Social Network for Wine Fans

I am one of those classless losers who has trouble telling the difference between fine wine and grape juice that’s gone bad (though I excel in my ability to appreciate fine champagne). But even I know enough to know that wine appreciation is best done socially. Everything I have learned about wine (and I have learned that I do in fact kind of like some of it a little bit more than I thought) I’ve learned from wine parties where smart people cultivate clever groupings and everyone stands around talking about it. My friends who host these wine parties can only be described as fans — they browse the wine aisles like I browse record stores, they wear t-shirts and baseball caps from their favorite vinyards, they plan vacations around visits to wineries, their favorite movie is that one where the two middle aged guys go on a wine-tasting tour of California before one’s wedding that everyone liked so much (typically, I thought it was overrated).

So I think the founders of Vinorati are really on to something by creating a social network site specific for wine lovers. I especially like the tag clouds.

I’m sure they don’t call it fandom, but if that ain’t fandom…

…maybe this is?

ST. CHARLES, MO—Print-shop manager and potato-chip connoisseur Nathan Sterken, 26, was surprised by the “exceptionally rich mid-palate notes of onion” and “wonderfully creamy but sour overtones” in a fresh Big Grab bag of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion potato chips he purchased from a local deli Tuesday. “I find myself enticed by the playful salty-sweet flavors of this blend,” said Sterken, who first developed a taste for potato chips during his four years working at a St. Charles–area 7-Eleven convenience store. “The flavors are robust without overpowering the fragile potato, and they mature into a rich, truly unexpected canola-oil finish.” (from the inimitable Onion)

Comments (4) to “Social Network for Wine Fans”

  1. This SNS specialization is interesting to me. I think these types of specialized SNSs appeal to older users while the general SNSs (facebook, myspace) appeal to a younger crowd. It might be interesting to study across age demographics.

  2. I agree Mark. All the social networking site focus in the media and much research seems to be on teens. But there are plenty of people using this kind of sites who aren’t teens, and my guess is that they’ve got very different expectations and interests in using them. On, for instance, I find there are quite a few middle-aged users and I think that what we’re getting out of the site is in many ways different from what teenagers are seeking in their use.

    I hope Vinorati isn’t appealing to teens! Unless it’s French teens, of course.

  3. Well, I don’t know if all of our members call themselves wine fans, but Frederic and I certainly do. I guess you could consider us hosts of one giant world-wide wine tasting party. I’m glad you stopped by to check us out!

    Lisa Roskam
    co-founder of Vinorati

  4. Interresting post. I found vinorati also great. Maybe you could also consider It offers also wine places near you.