“Proof That Social Media Has Forever Changed The Landscape Of Wine?”

Vinted on February 1, 2012 binned in going pro, wine 2.0, wine news

Well… if this isn’t “proof that social media has forever changed the landscape of wine” (their words, not mine), then I’m not really sure what is.


Ok, so it’s not really proof, but it’s hard to deny the traction when someone like me makes the top 20 in a list like this. And #14?? Seriously?!? WTF?!??

There’s probably something cruelly insane about me being more influential than Terry Theise (#60?) and the CEO of Total Wine, but one thing I’ve learned is that wine is, in fact, one crazy business (and according to the article, it was people in the biz who helped named the names). I feel thee are a ton of omissions, all of whom I’d personally rank higher than me on this list, but I’m honored to be in the company of such inspiring people (about a third of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting personally).

Having said all of that, I’d caution about reading too much into lists like this – good for a pulse check, probably bad for anything more substantial than that. My placement/ranking is probably a controversial play (and that’s not even considering the glaring omissions, such as Bonny Doon‘s Randall Grahm), and judging by the Facebook and twitter chatter this week, it’s a successful play.

You can check out the full list of IntoWine.com’s Top 100 U.S. wine industry influencers here. Thanks to Michael Cervin and the IntoWine.com folks for the nod – I’m trying to live up to it!






  • Olivier

    Congratulations Joe. But I'm not surprised. You deserve it. Your content, your writing, your style makes it easy for a lot of people to get into wine and continue learning about it. I think your success is that you simply speak the language of a lot of people and they identify with you. Keep up the great work. Olivier.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Olivier! As I mentioned, I will try to live up to the nod!

      • Olivier

        I'm sure you won't try. You will succeed ;-) As long as you have fun and don't compromise your personality, there is no stopping you in my opinion.

        • 1WineDude

          Olivier – wow, thanks, you just made my day!

  • Colorado Wine Press

    I think you're handsome enough (not afraid to say it) to have your photo up there, too. I mean, Asimov is a great writer, but not going to wine most beautiful person of the year… Plus, clearly, IntoWine thinks you're more important than him ;)

    • 1WineDude

      CWP – Thanks… but you clearly need a new eyeglass prescription… ;-)

      • Colorado Wine Press

        Are you telling me Eric IS handsome?

        • 1WineDude

          CWP – Hey, I have a man-crush on Eric so mine is a biased opinion there… ;-)

  • Pawineguy


    I am a fan and daily reader… but I do have to say this list left me scratching my head. The question is what do they mean by "influential?" Are people hanging 1WineDude shelf talkers in retail stores? Does an "A" from you quickly sell out the inventory from a winery? At the end of the day, it all goes back to cases, and how many are moved based on someone's recommendation or purchasing power.

    • Olivier

      That's an excellent question. Joe?

      • 1WineDude

        Oh – regarding my ratings influencing people: they do, but nowhere near the volume of RMP for example. I know that people do or don’t buy wine based on my public recommendations, because they tell me via social media, but that influence is within the community that follow the blog, fb, twitter posts, etc. Apparently the badges have been used at retail and have increased sales (Vintank has the data on that, I’ve been waiting for them to enlighten us all – including me – on those details but haven’t seen the results yet).

        • Whitey

          Actually, since I know you so well, and because my company occasionally sends you samples, I watch closely to see if any of your tasting notes move any boxes. From Maryland and Delaware south to Florida, you don't move the needle at all. Which is not to say you don't move the needle someplace (most likely your home state of PA), but you don't move a box in the Mid-Atlantic to FL. Contrast that to someone like Dave McIntyre, wine writer for the Washington Post, and he can sell 50+ cases of an obscure wine like Anne Amie Muller Thurgau from OR by writing a three line note on it. Don't let your head get too big, Joey Opus! ;)

          • 1WineDude

            Ah, Whitey, you're just posed because the Saints lost! ;-). What you're saying doesn't surprise me at all, since as I said this list isn't about consumer influence or sales. And as I also mentioned in the comments, my influence in those areas is one on one with people who are all over the place, and they're buying bottles and not cases (but might become lifelong customers if those brands treat them right); blogs and the social media channels just work differently, are more difficult to track and have a much more dispersed – and smaller, though not maybe in aggregate! – influence in terms of buying power. Again, that is based on what those consumers are telling me directly about my recommendations helping them buy or avoid a wine. So don't worry about head size over here – this year I am making some moves to try to increase that influence on the consumer end, and one big announcement on that front should be coming next week, so stay tuned :).

            • 1WineDude

              For more on the topic of how the consumer-side landscape is changing, check out Alder's take on that today: http://www.vinography.com/archives/2012/02/social

              Great read there.

              There's probably an entire blog article's worth of fodder on the topic of if/how blogs move wine sales. Compared to any of the big 5-10 papers or big 2 U.S. wine mags, though, NOBODY moves the needle individually in terms of driving case orders in retail, etc. (including the more well-trafficked wine blogs out there AND **quite a few long-standing printed wine publications**). The key to blogs is, I think, using them as a means to get at the emerging younger crowd who buy MUCH smaller amounts but will potentially buy for a long time as dedicated customers – assuming that the brands they buy actually ENGAGE them and then DO SOMETHING with their attention once they have it!


    • 1WineDude

      PA – Great question. My understanding is that this list is NOT about influencing consumers, it is about influencing the U.S. wine industry. I.e., I influence the influencers, apparently because my name came up with a lot of frequency when they were polled as to who were the people most influencing the wine industry in the U.S. I have some things in the works that I am hoping will also increase my influence with the people who actually drink the stuff :). MUCH more to come on that in the next few weeks. Cheers!

  • geracchr

    As Dr. Evil would say, "Your stock is rising…!" Congrats and I hope the momentum continues to build. You deserve it bro!

    • 1WineDude

      geracchr – :) Awesome quote. And thanks!

  • gabe

    congrats joe!

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, gabe!

  • @digitalartbrush

    If at first you do succeed…..try to hide your astonishment! Congratulations!!!!

    • 1WineDude

      :) Thanks

  • @zodot

    Congratulations, Joe! The recognition is well-deserved :)
    Zoe Geddes-Soltess
    Community Engagement, Radian6

    • 1WineDude

      @zodot – Thanks, very kind of you!

  • @RickBakas

    I just looked at this list today and don't get it. What criteria was used to rank this list?

    Some glaring problems with a list like this:
    + There's about 20 people ahead of Gary V. that shouldn't be.
    + Randall Grahm is missing as you pointed out (even though he's the keynote at this year's WBC)
    + Speaking of which, where's WBC on this list?
    + Pretty sure the guys at ShipCompliant are hugely influential, not deserving of being #41
    + no offense, Joe. Glad you're on the list but ahead of so many big names? (also as you pointed out)
    + Big name winemakers like say Heidi Peterson Barrett seem like contenders
    + Maybe the CEO of wine.com might make the list?
    + I'm not a fan of Heimoff but not in the top 100?

    Dunno. Without any kind of explanation of scoring this list seems like an effort to drive traffic to their site and sends the wrong message to the industry.

    • 1WineDude

      Rick – all fair and valid points, my man. Exactly why I wanted to caution reading too much into this thing. I've been involved in some FB discussions on that including some pointing out that you not being in the list is another big omission. My understanding is that industry people were polled by the author (who I know is well regarded but whom I've not met) and one of the big criterion was frequency of mention within that polled group. But that's *all* I know. Still, it's encouraging to see online personalities in this sort of list at all, so I see it more like Decanter's power list in which the citizen blogger in aggregate was recently ranked quite highly; a sign that the industry *is* changing (albeit slowly and probably 6 years late :).

  • John Trone

    Joe, you definitely deserve to be at least two spots or more ahead of my brother. Where did I find out about this new list? From you, of course :)

    • 1WineDude

      John – ha! Thanks. While I'm totally ok using this for my shameless self-promotion, I'm still cautioning that it's not safe to read anything more into it than the fact that online wine coverage does have influence with decision makers in the biz. Cheers!

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