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Wine Online: How The Internet Revolutionized The Wine Market

on 28/05/15 at 8:26 am


imagesThink of the wine trade and what image comes to mind? Probably a bunch of old men having a point-scoring chat about carbonic maceration, in fancy accents. Well, you’re wrong: the Internet is changing what we drink, how we buy it, and how we talk about it.

One of the most basic changes is transparency — especially of pricing. In the same way that a quick search allows one to have a good nose at the price of anything from neighbours’ houses to transatlantic flights, websites like New Zealand’s Wine Searcher, Vinopedia and Bring A Bottle let you track down that elusive Saint-Veran at the click of a mouse. If you have price transparency, the next logical step is an index: the online exchange Liv-Ex tracks 25 million sets of historic and current data to show the market value of fine wines.

If you’re more into buying a bottle of something cheap and tasty on the way home on Friday than keeping wooden cases of Lafite as an investment, the same applies: with so much information available, it’s simply easier to find what you’re looking for. Anyone can, and does, write about wine now: there are a plethora of blogs for everything from vertical tastings* of niche Bordeaux to the best wine to unwind when you’ve spent all week managing three children and a household.

“Before, the main decision tree for buying wine was colour, country, price,” says Helen McGinn, the author of Knackered Mother’s Wine Club (that’s British for “exhausted moms”). “Now, there’s this wealth of stuff online, from a recommendation on Facebook, to blogs.”