I’ve done a few lists and I have to tell you they are one of the toughest assignments you can give yourself. To tackle the top 100 most influential people in wine has to be practically impossible. That is exactly what Michael Cervin www.intowine.com attempted to do. I say attempted, because the way I see it, it is as flawed a list as I have seen in awhile.
First off, Jancis Robinson is not on the list. How crazy is that? Why not leave Teddy Roosevelt off the list of greatest United States Presidents. In the top ten you have Matt Kramer (Wine Specatator columnist), James Laube (Wine Spectator Columnist) and Marvin Shanken (Editor and Publisher of Wine Spectator). First off, a lot of us bloggers and wine writers do not think as highly of Kramer as he does himself, and I have trouble believing he can influence a child to eat ice cream. I like James Laube (he takes a great photo), but to put him ahead of Kermit Lynch or Steven Tanzer is absolutely ludicrous. Marvin Shanken probably deserves a spot at the top but it had to cost him a lot to get his two buddies up there with him.
One of the more perplexing placements is Annette-Alvares-Peters (Merchandising Manager of spirits/wine/beer for Costco) at #2. You are going to sell a lot of wine at Costco if your name is Casey Anthony. They have a ton of stores, with a ton of customers and their prices are ridunculous. Gee, let me think. Fred Franzia is at #22. I think he is more apt to be on the list of most influential for the use of cosmetics. His wines have more makeup on them then Kim Kardashian. The one that made me laugh until my ribs hurt was the placement of Anthony Blue at #20. This is the guy that bashed wine blogs a couple of years ago and never printed a retraction. He is a fossil in the wine world and the only placement he deserves is in a museum.
Joe Roberts (1Winedude) is at #15. I really think that since he is the wine columnist for Playboy.com #69 might have been a better spot for him. 🙂 Tom Wark ahead of Alice Feiring and Kevin Zraly. Really? The Academy might as well have voted Ted best picture over Argo. Wilfred at #13 might be a wong choice since he is a passenger in a big vehicle that could probably move cases without him. This may be the last year to see Antonio in the top twenty. Just ask Suckling what it’s like to go solo. Was James on that list? I can’t remember. And last but not least, I think that Mr. Vaynerchuk should have been somewhere on there. Because, although he is not in the wine public’s eye right now, his personality hangs around like the smell of ripe cheese.
Like I said, lists are hard to do and they leave you open to scrutiny for any smart-ass critic out there. I admire the effort…But the results are suspect. Cheers! Stanthewineman