Shedding some light on your favorite wine writers.
Owen Bargreen is the founder and executive editor of OwenBargreen.com, formerly Washington Wine Blog. He is a clinical psychologist and has his private practice in the Seattle area. Dr. Bargreen is a Level 2 Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers who writes part-time for Decanter Magazine. He has been writing about wine for more than ten years and has reviewed thousands of wines from around the world. Owen has also traveled extensively in Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as throughout wine regions of the world, including the Bordeaux and the Rhone valley in France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.
1. What was your first job as a writer?
I founded Washington Wine Blog back in 2011 and it started out as a Facebook page. But many years before that I had several notebooks where I was writing tasting notes and thoughts on wines. That was really the start of my wine writing career. It wasn’t until much later that I launched my website, now OwenBargreen.com.
2. What led you to becoming a wine writer?
I have always been fascinated by the world of wine. I was originally a history major so I was enthralled by the history of the great wine regions of the world. I also had some great wine education from friends and family along the way that made me write about wine. But in truth, I am only able to write about wine professionally due to my career as a clinical psychologist. Without having the consistency in my day job, I wouldn’t be able to write about wine professionally.
3. What kind of reader do you have in mind when you’re writing?
I write my reviews and features for wine consumers of all ages. I try to focus on wines and wineries that inspire me and that I hope will inspire others as well. Because people are less interested in reading long articles on wine, I try my best to keep each article concise and not too long for our current Instagram generation who moves from photo to photo at a record pace.
4. Where is the most magical place your wine writing has brought you?
One of my favorite parts of the world was visiting Rioja many years back. I was able to visit my favorite houses in the region and there is something just so enchanting about the streets of Logrono.
5. What was one of your favorite articles to write, and why?
Each year, I do a popular rosé report which highlights the top rosé wines from Oregon and Washington. This is always a fun piece to produce because rosé is such a popular product and there are some absolutely stunning rosé wines being made in Oregon and Washington right now. What was formerly an afterthought, top rosé from these regions can have unbridled complexity, evoking a massive range of flavors and aromatics that is a great win for consumers and wine professionals alike.
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6. What is the best advice someone has given you on your writing?
I would say that the best advice is to secure yourself financially before you write about wine full-time. Wine writing is typically not a lucrative business.
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t writing about wine?
My day job is as a forensic clinical psychologist, so if I wasn’t writing about wine I would be focusing more on that topic. I also would most likely be teaching, as I formerly spent five years as a university psychology professor.
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