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"Wine Person of the Decade" from Cellar Tracker/Dr. Vino
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When I saw the title of the poll on Cellar Tracker, I started thinking of my own criteria:
a) influence
b) uncompromising, high standards
c) independence - following his/her own ideals
d) success in both good and bad economic environments
e) part of a movement of dominant or growing influence
f) someone others see as a role model
...yadda-yadda

I'm thinking, "Cool, I'll go vote for Manfred Krankl." Uh, yeah, right - not even on the list of nominees. So who is?

1) John Casella (Yellow Tail) Eek
2) Fred Franzia (Two Buck Chuck, convicted felon, screw appellations like "Napa") Smack
3) PAUL GIAMATTI???!!! [no emoticon suitable]
4) Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV) Roll Eyes
(also on the list = Shin and Yoko Kobayashi, authors of a Japanese comic Confused, Eric Levine - cellartracker, Robert Parker, and Terry Theise - importer; advocate of 'grower Champagnes')

Please tell me this is a joke... a very sad joke. An actor in a movie about wine is the Wine Person of the Decade?! ("I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" = AMA's "Person of the Year"?!) A man convicted of grape-sourcing crimes is your role model for the decade?! That's like making Kanye West the VMA's "Person of the Year"! How long has Vay-ner-chuk even been... well, yelling into a camera to be published on the internet?

As for me, my nominees would be:
1) Manfred Krankl: the definition of independent and uncompromising, a leading figure in the Rhone-Ranger movement - perhaps the most important development in the CA wine industry in the past decade, and unmatched success in that same time
2) Lamberto Frescobaldi: leading Marchesi de' Frescobaldi into an even more dominant role in Italy, taking over the void left by the Mondavi corporation in Luce and Ornellaia, and leading Ornellaia into what may be its greatest achievements yet
3) Pierre Lurton: not just taking over at Chateau d'Yquem, but overhauling their marketing strategies and leading them in what may turn out to be their best decade ever - which is saying A LOT!
4) Philippe Cambie: revolutionizing wine-making in Chateauneuf du Pape and changing some very long-held beliefs about barrel-aging (specifically in relation to Grenache); behind the scenes and not so publicly well-known, but his influence is immense!
5) I can't help but to tip my hat to those great, influential people we lost this decade, not limited to, but including Robert Mondavi, Denis Mortet, Alois Kracher, Didier Daguenau, and Paul Avril.

How about you? Who is your "Wine Person of the Decade"?


De gustibus non est disputandum.
 
Posts: 3945 | Location: Denver, CO | Registered: Jan 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't know Stickman - Lurton?? He was hired to manage an estate and did so. But isn't that what he was paid for? How does that make him a significant figure in the wine business any more than any other successful manager? Same with Frescobaldi.

It's not to knock their achievements, but there are many people who were hired to manage estates and did so well?

Mondavi's achievements pre-dated this decade, as did the others in #5. All worthies, but their reputations are based on prior achievements.

Gary V came out of nowwhere really. He was a regular retailer who is now a world-wide phenom. I've met people all over the world who know him. You don't have to love the schtick to respect what he's done - he's the first credible critic outside of print for starters. Is there any other critic on TV, radio, or anywhere who has his reach? He pushed WL into e-commerce faster and farther than any other retailer, he revolutionized wine selling in the US, and he's replaced, or symbolizes the replacement of, print critics.

Eric Levine has also done that to a large extent. People go to their cellars, check CT for current drinking reports, and select a wine based on that. It's something that was never possible before he created CT. Both of these guys have done something very new and different. Prior to CT, people would clip out the WS chart or Parker chart and that was all they had to go on, even if the scores, notes, etc., were a year or two or three or five past.

Rhone Rangers are close to my heart because I like those wines, but I don't think they were all that important to the wine industry in Italy or Greece. They grow grenache in CA. That's nice, but how does it get them recognition as some of the most important people of the decade?

Tyler put it up but I'd have to say that Eric and Gary are two of the people who symbolize the decade - they made use of social media, they changed wine consumption patterns and the wine community itself, and they couldn't have existed in an earlier decade.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2466 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks GregT ... I was going to mention Eric and Gary V as well but also was thinking of an appropriate winemaker (but couldn't) who created a similar paradigm shift in the wine world.
 
Posts: 4948 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: Aug 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stickman - Your #1 criteria was "influence", which I agree with. By that criteria, Paul Giamatti's character (not the man himself) has had MUCH more influence on the wine market in the US this decade than your top pick, Manfred Krankl. Think about it, how many typical US wine consumers have even HEARD of SQN, much less tried it (as many on this board have not, including me). Yet how many now pick up a bottle of pinot noir at the grocery store instead of merlot as it is now perceived as a much "cooler" wine? Thank Sideways for that whether you like it or not. I voted for him on that basis.

I love CT and respect what Eric has done with it, though I think it is significant only among the relatively small wine enthusiast niche. I was also a little disappointed that he plugged CT with a header on his site regarding this vote that struck me as self serving.
 
Posts: 2978 | Location: Boca Raton, FL | Registered: Dec 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gary V ate my baby.


________________________________________
Oh.......Give me a woman that tastes like Rum or put me a-shore to Die!!!
 
Posts: 2645 | Location: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gary V was just the main feature on a wine piece on network TV CBS's Sunday morning.
 
Posts: 333 | Location: Ipswich, MA | Registered: Nov 10, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ZekeBoston:
Gary V was just the main feature on a wine piece on network TV CBS's Sunday morning.


Even Sunday Morning is not immune to poor judgment from time to time.
 
Posts: 29482 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:

Even Sunday Morning is not immune to poor judgment from time to time.

Big Grin
 
Posts: 15102 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by vinole:
I was also a little disappointed that he plugged CT with a header on his site regarding this vote that struck me as self serving.



i don't think that is totally fair. i think it shows that he respects this community enough to put it on his webpage. plus CT is a voluntary payment site which is pretty cool & i wouldn't consider self serving.

as far as the criticism about him being "wine person of the decade" i will agree with you that it is totally debatable.
 
Posts: 64 | Location: California | Registered: Nov 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ZekeBoston:
Gary V was just the main feature on a wine piece on network TV CBS's Sunday morning.
Sad.
 
Posts: 6210 | Location: OC, CA  | Registered: Aug 01, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by marinelli:
quote:
Originally posted by vinole:
I was also a little disappointed that he plugged CT with a header on his site regarding this vote that struck me as self serving.



i don't think that is totally fair. i think it shows that he respects this community enough to put it on his webpage. plus CT is a voluntary payment site which is pretty cool & i wouldn't consider self serving.

as far as the criticism about him being "wine person of the decade" i will agree with you that it is totally debatable.


Well, it was gone this morning. It came across as "vote for me" as it mentioned CT was leading on the Dr Vino site and asked people to vote.
 
Posts: 2978 | Location: Boca Raton, FL | Registered: Dec 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by vinole:
quote:
Originally posted by marinelli:
quote:
Originally posted by vinole:
I was also a little disappointed that he plugged CT with a header on his site regarding this vote that struck me as self serving.



i don't think that is totally fair. i think it shows that he respects this community enough to put it on his webpage. plus CT is a voluntary payment site which is pretty cool & i wouldn't consider self serving.

as far as the criticism about him being "wine person of the decade" i will agree with you that it is totally debatable.


Well, it was gone this morning. It came across as "vote for me" as it mentioned CT was leading on the Dr Vino site and asked people to vote.



i can see how it can come across like that. personally i always hated promoting myself & advertising. it did feel self serving but that is the game that everyone is playing.
 
Posts: 64 | Location: California | Registered: Nov 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi folks, I do find the whole "Person of the Decade" thing more than a bit preposterous, and a day before the poll was even posted (there were some separate blog posts and a pseudo nominating process) I expressed my own discomfort here:
http://www.cellartracker.com/forum/tm.asp?m=81863

Also if you look at the poll you will find my own comment early on:

On December 21st, 2009 at 3:49 pm ,Eric LeVine wrote:

Wow, I have to say, I am stunned, actually a little embarrassed. I just don’t feel deserving.

CellarTracker is about its users and not about me. I will be the first to tell you that CellarTracker is very deep and very sticky for the 40,000-50,000 wine lovers who use it weekly to track their cellars. That said, it is still a very niche application. Maybe as the number of user reviews stretches from 1 million to 10 or 15 million you may see it emerge as a Yelp of wine for the coming decade. I still don’t see how that makes ME a wine personality for the past decade though.

All that said, I am humbled by the comments both here and in the prior (nominating) thread. Mostly, I am just so happy that my ability to invent some technology can in any way deepen wine appreciation for others.

Sincerely,
-Eric LeVine
CellarTracker.com


Interestingly CT has been leading with anywhere from 40-60% of the vote from within an hour of this poll going live. Now I will admit, once the contest was running for a day, I am not above using the tools I have at my disposal, and I did have a link on my site. (I pulled it down last night after reading this thread.) I have been blown away not by the poll response but rather by the 40 comments that mention CellarTracker. I am quite surprised at the depth of reaction and how articulately people have expressed that.

And fair warning, in the next day or two (tonight if I can break away from my coding) I am going to release my end of year retrospective and a video-demo of the new site with a brief intro from me ... and I may well mention the poll.


___________
-Eric LeVine
It rhymes with wine...
 
Posts: 731 | Location: Seattle, WA | Registered: Oct 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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While I'm not a CellarTracker guy, I truly appreciate Eric. He always seems to be a stand-up and transparent person.

We wine enthusiast can always use more people with these traits contributing to the world of wine in my opinion.
 
Posts: 29482 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
While I'm not a CellarTracker guy, I truly appreciate Eric. He always seems to be a stand-up and transparent person.

We wine enthusiast can always use more people with these traits contributing to the world of wine in my opinion.

Thank you. That is a very kind thing to say and is what I strive for. I'm actually just a nerd.


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-Eric LeVine
It rhymes with wine...
 
Posts: 731 | Location: Seattle, WA | Registered: Oct 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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C'mon Eric just take the wine person of the decade reward already!!


________________________________________
Oh.......Give me a woman that tastes like Rum or put me a-shore to Die!!!
 
Posts: 2645 | Location: Edmonton | Registered: Feb 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric LeVine:
Interestingly, CT has been leading with anywhere from 40-60% of the vote from within an hour of this poll going live. Now I will admit, once the contest was running for a day, I am not above using the tools I have at my disposal, and I did have a link on my site. (I pulled it down last night after reading this thread.) I have been blown away not by the poll response but rather by the 40 comments that mention CellarTracker. I am quite surprised at the depth of reaction and how articulately people have expressed that.


Eric, you have always conducted yourself in a class manner, which is why that header didn't quite fit with my perception. I'm glad you took it down as you obviously don't need the help Big Grin. I have admitted I didn't vote for you based on the reasons previously stated, but you are certainly my choice for a Wine Enthusiast's Person of the Decade, as CT has made my wine drinking experience more enjoyable by better knowing when to drink a wine, getting vastly more opinions on a wine, and knowing what others are paying. Not to mention all the reports you can generate. A great product from a passionate and class guy.
 
Posts: 2978 | Location: Boca Raton, FL | Registered: Dec 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Eric your humble response is appreciated. I have created online applications in the past for certain niche markets more out of the passion for the subject then to cash in on a quick buck so i can truly appreciate what you have created. I have a feeling this is just the beginning & you are just scratching the surface. Salute!
 
Posts: 64 | Location: California | Registered: Nov 03, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i voted for gregt.


-----------------------------

Go Yankees! Razz


 
Posts: 8463 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: Nov 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Eric LeVine:

I'm actually just a nerd.


Eric, nerd's can be a stand-up and transparent person also. Wink

On a side note, I'm thinking about taking an inventory before the end of the year. If I do, I will finally cave in and join CellarTracker. Eek

Hopefully, this will get all of my friends off of my back. Wink
 
Posts: 29482 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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w+a, if you do take an inventory with a goal of getting to CT, you can do a shorthand into Excel (don't be obsessive about the wine name details as these are just for searching the CT database) and then use the bulk import tool. Please also note that you can then download any data you put into CT, including the full wine name details once you match them as described here: http://www.cellartracker.com/bulkfaq.asp


___________
-Eric LeVine
It rhymes with wine...
 
Posts: 731 | Location: Seattle, WA | Registered: Oct 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Eric your humbleness is like the guy that won the Peace Prize.

You have provided a great tool for enjoyment of wine. I'd be lost without it.

Yes. Accept the award, you truly deserve it. Thanks for all the work and perseverance.

PS: Yes CBS goofed.


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Ed Bowers
Live simply, Laugh often, Wine a lot!!!
 
Posts: 6108 | Location: Palm Beach Gardens FL | Registered: Nov 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ed, fortunately wine is a lot less political topic than Nobel prizes.

Palm Beach Gardens? That is where my Mom lives in the wintertime, at Ballen Isles.


___________
-Eric LeVine
It rhymes with wine...
 
Posts: 731 | Location: Seattle, WA | Registered: Oct 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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GregT...I think you hit the nail squarely on the head.

Gary V - I had no idea his WL TV would take off the way it did. I still remember when I posted this:

http://forums.winespectator.co...=220108283#220108283

After he first got it off the ground. I found it more humorous (still do) than useful. He's a great personality and comedian. And...I suppose that's most of what people really want these days...they want the marketing, and a personality equal to or more than the product itself. That's where we are with music(Lady Ga Ga), sports(Tiger), and politics(Palin). Even negative marketing is good (I think Tiger will prove this in another year...Martha Stewart and a host of others sure have).

Eric - Even though you claim to be a "nerd"...you've revolutionized wine reviewing. And provided technological savy to help us everyday wine consumers. I still think we've yet to see the full impact of what you've accomplished. Right now the wine market still relies heavily on the "critic". But, I see this changing with more and more influence toward a cellartracker like audience over the years. Maybe with your site growing larger, and maybe with others popping up as well. One day people won't have to think about paying for a review they can trust...


So much wine.....so little time!!!
 
Posts: 7015 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 20, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Eric LeVine:
Ed, fortunately wine is a lot less political topic than Nobel prizes.

Palm Beach Gardens? That is where my Mom lives in the wintertime, at Ballen Isles.


Live in PGA National, just across the turnpike. Our office is in shopping center here at turnpike entrance.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: E A Bowers [FlWino],


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Posts: 6108 | Location: Palm Beach Gardens FL | Registered: Nov 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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