Is this really the image of Virginia wine drinkers?

This month the first issue of Virginia Wine Lover magazine hit newsstands here in Virginia. (I am not sure if distribution went to other states)  I am very excited to have a wine mag completely dedicated to Virginia wine as I think it will be a great thing for the industry. I have enjoyed reading the content that they have included in their newsletters for the past year or so, so I look forward to continued reading of their take on the Virginia wine industry.


This is the cover of the first issue of Virginia Wine Lover magazine. Is this really the image of Virginia wine drinkers? I was really shocked when I saw this the other day, wondering why they chose to use an image, that to me, portrays wine drinkers as wealthy, prim and proper consumers. Now this is just my take on what the image evoked in my head, so I would be interested to see what other people think.  I visit a lot of Virginia wineries and although there are a fair bit of what I would call rich people in the tasting room, most people are in jeans and polo shirts, not white dresses and dress shirts. First of all, who wears white to a winery anyway? (yes I know they are drinking white wine in the picture) The good thing about the picture is the people are having fun and enjoying themselves and that is what wine drinking is really all about.


As you can tell the image was shocking to me, especially for an industry, not just the Virginia wine industry, which is trying to break the stereotype that wine is for the elite, others need not apply.  But maybe I analyze things too much and other people will think I am crazy, that this image doesn’t mean to them, what it does to me.


Please don’t take this as a stab to the magazine, as I said I really enjoy their content.  As always, I appreciate and welcome everyone’s comments and opinions on this and anything else I write about.



Categories: wine tasting | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Is this really the image of Virginia wine drinkers?

  1. You are being too kind :).

    Cover is horrid. It’s totally lacking in any imagination what-so-ever. Looks like an old 60’s cover (like mid-60s!) that I’ve seen in my antiqueing travels.

    They may be laughing, but it doesn’t look like they are comfortable at all. Sure, let’s go out and have an alfresco wine party wearing all white, but not until after we stand around in a circle, hold hands, and sing “we are the world, we are the future.”

    This couldn’t be further from any typical wine drinker I know.

  2. gastrononymous

    Who ARE these people, anyway? Refugees from a prep-school May Day party? Stepford children? Members of some odd religious cult?

    They sure don’t resemble any wine drinkers I know.

  3. Lori McNally

    Stop judging the book by its cover. Why are you people so concerned with how these people are dressed? Give it a rest and get back to the wine!

  4. vcuspoon

    Hi Penny and Gastronymous – thanks for the comments they made me laugh out loud!

    If you will notice the first paragraph of the post, all I talk about is the content of the magazine and how I have enjoyed reading the material. So I am not judging the book by the cover I am just judging the cover itself. Thanks for your comments.


  5. Lori

    John, Apparently you only really appreciate comments that support your position. I know, I know, you did thank me for mine. You and your cohorts are judging people, not a “book” and it seems what you judge as wealthy, prim and proper is white clothing. These people are portrying exatly what you write that you like to do at a winery…sit outside and have food with wine. But I take it, you like to wear jeans and a polo shirt. Once, polo shirts were a symbol of wealth in this country. You know maybe they just broke away from a wedding being held at a local winery. Lori

  6. vcuspoon

    Hi Lori
    Thanks again for you comments, I appreciate any and all feedback. Sorry I put jeans and polo shirt, maybe I should have put shorts and t-shirt which is what I wear to a winery usually. Again I don’t know these people in the cover so I can’t judge them, but I can however judge the clothes they are wearing and the image it portrays. ANd as for cohorts, I don’t know the people who commented or the several other people who agreed with me via email about the cover. Thanks again, your viewpoint is always welcome here.

  7. To throw in my two cents, I think that especially as a premier issue this was an odd and innapropriate cover choice. Another frequent visitor of Virginia wineries, I don’t think most people who visit them are dressed like this (and to choose people who look as though “they’ve just broken away from a wedding” makes no sense). I love magazines and wine, but the image choice on this cover would make me less likely to pick this magazine up. It looks old fashioned, out of touch and advertorial. I’d rather see a wine bottle or shot of a winery than any focus on a random group of people having a picnic, especially people who look completely styled and unrealistic.

  8. Rick

    As a member of the VA winemaking community and an avid visitor to many of the fine wineries in our commonwealth, I agree that the cover does not have anything to do with VA–the wine in the basket is French, for heaven’s sake. As for content, what was there was good, particularly the article on wineries going green, but I had to flip through so much advertising that I was put off. My suggestion is that they use pictures from our wineries rather that stock photos from CA so that people can see what our wine country is really like.
    And if I remember anything from my restaurant days, a retail location’s dress code is usually shoes, shirt and money.

  9. John

    I don’t get the impression they are rich just because they don’t have on flip-flops and cut-offs. I don’t see a BMW in the background. The women, at least the two seated, have on white jeans; the other a sundress. The guys have on khakis. Just because they are clean-shaven and lack a 20s-something emo look makes them rich?

    And to Rick – that’s not a bottle of wine in the basket, that’s a bottle of wine printed on a wine box. Also, Rick, what other photos inside seemed to be stock pics? Except maybe the ones in ads?

    I’m glad to have a Virginia wine magazine. Let’s don’t tear it down before it gets a chance to get off the ground. How else are people going to really find out what is going on in the state? Biased advertising from the wineries themselves, much of which slant their position as the “best” this and the “best” that?

    John Boy

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