Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Andrew Kamphuis
January 5, 2009 | Marketing | Andrew Kamphuis

Consumer Reviews trump Professional Reviews

Do you trust a consumer review more than a professional review? Do you care more about what your friends think or what professionals think? Will a consumer review out perform a professional review?

I was watching Sex and the City Saturday night on TV. (Okay I don't watch TV much, and my wife had it on). A stranger's facial expression seemed to worry Carrie Bradshaw more than a professional book review.

When I pick a movie, I tend to listen to my friends' opinions and could really care less about the professional reviews. When I rent a video, I ask the checkout clerk if the video is good and often listen to his/her opinion.

I've been in a wine store and asked the clerk if they have had the bottle of wine that I'm contemplating and what they thought about it. I often pick up a bottle of wine because a friend mentioned it, or perhaps I read something on twitter or in a blog.

In today's manufactured society, I crave for something more real and real comes from other consumers rather than professionals.


Peter's Gravatar
@ Jan 5, 2009 at 8:32 PM
I think when it comes to wine a "pro" review is hard to trust as much as a customer review because it could be biased or "bought", but there are a lot of professional reviews of products that people trust a lot - Consumer Reports for example. Another example is movie reviews - if you find one you agree with, because it is all subjective anyways...then you can probably trust them over the long run.

I think a professional review gives customers the the confidence that they are getting into a decent wine, then they can use that as a base. Consumer reviews help to consolidate the professional or call them out when they don't actually take the time to do their job right. I am not saying that you need one or the other, but they compliment each other and play slightly different roles. Getting one type of review on your site is nice, getting both types is awesome.

tom merle 's Gravatar
tom merle
@ Jan 14, 2009 at 11:55 AM
I'm clearly a fan of People's Choice evaluations, since the emphasis is on drinkability, not "balance" "complexity" "terroir--somewhereness" and the other dimensions that experts look for. Consumers just want to know how delicious a wine is and pay as little as possible.(the "wisdom of crowds")

I follow this approach in my wine club tastings: .

That said, it would be good to have a wine version of

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