FREE! Subscribe to News Fetch, THE daily wine industry briefing - Click Here

Sponsored by:

Wine Industry Insight: Your 98.1% solution — An exercise in meaningless data

Wine Business Monthly’s “95% solution” is a ridiculous distortion of data. The Wine Business Monthly’s 2020 Advertising Planning Guide asserts that:

“95% of the 330,155,000 cases of wine produced in the U.S. are made by wineries that read Wine Business Monthly.

In a previous article we pointed out that their claim could be satisfied by having just 1 subscriber at each of the top 100 U.S. wineries.

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 2.19.03 PM

To illustrate the intellectual bankruptcy of that concept, we decided to describe our own — Wine Industry Insight’s —  “Market Coverage” in exactly the same way. Please keep in mind that our results are just as meaningless as WBM’s.

The method in our 98.1% madness

Since WBM does not publish a list of the top 100 wineries, we sought the next best source: The Beverage Information Group’s Wine handbook which has a list of the top 120 wine brands by volume. That handbook costs $1,100 which we thought was a bit pricey to buy in order to prove this particular point.

Accordingly, we visited the Sonoma County Wine Library in Healdsburg, but found their budget only allowed the 2017 edition. Sonoma State doesn’t have it at all and they referred us to UC Davis. That was two weeks ago and we’re still waiting for the UC Davis library to respond.

However, since even the best data would be irrelevant in this perverted distortion of data, we went ahead and compared our subscriber list with the top 120 wine brands.

The result? We are your 98.1% solution!

Here’s how we tortured the data using WBM’s basic rationale.

Our method of torturing data

We scanned our current subscriber database for Top Level Domain emails of wineries in the Top 120 U.S. wine brands .

(A Top Level Domain (TLD)is what comes after the “@” in  an email which all have the fiorm of NAME@TLD ….)

Our first pass found that we lacked five TLDs for wineries.We later found those people using “generic” TLDs such as or

However, touting “100% solution” seemed too over-the-top even for an exercise in tortured logic that was screaming for mercy.

Full transparency

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 11.01.34 AM

Even though WBM is notoriously non-transparent in their data and advertising claims, we went all the way.

The tiny graphic of the Top 120 US wine brands, to the left, is from an Excel spreadsheet which can be found at this link.

In addition, this recent .csv file contains the most recent list of Wine Industry Insight’s 33,767 verified daily News Fetch subscribers.

The file can be opened with Excel.

User names have been redacted for privacy protections. Total database contains 69,205.

This means that 48.7 percent of all the wine industry people who have ever gotten an email issue of Wine Industry Insight over the past 11 years are still subscribing despite the fact that — unlike WBM — we are insanely easy to UNsubscribe from. (Scroll down for more on that.)

Actual delivery numbers vary from day to day and month to month as new subscribers sign up or unsubscribe.

Source Material

Data came from pages 18 and 19 of the wine handbook. See below.


Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 2.54.07 PM

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 2.53.13 PM

News Fetch: easy to UNsubscribe. WBM Daily? Not so much.

We personally don’t like it when emails try to trap us into staying by hiding the UNsubscribe link.

We think that trying to maintain a certain subscriber base by kidnapping users is dishonest.

We feel that maintaining and growing our subscriber base should be predicated on providing the best, most relevant and useful information.

If you can’t hang on to your subscribers that way, you don’t deserve subscribers.


The first screen of every News Fetch email offers TWO bright red links to Unsubscribe. And a third Unsubscribe is at the bottom.Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 11.24.04 AM

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 11.24.33 AM

Wine Business Monthly’s Daily email is hard to UNsubscribe from

One link to subscribe at the top and a tiny UNsubscribe at the very, very,very bottom. So very bottom it is the last line. Buried.

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 11.37.37 AM
Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 11.29.56 AM