What turns a bottle of fermented grape juice into a cult wine? Current research in the sociology of culture and food assumes that nowadays the distinctiveness of goods is ascertained not on the basis of traditional food hierarchies (e.g. French food and wine as the global benchmark) but based on criteria of authenticity and exoticism. Since public discourse plays an important role in the consecration of aesthetic goods, we study wine journalism in Germany over time. This enables us to analyse the replacement of traditional criteria and the emergence of new criteria of aesthetic valuation in the wine world. The study is based on a systematic content analysis of the two most important German weeklies from 1947 to 2008. We can show that wine reporting shifts dramatically from an orientation towards French and domestic wines and a rather business-like approach to wine towards a more global orientation and a discourse of authenticity focusing on artisanal production, natural conditions of production and the winemaker as an individual personality/artist.