NYC wine power list: #1 – Eric Asimov

Screen shot 2013 03 28 at 11.05.25 PM The most influential person in the New York City world of wine is Eric Asimov, chief wine critic of the New York Times. This is according to our survey of industry elites, where Asimov was the lead vote-getter by a wide margin.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, and a nephew of Isaac Asimov, Eric Asimov has been at the Times since 1984 as both an editor and a columnist. In 1992, he created the “$25 and under” restaurant reviews and gained a wide following. He segued into wine writing toward the end of Frank Prial’s career, becoming the chief wine critic at the paper in 2004. His wine column alternates biweekly between wine reviews resulting from panel tastings and columns without recommendations per se that explore producers, regions, or aspects of wine culture. He writes in his 2012 book “How to Love Wine” that wine has become an “exercise in anxiety” for many and he seeks to ease that in the book that is a “memoir and a manifesto.” The book is nominated for an award from the James Beard Foundation for best wine and spirits book. Asimov will also be inducted into the “Who’s Who of American Food & Beverage” from the Foundation.

While his column generally moves wine, one shop owner told me that–consistent with the following of his erstwhile “$25 and Under” dining column–his annual “best wines under $20″ was the column that sent readers to the shop, printout in hand.

Congratulations to Eric Asimov on winning the poll’s top honor!

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16 Responses to “NYC wine power list: #1 – Eric Asimov”


  1. Well deserved! Good man!


  2. Congratulations and well deserved! Eric seems to really have the pulse on what’s happening in the wine world. His topics are always interesting, of the moment without trying to be trendy


  3. Bravo….. Well deserve. He did indeed open up the wine horizon in NYC with his writings and blog

    Well done!


  4. Since I am not in NYC, I hope it is OK if I comment on this pick. Best out of the five.


  5. As a newcomer to Public Relations, I will always remember Eric’s kindness and support for my efforts. Eric’s sense of humor, fairness and kindness are as admirable as is his influence. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Eric.
    Thank you, too, Tyler for spotlighting these extraordinary wine professionals.


  6. Well how about that. Nice guy finishes first!

    I’ve never met him, but I used to post regularly at The Pour, and, not to be repetitive, but he was kind and supportive and funny and clearly a first-class human being.


  7. Looks like this is really a list of the most powerful among New York wine hipsters. If there’s anybody in New York more powerful industry-wide than Marvin Shanken it would be interesting to hear whom. Then there’s Chalie Marinoff and Larry Goodrich, whose companies probably sell well over half the wine in metro New York and have for years. But they don’t sell hipster-approved wine, so…


  8. Aw, c’mon. David Lillie didn’t make the list, and neither did Levi Dalton. Hey, how about a list of wine hipsters who have influenced Marvin Shanken? ;-)


  9. Well deserved to all …though I want to give a shout out to Kevin Zraly. Kevin’s influence on the world of NY wine should not be overlooked. A case can be made that he started the NY wine scene and his Window’s on the World Wine School is still going strong in its 37th year..


  10. The influence of Zraly is pretty incredible. 37 years? Wow. Wonder how many people have taken his classes and how many of them got into the trade as a result?


  11. eric asimov would have been my #1 pick, although i didn’t realize marvin shanken lived in ny. he’s probably the most influential person in the wine industry on this planet. hope the next list includes a wine maker, either an urban winemaker or one on long island.


  12. Dear “Wino”,
    It’s not the size of your saber, but how you wield it.


  13. Thanks for the discussion on these posts over the past week. I’ll post a more detailed post about the survey and results here in the next day or two.


  14. Cheers Mr. Asimov!
    I have been a loyal follower of your work for many years and am gratified to see you recognized like this by your peers!
    Congratulations Eric, and keep giving us your incredible insights into a vatiety of intersting areas of this complex anomaly we refer to as the “world of wine”.


  15. [...] Eric Asimov, NYT Paul Grieco, Hearth and Terroir wine bars Michael Skurnik, Michael Skurnik Wines Daniel Johnnes, Dinex Group, Daniel Johnnes Imports, and La Paulée Joe Dressner, Louis/Dressner – LDM Selections [...]


  16. Loved his book and read everything he writes. Such a soulful and spiritual outlook on wine (and life!).


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