The People: Gerald Boyd

Writer Gerald Boyd has cultivated a creative niche in the wine world.

By Reeanna Lynn Hernandez

Publish Date: September 4, 2013

Gerald Boyd began writing about wine in 1971 for publications such as
the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Magazine and Wine World Magazine.

Given that winemaking is widely regarded as an art form, it’s hardly surprising that writing about wine also rates its own creative niche.

Now living in Sonoma County, Calif., Gerald D. Boyd (B.A. English ’79) has taken his passion for wine and crafted a lifelong career as a celebrated wine writer.

“I find the whole subject of wine very fascinating,” says Boyd. “Everything from the growing of the grapes through to the winemaking process, and of course the obvious enjoyment of the wine itself.”

An ardent wine collector, Boyd began writing about wine in 1971 for publications such as the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Magazine and Wine World Magazine.

“My first piece on wine was for a listener’s guide for KVO D, which is [a Denver] classical radio station,” says Boyd. “I wrote an article about Beethoven and Austrian wine. Then I wrote a piece for Denver Magazine about some Colorado businessmen who had gone to California to open wineries. From there it really took off, and I then started writing about California wine.”

Although those earlier publications were milestones for his career, Boyd didn’t stop there. Upon retiring from the Air Force and graduating from MSU Denver, he took a trip to Europe and came home to some life-altering news: Boyd had a job with The Wine Spectator and he, his wife and his youngest son (now a winemaker in Washington state) were moving to San Diego.

In 1979 he joined The Wine Spectator as managing editor and one year later he was promoted to editor. He also has served as the staff wine and spirits writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, and his writing has appeared regularly in the Wine Review Online, Winestate of Australia and countless other magazines.

Boyd also has taken on the role of adjunct instructor of wine education at Santa Rosa Junior College. He has been honored with induction into numerous wine and spirits associations, including Le Grand Counseil l’Academie du Vin de Bordeaux, Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, and Chevalerie de Vere Galant de Cognac.

In 2011, Boyd was honored by the Wine Media Guild of New York with induction into the Wine Writer’s Hall of Fame and has served as a wine judge at international, national and regional wine competitions in California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, and international wine competitions in Australia, Belgium, Italy and China.

Even with all of these accolades, Boyd says one of the most gratifying aspects of his career is the fact that he can tangibly enjoy a subject matter he loves.

“Over time, the explosion of wine making has just been phenomenal,” says Boyd. “There’s hardly a country in the temperate parts of the Northern and Southern hemispheres where wine is not made today. I became interested in wine from that standpoint, the same way people would become interested in any hobby. You like what it’s all about so you read more and study more on it. The nice thing about wine is after you’ve learned and studied about it, you can truly enjoy it.”

Gerald Boyd offers wine recommendations. Read more.

Learn more about MSU Denver’s Sommelier Program.