Wine writers and bloggers fine wine purchasing influence ranking

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2015-06-07

Which wine writers exert the most influence over consumer purchasing decisions of fine wine?

It’s a question we’ve often been asked, and one we wanted to understand in context of what kind of recommendations influence consumers’ fine wine buying decisions.

To find out, we teamed up with Spiral Cellars, and organised a structured research programme through Effective Research. The fine wine purchasing influence ranking is based on 244 questionnaire responses. 

We discovered that consumers rely on multiple recommendation sources, and even the least relied-upon source is quite significant in influencing purchases. This also suggests that social media influence is real, and can indirectly contribute towards buying decisions.

There is nonetheless a clear, favorable bias towards online sources, with the subscription sites of leading critics exerting the greatest sway over consumers.

Which critics and bloggers, if any, are you most likely to base a proportion of your buying decisions on?  

When it comes to informing a proportion of buying decisions, Robert Parker is the clear winner with more than half of all respondents likely to buy based on his reviews. Neal Martin, his successor for new Bordeaux releases and leading Burgundy critic, is relied upon by 29% of respondents, with Jancis Robinson in a very strong second place position on 49%.

Vinous (Antonio Galloni on 26% and Stephen Tanzer on 17%) showed complementary strength, with Burghound (Allen Meadows) registering 22% and Tim Atkin on 20%. 

Whilst consumers have their favourites, their buying decisions will be influenced by a number of critics and writers.

UK Wine Writers And Bloggers Index

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2015-02-09

We’ve been working with our good friends at Traackr, a unique San-Francisco and London based platform for influencers, to build a ranking of UK wine writers and bloggers based on a measure of their relative influence - weighted favourably towards their social media engagement.

Traackr enabled us to create key influencer scoring for wine writers and bloggers in the UK, by their influence within social media. This is measured through interaction with their content, actions such as comments, link backs and re-tweets; and aims to encompass all personal activity, extending beyond the scope of traditional website-centric measuring tools.

The index highlights wine writers and bloggers who are most active through social media, and who have websites or blogs that are at least partially freely accessible and up to date. It excludes those who run subscription sites behind paywalls, where these do not have content that can be accessed via RSS feeds in front of the paywall.

See the following post for further explanation of methodology and why some top influencers of wine fine buyers aren't in the top 15. Traackr’s scoring algorithm is takes into account 3 variables:

REACH - The measure of total audience size eg blog visitors, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers.

RESONANCE – How much activity is created every time something is published. Engagement constitutes a crucial (and therefore heavily weighted) variable that reflects degrees of influence.

A writer or blogger with the biggest reach may therefore still come below another with a smaller following but who has a higher resonance score – because the level of engagement is used as a prime measure of how influential they are within their audience.

RELEVANCE - This is a measure based on a broad range of wine-related keywords, which in the case of this index reflects the fine wine end of the market. Relevance is a factor of how often someone uses the keywords that drove the search; the timing of the keyword usage; the diversity of the keywords used by an influencer; and the placement of keywords.

Influence is dynamic, and scoring will reflect how levels of activity and engagement change. Online and social media are highly fluid ; this index will be updated every 6 months to reflect changes and newcomers.

The index highlights new or niche writing talent as well as confirming the importance of many household names, for the benefit of wine lovers and collectors as well as those who are discovering wine.

We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we do. Please let us know which of your favourite UK-based wine writers we’ve missed so we can include them in the project and see how they fare in six months’ time!

Top 15 Influencers


And here's the complete list of all the UK wine influencers:

Rank Influencer  Reach* Resonance* Relevance* Website
1 Jancis Robinson 99 73 87
2 Jim Budd 89 56 91
3 Jamie Goode 92 31 95
4 Fiona Beckett 96 47 90
5 Andrew Barrow 84 68 87
6 Tim Atkin 93 46 89
7 Sarah Ahmed 81 51 90
8 Victoria Moore 81 50 89
9 Matthew Jukes 80 46 89
10 John Abbott 62 57 89
11 William Lyons 82 33 89
12 Robert McIntosh 91 47 80
13 Nicolas Rezzouk 49 73 83
14 Lucy Shaw 65 44 86
15 Richard W. H. Bray 62 36 89
16 Geordie Clarke 71 44 81
17 Rupert Millar 26 69 84
18 Jane Parkinson 78 32 79
19 Robert Joseph 87 24 78
20 Quentin Sadler 76 27 79
21 Richard Hemming 80 40 75
22 Natasha Hughes 77 34 76
23 Rosemary George 83 37 72
24 Henry Jeffreys 84 56 68
25 Warren Edwardes 46 50 74
26 Chris Kissack 76 71 64
27 Vim Chatwani 73 26 72
28 Sarah Abbott 79 24 71
29 Daniel Winerackd 52 31 72

30 Neal Martin 86 25 61
31 Matt Walls 62 42 61
32 David Lowe 75 28 60
33 Peter Wood 41 10 74
34 Walter Speller 44 90 51
35 Nick Stephens 50 43 55
36 Anthony Rose 81 48 47
37 Oz Clarke 94 50 44
38 Sally Easton 70 37 42
39 Michael Edwards 27 53 45
40 Patrick Schmitt 19 12 56
41 Benjamin Dawes 45 47 29
42 Pieter Rosenthal 48 50 25
43 Sarah Newton 93 29 13

Source: Traackr

The online wine community in a nutshell - Source: Traackr.

The online wine community in a nutshell - Source: Traackr.

Acts of Vandalism

by Wine Owners

Posted on 2012-12-05

Competitive rivalries naturally abound between wine producers and their employees or  neighbours, yet very occasionally this boils over into hatred or vengeance and can lead to committed acts that go beyond the pale.

As reported on Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages

 The latest shock is the news that Gianfranco Soldera's entire production of the last 7 years has been lost to someone who broke into and entered his cellar and poured 600 hetctolitres of his famous Brunellos down the drain.


That means it'll be another 9 years before any new releases will be forthcoming from the acknowledged master of brunello, and the maker of one of the world's greatest wines, with new releases priced at  GBP 1,500/ EUR 1850 per case of 12 bottles.

I feel very fortunate to have some of his wines, and will treasure these extraordinary, ultra long-lived, pure sangiovese rarities more than ever in the knowledge that I won't have the opportunity to buy a new release for another decade.

By the way, I do recommend Jamie Goode's excellent reviews from a vertical hosted by the brilliant Edinburgh merchant and shipper, Raeburn Fine Wines.

Sadly, this sort of event seems to be less isolated than it might have once been.

Take the example of Chateau Labat in the Medoc, who suffered 1,900 plantings of young vines butchered; cut down a few inches above ground level by secateurs earlier this year. It is estimated that it would have taken the perpetrator up to 7 hours to carry out the act, such was the malice aforethought of the sabotage.

Such action is an echo of a similar act carried out against the Cathiards at Chateau Cantelys, when 900 vines suffered a similar fate at the hands of electric secateurs in 2006.

Back in the 1990s, Chateau Monbrison's vines were similarly butchered by jealous local producers angered by the public way in which the then Belgian proprietor Vonderheyden was advocating extremely low yields in the pursuit of quality. Someone took offence, the act of destruction of his vines a powerful warning shot across the bows.

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