Wine Spectator History

Wine spectator is an American lifestyle magazine that targets news and events related to wine ratings and wine culture. The first issue of Wine Spectator was published on April 1, 1976 by its founder Bob Morrissey as a San Diago based tabloid newspaper. Over 12,400 wines were blindfolded, evaluated, and reviewed by the panel of experts that year. Later on, the current publisher, Marvin R. Shanken bought the publication in 1979 and converted it from a bi-weekly newsletter centered at California to a sleek consumer magazine covering the many aspects of wine culture.

Wine Spectator
The magazine reported that the volume of wine consumed by Americans increased by 25% throughout the next dacade, while the number of vineyards in California more than doubled from 330 in 1975 to 712 in 1985. A sizable number among those new California wineries were be established by some of the Europe’s most prominent winemaking lineages.

During that period many regions in the United States, Napa in particular established itself as an international winery. With the untiring promotions of pioneers like Robert Mondaviinthe mid-1980s, Americans had consumed wine as never before.It was due to the successful wine promotion of the magazine that at the time of release of a landmark vintage from Bordeaux the U.S had become one of the most important wine export destinations in the world.

In the Golden Jubilee issue of the magazine, the current owner, Marvin R. Shanken recalls a letter from the editor of 1986, when he begged him to sell the magazine due to financial crisis.

Shanken stuck it out and refused to sell the publication. Instead, he focused on making Wine Spectator accessible to as larger audience as possible. He introduced new ideas to the magazine rather than simply maintaining the status quo. It was all due to solemn efforts of Shanken that there was a rapid rise of America’s wine culture and the magazine managed to find a way to not just remark on it, but to become a vital part of the discussion, reporting on the wine industry advancements and honest wine reviews.

Shanken has also been a driving force behind Wine Spectator’s introduction into the digital realm, with smartphone applications such as Wine Spectator and Xvalues, or awards of Wine Spectator Restaurant to the member restaurants. As the magazine had emerged from a failing magazine when Shanken owned it into a full-fledged media firm that has continued to adapt in ways that allow it to engage wine lovers of all generations, especially the younger ones who are creating the history of American wine heritage.

Wine Spectator

Currently, Wine Spectator is the world’s premier authority on the subject of wine. The Wine Spectator brand includes the World Wide Web foremost respected wine website (, mobile platforms, and a series of iconic events, which are all centered by Wine Spectator magazine, a print newspaper that reaches roughly 3 million readers worldwide.

Opus One is an American winery released in 1979. It was named napamedoc till 1982. During 1980’s it was California’s first premium winery. Mondavi’s son Tim  Mondavi and Mouton winemaker Lucien Sionneau produced the inaugural vintage and named it Opus One Napa Médoc in 1979 (like with Fumé Blanc, an appropriation of a French place name, but it was soon abandoned).

The wine was produced at the Robert Mondavi Winery under the combined direction of Tim Mondavi and Lucien Sionneau, the winemaker of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux, for the first-ever vintage of the joint project between Napa Valley’s Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux.

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Rains in September hampered the 1979 vintage, which had a seemingly flawless cultivating season throughout blossom burst to the start of harvest. Early harvesting resulted in fresh, well-balanced grapes as well as a wine of tenacity and elegance that was regarded as having great balance and a delicate but strong structure.

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Categories: Oldest Wine RegionsTags: , By Published On: October 28, 2022Last Updated: March 8, 2023

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