Critics Play Minor Role in Wine Choices

Friday, 27 September, 2013
W. Blake Gray
The best source of advice for wine consumers? A wine-loving friend.
Not a fan of Robert Parker? It's time to celebrate. Founded by Parker in 1978, The Wine Advocate is measurably less influential than sommeliers, wine shop assistants, and the Wine Spectator, when it comes to taking wine advice, according to a new survey.

Wine Opinions CEO John Gillespie released the findings of a survey of 1,151 high-frequency American wine drinkers at the 22nd Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa on Tuesday. They suggest that the most influential source of recommendations is a "wine knowledgeable friend," with a rating of 6.0 on a scale of 10. Nearly a full point lower are recommendations from "wine shop staff" (5.3) and "a sommelier in a restaurant" (5.2).

Of the wine media. Wine Spectator had the highest influence rating at 4.7, followed by Wine Enthusiast at 4.4. At 4.1, "Robert Parker's Wine Advocate" had the same rating as an email recommendation from a wine retailer.

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