degree day for minimum wage or piecework), it was outranked by cellar manager, vineyard owner, and winemaker.

The rest of the list: 10, sommelier; 9, airline wine consultant; 8, wine brand owner; 7, tasting room manager; and 5, wine shop owner.

Of those that rank ahead of writing, I can understand winemaker, given that’s the whole point of wine. But vineyard owner? That’s farming, which combines the joy of picking grapes with the delight of exchanging spreadsheets with bankers, all the while staring at the sky and cursing the weather. And cellar manager? Consider these duties: Hiring people to work in the winery’s cellar and maintaining equipment. Hiring is bad enough, but maintaining equipment? Talk about chalk on a blackboard.

This is not meant as a criticism of any of these jobs, and anyone who enjoys them and does them well has my respect and admiration. Rather, it’s to note that I fully appreciate my good fortune in doing what I do. Yes, it’s sometimes work, whether grinding out a blog post when my brain is somewhere else, or tasting my way through a couple of dozen wines that not only taste the same, but are as stupid as a TV reality show. But it’s not working in a coal mine or behind the broiler at Burger King; I’m indoors, people respect my opinion, and I get to taste some tremendous wine. How much luckier can one person be?

Image courtesy of Vinography, using a Creative Commons license

13 thoughts on “Who has the best job in wine?

  • By Tommy G. -

    I’m surprised that the tasting room manager wasn’t higher on the list. Having done that for a small family owned winery in southern Virginia, I found it very rewarding. I got to meet many wine enthusiasts from around the country. We would share our likes/dislikes, our experiences both good and bad with wine etc. All this while sampling the wines of Tomahawk Mill Winery. Great times!

  • By section 34 -

    Marvin Shanken wasn’t a category?

    • By Wine Curmudgeon -

      I’m not sure that being a demi-god is actually a job, which disqualifies Shanken.

  • By Paul Moe -

    Dear Mudge, I’m curious about where you think this specific job would rank in the wine jobs hierarchy? http://www.winebusiness.com/classifieds/winejobs/?go=listing&listingid=91252

    • By Wine Curmudgeon -

      Probably somewhere around hitting yourself in the head with a stick over and over.

      • By Paul Moe -

        You win the internets today, I blew snot all over my screen. Thank you for the laugh.

        • By Wine Curmudgeon -

          Great cheap wine and belly laughs. That’s why I’m here.

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  • By Ron Marsilio -

    How about Wine Educator? Get to drink great wines and eat food too.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon -

      I was writing off the list in the British magazine. Guess they should have included wine educator, though I’m not sure about the food. Is it usually stale crackers?

      • By Ron Marsilio -

        As long as they’re with rare cheeses, pates and salamis it’s no problem.

  • By Josh Moser -

    They left out two from this list. The wine consumer / drinker is #1 because there is so much great wine being produced today, and if you know where to look, it is easy to find great deals. #2 would be the winery owner who just sold their vineyard for a ridiculous amount of money, and is laughing all the way to the bank.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon -

      I like the wine consumer. That is the best job.

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