Do you have a good wine palate and can you recognise a good wine when you taste it? Now you can have your say on line!
The site is called Cellar Tracker, it allows wine appreciators to give their personal opinion on wine. It has been created in a formula similar to that of ‘Tripadvisor’ which is a website used for tourism. Judgments both positive and negative and as to the competence of the wine are noted and using this data two researchers made a study comparing the wine appreciation opinions from the experts to those of the actual wine consumers, these researchers were Omer Gokcekus and Dennis Nottebaufm (American Association of Wine Economists, September 2011)
These two researchers compared the opinions of the wine community with those of the Wine Spectator, the Wine Advocate and Stephan Tanzer and in doing so experienced a substantial correlation of views, although with a greater consistency towards agreeing with the comments of Stephen Tanzer. It seems indeed that the wine drinking community is comfortable to sometimes differ in their views compared to the views of the two most authoritative wine guides, and appear not to be exclusively influenced by their opinions
This website is a great opportunity for those who like to taste and appreciate wines and who would like their individual voices to be heard. Cellar Tracker is a platform where they can state their opinions and compare them with those of other wine lovers. Any review which they make can be seen by hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. In short, those who want to feel like Robert Parker Jr. for a day need only to write on Cellar Tracker.
Cellar Tracker was created in 2003 by Eric Le Vine, a Microsoft programmer who is very interested in wine. It contains a review of 27 million bottles.
It makes you wonder whether consumers will eventually move away from basing their choice of wine on the judgements and opinions of important wine publications and famous experts towards using the social network forums to note comments and read opinions from other wine lovers, this is what is starting to happen in the Tourist industry where people take note of the opinions of other tourists who have visited the hotels, restaurants etc. The growing power of the Web has both advantages and disadvantages. The upside is that the opinions expressed are not easily influenced by the wine producers themselves as they are expressed by private individuals who have personal preferences and no hidden agendas, the downside is of course that the comments are made by a mixture of competent tasters and those who are absolutely incompetent with no experience or knowledge of wine tasting, but only with a desire to be noticed in a public forum. And of course it is virtually impossible to distinguish one from the other. We can only hope that the wine industry does not suffer the same misfortunes as others have in the past, where some of the individuals using social networks have caused collapses in companies and industries by spreading false news. In conclusion let us hope and request that those who are not truly wine experts should at least be prudent in their comments and avoid making judgements.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini