The Industry vs. Trade Debate, Does It Matter?


I was at a tasting the other day when I got pulled up over saying that I was now feeling part of the wine industry. They weren’t having a pop at me saying I was billy big time and I was part of the crowd or anything. It was the use of the word “industry”. I couldn’t quite work it out to start with, but apparently the term I’m meant to use is the wine “trade”. Needless to say I’m still confused!

What’s the difference?

The fairest of fair questions and the one I immediately asked. “Sorry, I’m a Maths geek, I was crap at English, what’s the difference?” Well apparently saying “trade” has connotations of buying and selling and bartering and all that jazz. “Industry” makes people feel they’re part of some factory thing, and makes people think of big cold hearted wineries pumping out millions of litres of two buck chuck. So there was me told!

Does it matter?

Another very fair question, but one I completely chickened out of asking in the face of some well respected wine journalists. My first instinct was to mentally roll my eyes and try and move onto a different subject. But then it struck me that maybe as the wine world comes kicking and screaming into the world of new grapes and mixes and regions, and away from the big brand behemoths, then is it worth making sure the distinction is there?

And personally?

Er…personally, no. I couldn’t give a flying shit to be fair, and I doubt a lot of people could. But that’s not to say that other people are the same. Is the romance of wine, that which attracted most of us in the first place, ruined by referring to it as a manufacturing industry?

I’ll let you lot decide for yourselves, eh?




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