Archive for the ‘websites’ Category

Best wine sites as of January 2011

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

This article is a resource for you to find interesting sites.

I have performed website appraisal on 500 sites and I have ranked only the top 200. Herebelow is an analysis of the results.

The big guns

Two Fort Riley soldiers compete in the 2005 Best Ranger Competition

In the Autumn, many people look for food or wine information on the Web. This primarily benefits the established brands. This semester the sites that gained most traffic were (in decreasing order): Snooth, Wine Spectator, Wine Anorak, Decanter and French Scout. 3 of them are long established destinations but French Scout and Snooth seem outsiders to me. (Please disagree by placing a comment below.) The site that gained most traffic this year was Snooth thank to 100,000 more visitors. (Compare here traffic of tasting note trackers.) The second best yearly increment (Wine Anorak’s) is ten times less!
I would argue that Snooth (ranked 1st) and French Scout (13th) made their way to popularity by:

  • producing consistently good content that people want to consume;
  • and being regularly cited by their peers.

Diversity

The recent holiday season has favoured the big sites. You can expect challengers to rise in the next installment in April.
In the last few years the web offer has immensely diversified. Everybody and their wine supplier now has a blog. There now are many quality wine critics who comment on line. Some belong to the mainstream media, others not. So go on a reading journey by browsing the list of 200 best wine sites!

How to participate

Websites are automatically included in the contest as soon as I learn of their existence. To be eligible to the next issue of the Cellarer wine directory, the below conditions must be met:

  1. The main topic should be wine.
  2. Producing estates and wine sellers are excluded. Some of them run wonderful websites but the type of information is different.

If you disagree with the directory criteria, please comment below or e-mail me.

Here are the metrics I use for rating the wine sites. You can follow the directory evolution by subscribing to the feed on websites blog RSS.

No more corked

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Sorry for the bad pun. As Gary Vaynerchuk announced on the 12th January, the Cork’d website stops its operations. You may export your tasting notes.

Cork'd logoIt was a place where any drinker could write about wine. It was not reserved to advanced tasters and that was good. In respect to this broad public I guess it did not reach sufficient mass unlike Snooth or Cellartracker. See Joel for a discussion on this (business-wise).

Top 100 wine blogs in 2010

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

This is an analysis of the ranking of wine sites.

Establishment vs. bloggers

And the winner is…3 websites clearly stand out as the biggest wine hubs: the Wine Spectator, the Wine lovers page and Robert Parker’s forum. This in part is explained by their quality. It is also explained by the long time they have been known by wine enthusiasts.

Having an off-line reputation clearly helps. This is easiest for the paper media — as illustrated by the presence in the top 10 of the Wine Spectator, Decanter, Jancis Robinson and Robert Parker.

The top tier is not going away but some writers have steadily increased their readership over the years. The biggest valuation growth in the past year was for Another Wine Blog. The biggest valuation increments this quarter are due to growing traffic:

  1. Dr. Vino,
  2. French Scout.

In the last few years the wine web offer has immensely diversified. There now are many quality wine critics who blog on line. The Top 100 attempts to highlight writers that you should discover. Only the “better” 20% of the websites are shown. Well, “better” here is not an opinion but an evaluation of which sites are more popular.

What other trends can you see from the rankings?

How to participate

Websites are automatically included in the contest as soon as I learn of their existence. To be eligible to the next issue of the Cellarer wine directory, the below conditions must be met:

  1. The main topic should be wine.
  2. Producing estates and wine sellers are excluded. Some of them run wonderful websites but the type of information is different.

If you disagree with the directory criteria, please comment below or e-mail me.

Here are the metrics I use for rating the wine sites. You can follow the directory evolution by subscribing to the feed on websites blog RSS.

Best wine websites as of July 2010

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Here is the quarterly ranking of web sites. Webmasters need not apply as the contest includes all sites. The table shows only the 150 ‘best’ — ‘best’ is evaluated with public website metrics. These permit to include all sites — not just blogs.

Holiday contestSo lie back, relax, and enjoy my comments on the results.

Off-line support

You may notice that half the biggest websites are supported — and promoted — by off-line operations. They are Web appendices of successful non-Internet ventures: the Wine Spectator, The Pour, eRobertParker, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, Natalie McLean, Jancis Robinson.

USA dominates

Stephen Colbert cleans the American flagMost of the top websites stem from operations based in the US. The majority of the listed sites are written from that country. The following facts may contribute: the USA still is the country the most present on the Web, they still dominate the English-speaking culture and they are on a trend to become the top wine drinking country in the world.

Foreigners

So here is a list of all the websites which are pure players (without offline operations), in the Top 150 and not based in an English-speaking nation:

How to participate

Websites are automatically included in the contest as soon as I learn of their existence. To be eligible to the next issue of the Cellarer wine directory, the below conditions must be met:

  1. The main topic should be wine.
  2. Producing estates and wine sellers are excluded. Some of them run wonderful websites but the type of information is different.

If you disagree with the directory criteria, please comment below or e-mail me.

You can follow the directory evolution by subscribing to the feed on websites blog RSS.

Elsewhere

There is a complementary contest: the Wine Blog Awards. It has a focus on US blogs and uses some subjective judgment by peers. The purpose is entirely different to that of the Cellarer ranking, which automatically includes all sites and is limited only by publically available data (which mostly is not directly influenced by peers).