Which is to say, whether written by a professional or an amateur, the one standard for writing about wine today is that it should be entertaining and fresh, maybe even funny, and, at the very least, relatable to its audience—the average drinker, the collector, whomever. It should invite people in and allow them to explore their palates and be curious. Perhaps most of all, as Arnold and Rosen know with their e-newsletters, wine writing should, on top of all these things, make use of social media, too.

Just look at Gary Vaynerchuk, who turned his day job at a family wine store in New Jersey into a digital-media empire through lively, high-energy online TV episodes. Vaynerchuk found so much success, in fact, he wrote a self-help book about it. Is he the next Robert Parker? No. Not yet, anyway. But what Vaynerchuk did (and is still doing, it should be added) does prove a point: All it takes is for a wine critic or blogger to have a unique idea—a Daily Candy-like newsletter for wine, say—to create next big thing. No print publication necessary.

Spencer Bailey is a student in the spring Media Criticism course at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.