Do guest ever come in and say "hey, I saw so-and-so's post on Instagram and now I want a bottle of whatchamacallit!"? If so, what are they asking for? And who are those "influencers" who are inspiring them to drink more of Brand X or region Y?
Absolutely. We see specific requests at Corkbuzz for wines by the glass or bottle that we feature through various outlets, as well as requests from wines that are featured elsewhere. Somm3 has definitely helped move some specific bottles.
Industry wide I think this is still something that people are "feeling out" slowly and figuring out how specific to get. WOSA is really pushing the wines of the entire country as a whole right now and I personally think it's awesome.
To add on to my previous comment. Oftentimes I find that the real influential sources are still reviews and articles, but these reviews and articles are linked or posted through social media like twitter or Instagram nowadays and that is what is largely introducing the information to a new audience.
I still think a lot of consumers trust critic scores whether they admit it or not, lists like the winespectator top 100, articles from trusted sources like Eric Asimov. I don’t think many people in my generation (under 30) are reading these sources on their own regularly, but when an “influencer” links or references wines through these more established outlets it can be powerful. Probably more powerful than one influencer telling you what to drink. As people establish their own credibility over time, I do think social media alone will emerge to compete with these traditional outlets, but it’s not there yet.