Georgina Braham

100 luxury Instagram accounts to follow: Wine and Whisky

These are the leading writers, critics, sommeliers and aficionados to follow, whether you want tips on the best whisky distilleries to visit, advice on pairing wine with food or a guide to the wines of Thailand

Named after a benign fungus used in the cultivation of certain grapes, Noble Rot began life as a hip magazine dedicated to the best wine, food and graphic arts. A highlight is its gastronomic-themed interviews with artists, comedians and musicians. Since 2015, Noble Rot has also expanded into the restaurant business, opening two locations in London’s Bloomsbury and Soho neighbourhoods. The latter won ‘Wine List of the Year’ in both 2021 and 2022 at the National Restaurant Awards.

It took the Glaswegian spirits writer Dave Broom 10 years to pen his latest book, A Sense of Place: A Journey around Scotland’s Whisky (out 29 September 2022). During that time, he has used social media to document his findings as he travels around the country to learn about topics spanning sustainability, bioregionalism, forestry and glassmaking — as well as what the future may hold for some of Scotland’s historic whisky-making communities.

After quitting her job in finance in 1990, Indiana-born Andrea Robinson spent six months travelling across Europe learning about wine. Seven years later, she became the first woman to be named Best Sommelier in the United States by the Sommelier Society of America — and she is one of only 34 female Master Sommeliers in the world. As the sommelier for Delta Airlines, she also has the enviable task of tasting more than 2,000 wines on land and in the air to compare the effects of altitude on taste. Her account is full of industry-insider knowledge and she often shares her passion for sustainable wine producers.

A paradise for whisky lovers in Asia, Club Qing, located in Hong Kong, has been serving rare and old whiskies since 2015. It specialises in Japanese and Scotch varieties, with many on offer coming from defunct ‘ghost’ distilleries. Others are nearly a century old. On Instagram, it shares tasting notes from some of the most hard-to-come-by bottles on its shelves.

Billing itself as the #1 destination for ‘wine beginners and beyond’, Wine Folly posts regular reviews, quizzes, food pairing notes and gift guides for every level of connoisseur. It even has its own wine club. The woman behind it is Madeline Puckette, who uses her background in graphic design to create clever infographics covering topics such as how to choose the ideal champagne flute, and at what point wine should be cellared.

William Kelley is a journalist with a penchant for reviewing Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Madeira and English sparkling wine. He is also the Deputy Editor of Robert Parker Wine Advocate, a website that contains professional critics’ tasting notes for nearly half a million different wines. On Instagram you can see photos of some of the oldest and rarest wines he samples — including a handful so special that they are known as ‘unicorns’.

Bringing together people from across the world who share a passion for all things Champagne, this account is a combination of submissions of followers’ favourite bottles, alongside regular Champagne facts. For instance, did you know that in order to loosen gathering sediment, a good cellar master can rotate up to 40,000 bottles of Champagne by hand in a single day?

Shinya Tasaki is a Japanese sommelier who in 1995 became the first — and to date only — Asian national to be named Best Sommelier in the World by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. He also received the Yellow Ribbon Medal of Honour from the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to the profession of sommelier. This feed documents the regular meetings of his Tokyo wine club, where members gather to enjoy wines from around the world, often paired with Franco-Japanese cooking.

Decanter is one of the leading voices on all things wine. Through its print magazine, website and social media channels it guides the opinions of more than 2 million aficionados in more than 100 countries. As well as regular news, reviews and travel guide pieces, Decanter also holds regular tasting events and the world’s largest annual wine competition.

As the wine critic for The New York Times, Eric Asimov is one of the most influential wine writers in America. Instagram is a great way to stay up-to-date with his latest articles for the newspaper, which cover everything from the best temperatures at which to serve red wines, to whether there is a more eco-friendly alternative to glass wine bottles.

Noortje is the woman behind Whisky Lifestyle, a blog that offers whisky tasting notes and travel guides — including the best places to visit for brilliant distilleries, bars, shops and festivals. On Instagram she combines her love of a dram with a passion for photography, regularly uploading evocative pictures of her visits to whisky hotspots around the world.

The world’s largest wine museum, La Cité du Vin, opened in Bordeaux in 2016. Alongside the permanent galleries there are restaurants, bars and an impressive cellar where regular tastings take place. There is also a temporary exhibition space that recently hosted the show Picasso, The Effervescence of Shapes, which looked at the role of wine and spirits in the painter’s work. The museum uses Instagram to share images of its impressive architecture together with forthcoming events.

A sommelier by trade, with stints in Michelin-starred restaurants in Capri and Rome, Andrea Zigrossi has become the unofficial ambassador for a new, young and hedonistic generation of wine enthusiasts. As well as promoting some of the coolest wines and latest gadgets, Zigrossi also documents his ‘Trotter Wine World Tour’, which includes visits to vineyards in more unusual locations, such as Morocco and Thailand.

Club Oenologique is a wine and spirits print and digital magazine that covers everything from five-star hotel openings in historic vineyards to Blind Ambition, the feelgood movie about Zimbabwean refugees entering the World Blind Wine Tasting Championship. Instagram is the ideal way of staying up to date with all of its latest articles — one of which reviews wine that has been aged under the sea.

Thanks to the way she combines a love of photography with her expertise in American wine, the tastemaker Paige Comrie was named as one of the ‘Top Wine Influencers in 2020’ by the Sommeliers Choice Awards. Comrie specialises in championing local producers from her native Napa Valley, and also offers online courses designed to build confidence when talking about wine.

In the spring of 2017, Edouard Thorens started The WineStache with a mission to promote the most exciting natural wines. From his base in Switzerland he charts the emergence of a new breed of winemaker to be found across Europe, working with the land according to organic and biodynamic principles. He also shares insights into what to drink and when, along with the best food to go with it.

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Whether you’re looking for a romantic cocktail for Valentine’s Day or a Manhattan on board a boat in Manhattan, World’s Best Bars shares some of the most inspiring locations for enjoying a sophisticated alcoholic beverage. It also features regular recipes as well as guides on topics including the best sustainable whiskies and how to choose the right type of ice for your drink.

With an MSc in wine studies, Georgia Panagopoulou — otherwise known as the Wine Gini — is more qualified than most influencers to talk about all things pertaining to the grape. Thanks to her expertise, her guides on subjects such as the different shades of rosé and the best wines for Sunday afternoons have earned her more than 100,000 loyal followers.

Do you know your brut from your doux? Your Blanc de Blanc from your Blanc de Noir? Mike and Jeff, or the Sparkling Winos, are on a two-man-mission to use Instagram to teach the world all there is to know about sparkling wine. Alongside being social media stars they’ve also penned a book called Life Is in the Bubbles.

Since 1766, Christie’s has been auctioning the finest and rarest wines and spirits in the world. During that time it’s sold rum rediscovered after 200 years, wine aged in space and the first bottle of whisky to break the £1 million mark. On Instagram, Christie’s team of specialists share some of their favourite drinks along with highlights from upcoming auctions, both online and across salesrooms in London, New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Geneva.