Is wine consumption in Britain democratizing? Communicating class and taste through the Saturday Times wine column (1982–2017)
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Welch, N. & Tominc, A. (2019) Is wine consumption in Britain democratizing? Communicating class and taste through the Saturday Times wine column (1982–2017). Social Semiotics (In Press).
The popularisation of wine drinking was one of the most significant changes in British drinking culture in the 20th century, in terms of the increase in both the availability and acceptability of wine for the general population. Based on a discourse analysis of 35 years of Jane MacQuitty’s Saturday Times Wine Column (1982-2017), this paper argues that while wine has been discursively constructed as a drink of the many, the distinction traditionally associated with wine drinking in Britain remains. The data demonstrate how MacQuitty constructs wine through the media stylistically as everybody’s drink, while also constructing and maintaining a distinction between ‘us’ as an in-group whose wine knowledge and taste are distinct from ‘them’.