What Wine Writers Read…Can you guess?

In PR, the idea of the “gatekeeper” is that there are relatively few individuals in any industry who set trends and frame the issues. The wine industry is driven by media to an unusually (some would unfortunately) high degree. What this means is that when consumers go to Merlot in droves or start to shy away from big oaky chards or become comfortable with screw caps, it’s the media that has a big impact on making this happen. There are a larger number of media “gatekeepers” in the wine industry than your average industry.

Wine is similar to music, movies, restaurants and books in this respect.

So given this, its good for a publicist in the wine industry to know what the gatekeepers are reading. Bottom line: I want to know where wine writers are getting their wine info and what publications they are using to find ideas and confirm their own ideas.

Earlier this year my firm completed a study of the wine media: “The American Wine Writer Survey”. In it, among other questions, wine writers were asked to identify what wine-related information they read. The results should not be surprising, but look at them closely to see who the really KEY media gatekeepers are:

Wine Spectator: 66%
New York Times Wine Column: 62%
Food & Wine Magazine: 51%
Gourmet: 50%
Wine Enthusiast: 37%
SF Chronicle Wine Section: 36%
Decanter Magazine: 36%
Local Wine Columnists: 34%
Wall Street Journal Wine Column: 32%
Bon Appetit: 32%
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 28%
Wine & Spirits Magazine: 25%
Wine Business Monthly: 25%
Quarterly Review of Wine: 14%
Wine X Magazine: 12%
Wines & Vines Magazine: 11%
Stephen Tanzer’s Wine Cellar: 11%
Connoisseurs Guide to CA Wine: 9%
Vineyard and Winery Management: 9%
Wine News: 9%
Practical Winery and Vineyard: 9%
Restaurant Wine: 5%
The California Grapevine: 5%

The entire survey can be downloaded here.

Alder at Vinography earlier took me to task for not including much information in the American Wine Writer Survey about Online wine writing. He was correct to make not of this. The entire survey includes a variety of info about American wine writers and how they work.

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