Wine critic Jeremy Oliver to launch online platform for wine retail

Australian wine critic and author, Jeremy Oliver, has developed a new online retail platform for wine tailored to user experience, featuring a website and online store with a recommendation engine, an accompanying app and WeChat store, and a library of Oliver’s tasting notes, articles and videos.

Oliver describes the current online wine market as “a race to the bottom in price, where brands fear to tread but typically feel fearful not to participate”.

The new online platform, Oliver’s Wines, will launch in the coming months in time for the 2023 Christmas market. The platform will focus on both Australian and international wine, and will be available in English and Chinese.

Oliver’s Wines will feature an online store whose curated range will include only the wines Oliver believes are the very best in their various price ranges.

The wine recommendation engine will recommend wines to each user based only on their favourites – irrespective of trends or ‘what’s in the shed’. Users will be encouraged to provide feedback on each purchase, enabling the system to fine-tune its ability to recognise and recommend towards each individual’s tastes.

“I see missed opportunity everywhere. Online wine retail should be all about the user experience”, Oliver said. “It should provide in-depth and truthful information about wines, engage customers with the narratives behind brands and labels and treat each customer as an individual, rather than just another minor component of a vast, anonymous and monochromatic herd.”

“Too many Australian online wine retailers are simply flogging what they have sitting in their shed, much of which is purchased at distressed levels of discount, which they then dress up with elevated ratings and sell at unsustainably low prices. Consumers are being fed the lie that they should be happy to buy wines simply because they are cheaper than their typical retail price, rather than because they will actually enjoy the contents of the bottle,” said Oliver.

Oliver’s Wines will offer all content without a subscription fee, and will not charge wine brands for Oliver to taste or review their wines. Wine brands will also be able to share Oliver’s content on their wines free of charge, so long as it is linked to the website.

“With Oliver’s Wines, I want to use technology to provide an old-fashioned retail experience which recognises each customer and treats them respectfully and honestly. As a critic, I want to rate and comment on all the major wines in Australia, regardless of whether or not they’re for sale on this platform. My opinion is not for sale, just as it never has been.”

“In short, we want to help the wine buyer through the provision of information and truly personalised recommendation. We want to help the industry by removing the costs associated with wine media coverage and by encouraging and supporting quality. We want to build long-term relationships with buyers and producers of wine that stands out from the pack – not by price but by quality”, he says.

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