Friday, July 19, 2013

Decanter Power List: Omissions & Influence

Which individuals in the wine industry possess the greatest influence over the wines you drink?

The answer depends on numerous factors, as well as what limitations you place upon that answer. For example, are you restricting your answer to only the United States, or do you include the entire world? How do you determine which individuals are influential? Is influence measured solely by how many bottles of wine are sold? This is a complex area, yet numerous people and companies have taken a stance on trying to answer the initial question.

Decanter Magazine has offered their own answers in the latest edition of their Power List. This list, which comes out every two years, is in its fifth edition. They select the "50 most important people who influence what’s in your glass today" and claims that the "list is as objective as it is possible to be." Can such a list truly be objective? It would seem the complexity of the question would have to interject a good measure of subjectivity into the answers.

You can check out the people listed in The Decanter Power List 2013 and many of those names probably won't be much of a surprise. I am sure there are individuals on the list you will disagree with, and you probably believe deserving people were omitted. The significant number of individuals with connections to China and the rest of Asia seems to indicate the growing importance of this region. However, what intrigued me more were the people who were not on the list.

In their last list, The Decanter Power List 2011, the Amateur Wine Blogger was ranked at #16 yet they did not even make the 2013 list. Why is that the case? Is the influence of wine bloggers decreasing? If so, why? Or is it merely the perception that wine bloggers have lost much of their influence over the last couple years?

In the 2011 list, there were six women and in the 2013 list, the number of women remained the same. Four of those women, including Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Gina Gallo, Jancis Robinson, and Annette Alvarez Peters, were on both lists. Why aren't there more women on this list? You might expect to see at least a couple more women added each edition, but that wasn't the case with the latest 2013 edition.

The 2011 list also presented seven names of people to watch for in 2013, who could end up on the Power List for "reflecting the trends seen in the main list, and expected to proliferate over the next two years." These individuals included Ian Harris, Eric Asimov, Simon Tam, Debra Meiburg MW, Ryan Anderson Opaz, Bill Foley and Bruno Paillard. Not one of those seven people though actually made it on the 2013 list. Why is that the case? Have they not proliferated sufficiently? Has their influence actually decreased during the last two years? I should also not that none of these people even made the 2013 list of people to watch.

In 2013, they selected five people to watch for in 2015, and that includes Antonio Galloni, Daniel Johnnes, Edouard Moueix, Patricio Tapia and Alejandro Vigil. Will any of them actually make it on the 2015 list, or will they fade away like the people to watch of 2011?

What are your thoughts on the Decanter Power List?

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