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What motivated you to join WikiProject Wine? Do you prefer red or white? Have you contributed to articles about any other beverages?
Agne: I joined Wikipedia in 2007, around the same time that I decided to start pursuing various accreditation in the wine industry (an enology degree, level 3 of WSET's Master of Wine program, level 2 in the Court of Master Sommeliers, CSW in the Society of Wine Educators, etc). I found that researching for and writing Wikipedia articles for WP:WINE was a very effective study tool and I took off from there.
I honestly don't have a preference between red or white though I probably drink more reds. I live in Washington State which has a abundance of delicious reds but few wines in the world top a great white Champagne. I am a certified Cicerone (Beer sommelier) and a fan of Single malt Scotch but I rarely contribute to articles in those categories outside of a few free-use pictures.
Bahnfrend: I've been a Wikipedia editor since 2009. I'm interested mainly in transport, but I also edit in other areas, including Scotch whisky and various topics related to my home state of Western Australia. For quite a while now, Western Australian wines have been highly regarded interstate and overseas, but Wikipedia has not had much information about them. So, for example, there's been a popcat tag in Category:Wineries in Western Australia for more than seven years. Having noticed this problem of lack of coverage, I have recently started creating and otherwise editing a few articles about WA wines, and about the related topic of WA restaurants. As far as my drinking preferences are concerned, I like both red and white, and I'm particularly partial to the occasional rosé.
Are the wines of some countries and regions better covered than others? What can be done to improve Wikipedia articles about neglected geographic areas?
As for what can be done, this is usually where a Wikipedia Project can step in and shine some light on these poorly covered areas but, like with many Wiki-projects, WP:WINE has been hit hard with declining editorship and activity.
Bahnfrend: I agree with Agne's comments. One other thing that editors of English Wikipedia can do is translate articles from other Wikipedias. I've done a lot of translation of articles about transport topics, but I haven't really looked very closely at what wine-related articles might be suitable for translation. That said, I'm very confident that there's plenty of such material in, eg, German Wikipedia.
How is the notability of a wine or vineyard determined? Does the project ever deal with new wine producers attempting to use Wikipedia for advertising purposes?
Agne: Spam, advert and COI editing is a significant problem in our wine articles but thankfully it seems to mostly be centered on the creation of Wikipedia articles for wineries rather than using "sneaky spam" to try and plug a winery in an article about a grape variety or wine region. We have a project-level notability guideline at Wikipedia:Notability (wine topics) that we use a benchmark in notability discussions but everything ultimately falls back to Wikipedia's general notability guideline. The big thing that we look for is the presence of significant coverage from outside, independent and non-local sources that can attribute to the global (or at least national) notability of a winery. Far too often people think of wineries as "special" because they make wine when, in actuality, they are really no different than the mom and pop pizza joint down the road and their notability should be evaluated the same way any local, small town restaurant or business would be evaluated.
Bahnfrend: Here in Australia there are several well-known national and regional independent publications suitable for use as reliable sources for wine-related articles, particularly about wineries. Consequently, most wineries in Australia of any significant size or age probably meet the notability guidelines. However, some of the sources are available only in print. In my experience, most other Wikipedia editors strongly prefer to rely mainly on online sources. For that reason, many Wikipedia articles have few, if any, print sources, even though in lots of cases there are plenty of print sources available. I spend a great deal of time adding print references to articles on various topics. At the moment, I'm putting together a collection of print references that I can use for articles on Western Australian wine. Many of them are now available at bargain prices because they're out of date. However, they are still useful sources of information for, eg, the "History" sections of articles about wineries.
Has it been more difficult to write articles about specific wines or broader articles about classifications and nationalities? What kinds of articles present the greatest challenge for members of the project and how can editors outside of the project chip in?
Agne: While we have a basic starting point for many of the national wine articles on Template:Wine by country, it is more challenging getting editors to go into the nitty gritty of fleshing out those articles are writing the supplementary articles on the individual wine regions and native grape varieties and wine styles being produced within those countries. Part of the challenge is difficulties in finding reliable sources as many of the best wine reliable sources are not online and/or written in languages other than English. But another challenge is that unlike "easy" articles like one on a winery, starting an article on a wine region usually leads to red links to a bunch of other articles that still haven't been written which makes the task feel more daunting.
Bahnfrend: Again, here in Australia there are suitable reliable sources, and especially print sources, for such articles. Someone just has to make the time to find and consult them, and then create the articles.
Agne: Currently there is very little collaboration which may be in part because of the general declining editorship and activity levels that span across the board on Wikipedia.
What are WikiProject Wine's most pressing needs? How can a new member help today?
Agne: Like with most projects the most pressing needs are people and time. My one advice for any new member would be to be WP:BOLD. If you see an area that piques your interest and is lacking coverage then dive in.
Bahnfrend: Having done just that in the last few months, I can only endorse that recommendation.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Agne:With the holidays coming up, I encourage folks to be adventurous with their wine picks. Instead of falling back to just getting the same old Champagne every year, try something new like a smaller production Grower Champagne or a even a sparkling wine from a new and exciting region like the UK, Argentina, Tasmania and Prosecco. Wine is something to have fun with and is a neat little way to travel the world in wine glass.
Bahnfrend: I agree. Wikipedia editors should be just as bold with their wine choices as they are encouraged to be with their editing.
Next week, we'll go global. Until then, explore other cultures in the archive.