We have long been interested in the spread of wine label scanning apps here at Jancis Robinson.com, with Richard having produced reports on their relative efficacy in 2015 and 2016. I thought I would ask the two most successful examples, Vivino and Delectable, where they were most frequently used. The results below were, to me, unexpected.
I would suspect most non-Brazilians would be surprised by how significant Brazil in general and São Paulo (pictured) in particular are in Vivino's usage. For an explanation I asked Rodrigo Mainardi, one of the very first Purple Pagers back in 2001 when he was 'merely' an enthusiastic wine consumer and who has been working for São Paulo wine importer Mistral for the last 11 years. This is his response:
1 It’s the easy ticket in for ‘wine knowledge'.
2 People – specially 'nouveau riche’ people – like to show off.
The culture of drinking wine is very new in Brazil. It started in 1990 when the government opened the doors for imported goods. Most of the people who can afford to drink wine in Brazil are people with new money and in general they are not willing to study. Those smartphone apps started with young people who work in banks and, since wine lovers are connected, it spread fast as an easy way to be an instant expert and at the same time show off to your friends. Over here it’s common for people to use the apps to scan a label in a wedding or party to check if the wine ‘is good’ and to check how much it costs. It’s really a pity! But that’s only my vision...
I asked another wine-loving friend based in São Paulo and his equally savage take was:
Haha, you know our wine drinkers haven't changed one iota since your first visit here [in 2007]: the new rich label exhibitionist. These are people who are now almost using Yquem as mouthwash. And those who have no money have all the ticks and tocks of the spender cum collector. Even when drinking a humble Concha y Toro, they register it on some app (after decanting and waiting hours for it to open) and then compare vintages of nondescript wines. In sum: we didn't learn anything except the gestures and gadgets. A shame. And Brazil loves social media, you know. Among the bigger users of Facebook and Instagram and all that. Best from real winter in São Paulo (some around-zero temperatures, absolutely unexpected and 50-year records).
I'm also a bit surprised that Vivino is used more in Italy and France than in the UK. All three have very similar populations of 60-something million but I didn't realise there was such active interest in wine among consumers in the two major wine-producing countries. Considering their relatively small populations, Holland (pop 17m) and, particularly, Denmark (pop 5.7m) seem exceptional concentrations of Vivino usage – but then Vivino's headquarters are in Copenhagen.
Top 15 countries (total users)
|Country||April 2015||April 2016||YOY growth|
Top ten cities (active users)
|City||Mar-April 2015||Mar-April 2016||YOY growth|
As for Delectable's statistics, this San Francisco-based outfit is, perhaps predictably, strongest in the US, but London is the third most important city for them – indeed the only non-American city in their top ten – and Delectable seems to be strengthening in the US. It would seem that, although label scanning apps are in theory completely global in reach, it does matter where they are based.
Top 15 countries (rank)
|United States|| 1 ||1||1.81%|
|United Kingdom||3||2 ||-0.83%|
|Argentina||14||18|| 0.02% |
|Switzerland||15||14|| 0.12% |
Top ten cities
| City |
| New York |
| San Francisco |
| Washington DC |
| Los Angeles |
| San Diego |