Is Instagram a reliable echo chamber for the wine business? Is it a primary source of information to help translate the beverage market in NYC?
I am going all in: NOPE – the ‘Gram is an alternative universe. Full of #fakewinenews.
This won’t stop professionals from using Instagram as their first source of information on the NYC Beverage Market. However, the picture that Instagram paints is as accurate as the facts tweeted by the President of the United States between Midnight and 8 am.
Under the Instagram Covers
The reality is that Instagram highlights a market where no wine director posts the prosecco they sell 10cs a week, the Sancerre that won’t stop selling no matter what the price is, the private label California appellation Cab they make bank on, or the Malbec in their private dining room that customers adore.
In fairness, I love Instagram. I have fun with it and I don’t think it is a bad thing. I absolutely get it. When a wine moves me, sometimes I can’t help myself. I say pic, post, and double-tap it, baby. All. Day. Long.
The circle is smooth and frictionless – everyone is “friends” with everyone else and disagreements are exceedingly rare. The ‘Gram is a giant Dionysian love fest, and we all can get a gulp if we want.
But I must caution here: don’t be fooled by what you see. Those three pictures of Burgundy that are being ‘grammed over and over again probably don’t mean what you think they mean. What you are seeing isn’t a reliable barometer of the market. Knowing this market can’t be faked. It can’t be done from a desk or in flashy tap away stories. You have to go out and show up.
Everything is moving so quickly now that you if you only see the Krug and the Overnoy here, and the Trollat and vertical of Bartolo there, you WILL miss what is really moving the market and simultaneously be very confused. This #instagratification gives the illusion that you have a perspective on the wines that reverberate through the wines programs of the city. But what you are seeing is the fringe of the fringe: the Cherry on top and not the cake.
“ ...stop and think about the last time you said that a wine was killing it all over the city. Was it really, or did you just see it on Instagram three times?
Ever wonder why you keep seeing the same photos of the same bottles cycled over and over again? You probably saw it posted by three people… The app is programmed so you mentally amplify the information. I have been on all sides of this, and the total connective sales of the wines (after all is said and done) is strikingly low.
Bottom line: Don’t buy the lie that you can sit back and get any substantive wine news from Instagram. The people doing the real work continue to know what works, which is most likely not what is getting double-tapped on the regular.
And before you @ me with ideas that the above is obvious, stop and think about the last time you said that a wine was killing it all over the city. Was it really, or did you just see it on Instagram three times?