(This post “In 2017, the most influential wine critic in the world will be neither a woman, nor a man!” was written by Guillaume Jourdan. Reach him via Linkedin.)
From the 1982 vintage in Bordeaux until recently, Robert Parker has been the most influential wine critic in the world, and today many people are wondering who will follow him. Robert Parker certainly left his mark on the history of wine, but I’m convinced that we are now entering a totally new era in which neither a man nor a woman will reign supreme. After the man whose recommendations were closely followed by professional buyers, wine lovers, and collectors, comes the era of a source of recommendations that will be followed by vast numbers of consumers all over the world. And 2017 will see the start of this phenomenon. It won’t be human in the strict sense of the word; it will be a conversational platform…or Chatbot.
The most influential expert – the winebot, the chatbot of wine – will be neither Man nor Woman, yet it won’t dehumanize wine reviewing. On the contrary, technology will humanize and personalize the winebot’s advice. It will help you choose your wine by taking into consideration 1) its skills, 2) your expressed wishes, and 3) the opinions of friends that you trust. Just like an art or cinema critic, each expert has their own subjective approach to wine, and it is precisely because there are divergent points of view that, in the future, the most influential critic will adapt to your preferences via the chatbot. From the 100/100 score given by a wine critic at a given point in time, we will move to a multi-dimensional 100/100 score, thanks to the new chat method.
Let’s start the conversation:
Winebot: “Hello, how can I help you?”
You: “I’m looking for a wine for this evening.”
Then a series of questions follow, culminating in various suggestions:
Winebot: “The first wine recommended is XXX.”
So far, nothing really new here except for this conversational approach. And the passage from text to voice will only be a matter of time, given the major progress that has been made in voice recognition and synthesis. But cross-matching data will accord even more credibility to the most influential wine expert’s recommendations:
You: “What do my friends think of this wine?”
Winebot: “Anne gave it a score of XX. She liked it because…”
Winebot: “Kevin also liked this wine because it is…”
Here the classic recommendation of a wine expert is combined with the personal recommendations of your trusted friends. The comments of a friend who recommends a proposed wine serve to build your positive opinion and facilitate your decision. Cross referencing of information, via databases, allows the winebot to refine its suggestions:
You: “Kevin will be with us this evening.”
Winebot: “You can buy this wine now, he will like it.”
Thanks to the chatbot, users can directly ask their smartphone to help with their purchases, without ever leaving the interface that they are familiar with. The next most influential wine expert will guide you right through to the moment of buying.
In 2016 the apps war was at its height in the wine sector, and yet things will not develop down that road in 2017. The wine expert app that offers advice and recommendations in real time is already a thing of the past. The future is far more complex, connected and close to the consumer. The post-app era is upon us, and it is towards chatbots that we must now turn. Ever more personalized, the new most influential expert in the world will respond to a strong demand in the complex and particularly intimidating universe of wine. Human conversation will be the core strategy of the future world’s most influential critic. Isn’t life great in 2017 ?