When the Wall Street Journal started a wine club in September 2008, The New York Times was amused. Journal-branded wine, the Times opined, "might sound a bit odd to anyone who has heard conservative commentators lump wine-drinking with arugula-eating and other supposed signs of effete, snobbish, elitist liberalism."
But less than a year later, the Times launched its own wine club. "Looking for alternate ways to make money as its advertising revenues plunge," the Times self-reported last August, the paper was "getting into the wine business." A month later, USA Today announced that it too was starting a wine club. In just a year, America's three largest newspapers had jumped aboard the wine club bandwagon.