Being a staff writer for a wine publication… Ah… the life.
Reading, writing, traveling, and tasting wine all day… A secure salary and expense account to take care of your every need. And, when you call someone to get the story, that person just jumps right on it.
Life should be so glorious!
The reality of a wine writer is a far cry from this scenario. Very few jobs exist like this. The rest of the wine writing community have to hustle. I’m profiling Bill Citara today, because his resume reads like, “What?” and is the perfect “How it’s done.” For those of you dreaming about becoming a wine writer. Here’s the path to your Nirvana.
Bill Citara is a South Florida-based food, wine, and restaurant writer. He’s currently writing a weekly wine column for Latitudes magazine, he freelances for the Miami Herald as well as for other publications, and is the former restaurant editor for Miami.citysearch.com.
Before moving to the Florida Keys, Bill was the food and wine critic for the San Francisco Examiner; and, was the restaurant critic, columnist ,and food/wine writer who regularly appeared in the Marin Independent Journal, Diablo magazine and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Citara was also a contributing writer to Where Magazine, Gault-Millau’s Guide to San Francisco Restaurants and Microsoft Sidewalk.
His articles on food, wine, restaurants, and related topics have been published in Bon Appetit, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate, Hemispheres, Wine & Spirits Buying Guide, Bay Food, and San Francisco Business.
In addition to writing, Bill’s hosted the restaurant segment of Rave Reviews, a Bay Area lifestyle program on KBHK television in San Francisco. For six years he was the host of Let’s Eat, a weekly talk show on Bay Area restaurants for the CBS affiliate KPIX Radio, and of Restaurant Talk on ABC affiliate KGO.
Citara began his food/wine career by cooking at a pair of Sonoma wine country restaurants and operating his own catering business. He’s judged several wine and food competitions (San Francisco International Wine Competition, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, and North Beach Fair). He’s been profiled in Brill’s Content, taught classes in criticism and review writing for UC Extension and Media Alliance, and been a featured speaker at numerous media and public relations seminars.
This is how one survives as an independent wine writer. Not only do you write, but you must also find the outlets that will let your passions flourish.
Bill Citara’s accomplishments are worth noting.