Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crappy Websites

What is it with crappy websites for wines/wineries? As a sommelier I live for information - I want to know how the wine was made, was it steel fermented or barrel fermented, cultured yeasts or natural, has malo-lactic fermentation taken place or not, new oak or old oak, the list of questions goes on and on. Yet finding this information from websites is incredibly difficult. Ive just spent the last ten minutes waiting on a winery website loading an excruciatingly slow flash presentation that presented me with no option whatsoever to bypass it. And the end result after waiting so long, was that Im still no more knowledgable about the wine than I was before. I gave up trying to navigate the ridiculous menu that was more about being cutting edge and less about providing me with what I wanted - ie info.

To any wineries/pr people etc who might still read this, or may well come across it, here are a few suggestions to keep you on the right path.
1) make your webiste easy to navigate. Sounds simple, but so many seem to get it wrong. Going back to a home page is one thing that is most often negected.
2) Flash is a pain in the arse to navigate, slow to load (Im working here on a dedicated high-speed networked system and its still dead slow, feel sorry for the poor suckers on crappy broadband packages!)
3) Provide pdf files of information on your wines, sommeliers love this!!!!!!
4) Dont try too hard to be the next Bonny Doon website - be creative but remember why people are visiting the site - to find out more about your wines.
5) WTF is up with the bullshit about having to be 18/21 to access the website??? You hosting hard-core pron or something? Since when did licenscing laws prevent access to information about alcohol? I dont get id'd when I buy a copy of Robert Parkers wine guide or the latest Decanter magazine. You can encourage responsable drinking by being more open about alcohol, teaching people about what it is, how it affects your body/behaviour etc, not hiding behind some ridiculous restrictive access.


Mark Gifford said...

Will take up the pdf advice for the individual wines - never really thought someone would want to take it away.


Alfonso Cevola said...

Why they use Flash I'll never know. I ranted about that three years ago here:

pajama farmer said...

Got a good laugh out of this post.
It's sad that it is so true.
Just give me some real info not some emty fluff. I want to know everything too, and they just do not realize that people want to know every detail, It's should rant more.