Further Reflections Regarding Wine 2.0

by Tim Elliott on October 17, 2006

My post the other day started a discussion in the comments with Joel from Wine Life Today and Vivi’s Wine Journal. We both agreed that the current Web 2.0 wine sites (I’m calling them now “Wine 2.0″) don’t have enough benefits to reach critical mass and that a “mashup” of these sites is most likely the only sensible strategy. But what features should these new sites have and who will use them? First, let’s look at the current offerings:

Wine ratings, tasting notes and tagging

Cork’d
Logabottle
WineLog
TastyDrop
Openbottles
WineDemocracy
WARPA!

Wine recommendations and online store

Bottlenotes
Adegga (not yet released)

Cellar Management

CellarTracker
WineFetch

Blog aggregator and tagging

Wine Life Today
Vinolin

So lots of wine tasting notes, ratings and tagging is going on with a few other specialty sites aimed, I think, at different types of customers. If you are a wine newbie, for example, you might be looking for wine education, tasting recommendations and an easy way to sample different types of wine. A wine enthusiast has already developed preferences to wine styles and some brands and might be more interested in a place to keep, organize and share their tasting notes. The wine collector is looking primarily for cellar management and valuation data for their collections. And finally, the wine geek is probably looking for ways to read wine blogs, capture tasting notes and find new wines that might fit their palate. Of course, some of these groups overlap somewhat, so Wine 2.0 sites can’t just define individual customer groups and make sites specifically for them.

I guess all this is uncovering the complexities facing the companies and individuals developing these sites. As I stated when I began this post, I don’t think any of the sites here will prosper without some additional features with the possible exception of the cellar management sites. So what would I do if I was given the opportunity to lead one of these sites?

Let’s start with the plethora of wine ratings and tasting note sharing sites. I would mashup an Amazon-like recommendation engine that would present a list of wines to try based upon the ratings I have input into the system. I’d also make it super easy to order these wines in either a WineZap-like system or an online store. I also like what TastyDrop has done in this space with their rating system. For the wine recommendation sites, I’d add the rating, tasting note and social features found in sites like Cork’d and TastyDrop. For the cellar management sites, I would focus on user interface and accessibility to mobile devices like mobile phones. And finally for the blog aggregators, I would group common information together like memeorandum does for politics. Perhaps using existing Technorati tags or imposing some wine specific tagging system would automate this process (for example, if I tag a post “tasting note” it would be aggregated in a special page devoted to all tasting notes and filtered by varietal and/or region).

These are just my first thoughts on these issues and hope that others in the wine blogosphere (vinosphere?) will add to the discussion. Perhaps through this conversation we will arrive at some Wine 2.0 sites that reach critical mass and become indispensable for wine lovers.

  • http://www.winelifetoday.com Joel

    i’m on the road for about a week. I’ll put some thought into this but great category and great idea.

    The one thing I’ve learned is that while a blog can be a single person or a couple of enthusiats, other Wine 2.0 ideas will require a “mash-up” of minds!

  • http://winecast.net Tim

    I’m ready to brainstorm when you are, Joel.

  • http://www.openbottles.com Sagi

    Hi Tim,

    I completely agree with you. If our sites are to survive, we (the “Wine 2.0� sites) have to find ways to reach a broader audience with tools that bring together sharing information, collecting information, accessing information and ultimately acting on information. In my opinion, social networking is the most promising starting point. When you bring together people with varying opinions, and give them the opportunity to share those opinions, you naturally create a learning tool, a search tool and a recommendation tool. Add an easy way to buy wine, and you have a powerful and useful tool for any consumer. From there, you can build cellaring features and even trading platforms. Add the ability to interface with the site using a mobile phone and you open up a whole new frontier. Many of us are already moving in this direction, and you can expect to see many of these ideas implemented in the near future. Pretty exciting times!

  • http://winecast.net Tim

    Thanks for adding to the conversation, Sagi. I’ll keep an eye on what you are up to at openbottles.com

    The best mashup in this space will develop an audience that benefits both users and Wine 2.0 entrepreneurs alike.

  • http://www.winetwo.com Jeff

    Hi Tim, Great post – We’re producing Wine 2.0 and would love to have you comment, particpate or come on out. Interested attendees can rsvp at http://www.winetwo.com

    Hope to hear from you.

    Cheers,

    Jeff Playter
    Founder
    RadCru.com

  • http://winecast.net Tim

    Hi Jeff,

    I’d love to participate in the Wine 2.0 event but it doesn’t look like I’ll make it out for the mixer in a couple weeks. I’ll be watching and blogging what is going on in this space here.

    Hope I can make it next time.

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