How to Pitch Wine Enthusiast
Pitching Guidelines for Wine Enthusiast Digital
At Wine Enthusiast, we’re enthusiastic about wine. Shocking, we know. But we’re also deeply committed to telling stories that span the beverage landscape, from spirits and cocktails to beer and beyond.
We craft content that appeals to both the still-learning drinker and the seasoned aficionado. For the former, we have informative Drinks 101 content, includingBartender BasicsandDrinks Terms Defined.We also offer Buying Guides that feature reviews from our Tasting Department and products selected by trusted experts. (A large portion of these pieces are handled in-house, but we’re open to freelancers who make a compelling case for an assignment, including one-off reviews or round-ups.)
Of course, many of our most powerful stories appeal to both groups. We believe that well-written pieces draw in any reader, no matter that person’s drinks knowledge. At Wine Enthusiast, this thinking might translate to a deep dive on raising kids around alcohol,a reported feature on the unexpected story behind America’s first single-malt whiskeyor an explainer on why some bars tack dollar bills to their walls. Even a story as simple as the coolest bucket-list drinks spotsis deeply compelling when written and reported well.
A brief overview of the types of stories we produce:
- Breaking news
- News-driven features
- Trend-driven features
- First-person opinion pieces
- Explainer pieces
- Reported listicles
- Travel guides
- Pairing guides
Ingredients for a good pitch:
- A clear, compelling headline.
- A rough treatment outline, including potential sources.
- Answers to the questions: What is the unexpected or new angle for this story? Why are we covering it now?
- If similar content has been covered by Wine Enthusiast, an explanation of how your piece will be different.
- A brief explanation of your expertise. Why are you the best person to tell this story?
Grounds for rejection:
- A lack of compelling details.
- A writer’s lack of authority and/or expertise.
- A pitch for a story too similar to something already on our site/already in the works.
- A pitch that reads as too promotional/non-objective.
- A pitch that emerges from a press trip hosted by a single enterprise, such as an individual winery. (We will, however, consider stories that emerge from press trips hosted by tourism boards and large trade organizations. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, so long as writer is transparent about said trip.)
- A fully written story. Please pitch before you write!
Are you interested in writing for Wine Enthusiast? If so, please send your ideas to Wine Enthusiast Digital Managing Editor Rachel Tepper Paley at email@example.com.
Digital rates begin at $0.50/word.
Breaking news. We accept pitches for newsy, short-turnaround stories. These pieces can be relatively short (roughly 600 words), but must be genuinely breaking stories—meaning they’ve not yet been reported to death by other outlets. These pieces should include some original reporting in the form of an interview or deeper research; they should not feature regurgitated content aggregated from other websites.
News-driven features. We see news-driven features as second-day stories, aka stories with a news hook that delve into a grander takeaway. These pieces tend to land between 800 and 1,200 words and include multiple sources.
Trend-driven features. Intrigued by a viral cocktail on TikTok? Suddenly seeing a certain new spirit at bars all over town? Write a trend-driven piece about it. These pieces tend to land between 800 and 1,200 words and include multiple sources. Remember: Three and it’s a trend!
Profiles. We’re interested in profiles of notable people across the drinks landscape. Successful profile pitches generally include a “why now” angle or a grander takeaway about the person’s role in drinks culture. We’re less interested in profiles of individuals already widely covered in the media, unless the writer can make a compelling case for it.
First-person opinion pieces. Really hate Negronis? Think hard seltzer doesn’t get the respect it deserves? Let the world know about it. But it’s not enough to simply rant. We want these pieces to be funny, engaging, provocative and—most importantly—convincing. Why are you the right person to write this piece, and why should we listen to you? Stories are generally capped at 800 words.
Explainer pieces. These stories fall under the umbrella of our Drinks 101 content. They might include anything from a deep dive on the different types of amaro to a rundown of the correct temperatures to serve various spirits. These pieces can run anywhere between 800 and 1,200 words and include multiple sources. They should also stress expertise and incorporate SEO where appropriate.
Reported listicles. Our readers love articles like 8 Bucket-List Drinks Spots Around the World,but we want the blurbs to be insightful, engaging and informative. We’re going to know if a place’s description was pulled from its website—don’t do that. These lists should convey information beyond what a quick Google search might yield.
Travel guides. These in-depth destination guides should be informative, colorfully written and thorough. Destinations should either have significant search volume or feature a new-to-us area with promising growth. There should be a compelling reason as to why we’re covering it now. The scope will vary by assignment, but generally we like city guides to include recommendations for drinking, dining and lodging. Pieces should emphasize expertise, ideally through quotes from local experts or beverage industry insiders.
Recipes. We love original recipes from established recipe developers, as well as recipes from notable establishments and new and noteworthy cookbooks. There must, however, be compelling “why now.” All recipes should be accompanied by an intro that describes the dish or drink’s appeal, explains its ingredients and backstory and generally makes the case for why it’s exceptional. These stories are generally contingent on the ability to secure high-quality original photography, whether from the bar, restaurant, publisher or the writer themself.
Pairing guides. Whether it’s a guide to pairing spirits with coffee or how to pair Girl Scout cookies with wine, we’re here for it. Pieces should emphasize expertise through quotes from drinks pros. (We will also consider insights from the writer if the individual has established drinks qualifications.) If recommending spirits, beer or wine pairings, writer must suggest general pairings—for example, a fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Central Coast, as opposed to a specific bottle.
Pitching Guidelines for Wine Enthusiast Print
Wine Enthusiast Magazine in print is a mix of reader service and more nuanced deep dives as well as a forum for thoughts and opinions. Whether through longer-form stories, esoteric angles, peeks into a sub-culture, issue-driven essays and features, humorous FOBs—we strive to move the reader emotionally. Those emotions can be joy, sympathy, anger and the whole gray range, but we want to engage them, even if we all don’t always agree. There are nine themed issues a year, including three double issues.
Freelancers are welcome to pitch general writing on grapes, varieties, vineyards, people (profiles), innovation, technology, history and culture, whether tied to a region or not.
You can review the 2024 Print Edit Calendar here.
If you are interested in contributing to Wine Enthusiast Magazine contact Print Managing Editor John Capone at firstname.lastname@example.org.