Text Size:-+

Results From the Vinography Reader Survey

A few weeks ago I conducted the first survey of who you folks are and what the heck you're doing here at Vinography. I wanted to know something about my readership, and so I created a quick 20 questions to find out. Thank you again, to all of you who took the time to fill out the survey. I'd also like to extend a special thank you to my wife, who actually knew how to compile and analyze all this data. Thanks to her help, I'm pleased to be able to share the following statistics with you:

In general, my readers tend to be male (73%) and have a college degree or higher (89%). 31% have graduate degrees, and the average age of my readers is 41 years old. 94% of the respondents were located in the US, and 6% were international.

C'mon ladies. Either you're reluctant to fill out my survey, or I need to do some sort of outreach!

69% of you have known about Vinography for at least several months, and 18% of you have known about us for more than a year. 23% of you, however, have only been reading for a few weeks.

Most of you discovered Vinography through an Internet search or through a listing of RSS feeds somewhere, like Yahoo.

A full 24% of you visit daily, and 45% of you visit several times per week. In total at least 96% of you are here once per week. That's fantastic.

The reason that most of you are here (77%) is to increase your wine knowledge. 22% of you said you visited mostly for entertainment or pleasure.

The sections of Vinography you report reading regularly:

Wine reviews - 83%
Restaurant reviews - 37%
Activities & Events - 24%
Ramblings & Rants - 62%
Wine news - 66%

These numbers are interesting because they are very different from what my site statistics tell me, which is that my restaurant reviews are consistently the highest trafficked pages on the site. I speculate that this means that loyal readers (those more likely to fill out the survey) are more interested in my wine content than my restaurant content, but random Google searches (one of my highest referrers) tend to be more focused on restaurants.

A full 34% of you have purchased a wine that I have recommended. Bravo!

71% of you rate your knowledge of wine as "Intermediate" or higher. 25% of you rate yourselves as beginners.

You folks are really active when it comes to wine in your lives:

Frequent wine bars - 50%
Attend tastings - 71%
Visit wineries frequently - 47%
Take wine-relate vacations - 46%
Order wine regularly with meals - 90%

62% of you purchased more than 5 cases of wine in the past year, and 39% of you own more than 11 cases of wine.

If your entire spending budget was $10 each week, you would spend, on average, $5.40 on food and wine. You pay on average $22 per bottle of wine you buy. That's a lot higher than I thought it would be.

85% of you are consumers with no other relationship to the wine industry, but 15% of you are winemakers, retailers, restaurateurs, or in the wine business in some way. 37% of you couldn't resist checking a box labeled "wine addict."

34% of you participate in some sort of wine club, and 76% of you are on at least "a few" winery mailing lists.

Finally, there were some questions where I asked you what you found the most valuable about Vinography, and what improvements you would like to see.

"Will you review a requested wine if asked? I'm pretty new to the site, but I would like to know what you think about certain winemakers." My response: If you really want to know what I think of a specific wine, just e-mail me, and tell me why. I am willing to seek out wines to review if you are really excited about me doing it.

Several of you complained that I was too San Francisco centric, especially when it came to restaurant reviews. My response: Yes, I think so too. I just need to travel more, but my business has been local for the past 8 months. Anyone interested in flying me anywhere to review the restaurants in their town?

Some of you wanted more California focus, while others want less California and more of a global focus. My response: I'm feeling pretty good about the balance at the moment, which is about 70/30, but if I was going to err in one direction it would be towards global.

Several of you wanted me to send you free wine. My response: HA!

Several of you suggested layout or design improvements to the site. My response: I'm considering a redesign, but I'm fairly happy with how things are now.

Some people wanted more wine reviews every week. My response: Me too. I'm going to try and do more reviewing and less blathering.

Some folks wanted to see me do more reviews in the sub-$15 range of wine prices. My response: I am trying to make sure I provide a number of reviews each month of wines below $20, but many of the inexpensive wines I buy are between $15 and $20. Which is also the case for most of my readership, according to this survey.

Some of you wanted more news, some want more restaurant reviews, some want more essays, and others want more humor. My response:: I'm writing as fast as I can! I'm trying to create a site that I would want to read. As a result the mix of what I post will vary and evolve over time.

A full 30% of you who filled out the survey expressed either satisfaction with the site as it is, or expressed a desire for nothing to change as you really enjoyed the site as it was, including a fervent desire for me not to "sell out" and become "corporate."

I've got no plans to sell Vinography to Marvin Shanken, so never fear!

Again, thank you for taking the survey, and I hope you enjoyed the results.

Comments (15)

Terry Hughes wrote:
08.15.05 at 8:59 PM

Alder, this is a terrific article. Thanks for all you do for us addicts. It really is one of the best wine blogs around, and I'm prejudiced!

David wrote:
08.16.05 at 10:43 AM

How would you rate Copolla 2001 Claret?
It has become one of my favorite wines.

Alder wrote:
08.16.05 at 10:48 AM


I think the Coppola Black Label Claret, and the 2001 in particular, is one of the best supermarket wines available. It has been one of the Vinography "house wines" for years. Stretching my sense memory a bit, I think the '01 rates slightly higher than an 8.5 on my 10 point scale.

John wrote:
08.16.05 at 10:49 AM

Good summary information. Ar the survey questions on line? How many people took the survey? What % of readers is this? Lastly, what was the audience geographic mix? Thanks!

Alder wrote:
08.16.05 at 11:00 AM


I mentioned the geographic information in the demographics section of the survey results (94% US, 6% Intl). The survey questions should still be available, I think, pending the limitations of the service I used. See: http://www.vinography.com/archives/000693.html for the URL.

Several hundred people took the survey over the course of a couple of days. It's impossible to know what percentage of my readership this is, but such surveys in my experience get about a 5 to 10% response rate. If you're trying to get a handle on my traffic, I now get about 4000 unique visits per day, which translates into upwards of 700,000 hits per month.

Lenn wrote:
08.16.05 at 11:03 AM

I am QUITE jealous of that traffic...but I imagine fewer people want to read about NY wines.

I think you'd sell to Marv if he showed you the money ;) haha.

Alder wrote:
08.16.05 at 11:06 AM

I'm shocked that you think I'd sell out so easily!

Of course, everyone has their price, but mine's too high for Shanken.

Lenn wrote:
08.16.05 at 1:54 PM

Come on, Alder. Everything about your site screams "shill" and "sell out"...

Joking of course...and still jealous of the traffic.

Fatemeh wrote:
08.18.05 at 11:38 AM

Alder, it's no surprise to me that you have the kind of readership you do.

It makes you a tremendously "valuable" entity, in more ways than one.

I don't think Lenn's actually jealous, but rather envious... Thanks for being a consistent voice in the wine-writing world.

Alder wrote:
08.18.05 at 12:25 PM


Thanks for the kind words!

MLE wrote:
08.19.05 at 2:21 PM

Alder, I for one would be interested in hearing more about those "Vinography house wines"; it's always easier to find a good $25 (or more) bottle for a special occasion than a decent $12 bottle to take home for a weeknight dinner.

Alder wrote:
08.19.05 at 2:45 PM


Quite a few of them can be found in my "under $20 category" on the site, but I'll look into doing a post summarizing them sometime in the near future.

Christie Love wrote:
08.20.05 at 9:34 AM

I missed your poll, but you asked for the female voices to step up, so consider at least one.

Anyway, you do a great job. I enjoy reading not only your tasting notes but your rants and ramblings.

Very nice that Steve Edmunds will be posting. I look forward to this.

Christie Love
The Wine Shop ~ Healdsburg

Alder wrote:
08.21.05 at 4:21 PM

Thanks Christie,

I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Steve will be posting another piece on Monday, so watch for that.

Natalie D'emur wrote:
03.24.11 at 3:55 AM


I am interesting ADS- on the your website,
please send me offer /type/size/price and etc....

Thank you

Best Regards


Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Tallying the Damage from the Napa Quake Vinography Images: A Sea of Blue Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 14, 2014 The Taste of Something New: Introducing Solminer Wines Vinography Images: Swift Work Social Media Answers the Question: Where Did Australian Wine Go Wrong Hourglass, Napa Valley: Current and Upcoming Releases Drought Problems? Just Have an Earthquake Vinography Images: Just One Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 1, 2014

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.