Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WINE CONSUMERS WARY OF BLOGGER RECOMMENTATIONS


Wine Consumers Wary Of Blogger Recommentations

A survey in the Wine Intelligence Internet and Social Media report finds that independent bloggers are the least trusted wine information sources in the U.S., the UK and France.  The internet is still a popular destination for those seeking wine information, though.

People seem to be more in tune with their local wine merchants when seeking information to help with their wine purchases.  According to the survey, 80% of wine shoppers in the U.S. say they trust the person on the other side of the counter, as opposed to the person on the other end of the Internet.

There's a lot of evidence, though, to suggest that Wine Intelligence patched together a quilt of lies and BS to come up with these findings.  That issue is explored in-depth by Amy Corron Power on Another Wine Blog.  It's worth reading.

As an independent wine blogger myself, the Wine Intelligence results seem downright embarrassing at first blush.   But, if the data is accurate, is the it surprising?  It would stand to reason that people would trust someone they can talk to face-to-face - someone who knows their taste and palate based on previous purchases - rather than someone with whom they have no personal connection.

I have long advised friends and readers to look to their palates for answers about which wines to buy.  I can't tell you what you will like - only you can find out that for yourself.  One of the best ways to do that is to become acquainted with a wine dealer you trust, preferably one who stages tasting events in the store.  Go to these events, talk to your merchant and you will be able to find wines that are right up your alley.

I just hope you trust me when I tell you that!

According to the Wine Intelligence data, online sources most trusted by American consumers are websites of wine shops, newspapers and small-production wineries.  Facebook comes in ahead of supermarket websites on the trust meter.

"We have known for some time that consumers trust people closest to them for recommendations about wine," says Jean-Phillippe Perrouty, Research Director at Wine Intelligence.  "This data shows the power of the Internet as a way of leveraging this trust as the consumer's search for wine knowledge moves online."