Wine-Searcher, the wine price search engine with 10,000 paying subscribers, will launch a merchant rating service next year.
 
Adon Kumar, Wine-Searcher's general manager, said: "We will give merchants gold, silver or bronze ratings based on feedback from users and mystery shoppers."
 
Kumar is based in New Zealand but was in Bordeaux this month to meet wine merchants and the Bordeaux Wine Board (Le Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux, CIVB), in a bid to better understood one of the most searched for wine regions.
 
Wine-Searcher's main revenue comes from selling promotional banners to wine merchant sponsors for USD $3,500 per year. It has 400 sponsors.
 
Sponsor's names appear in bold on the listing of prices and stockists shown to paying users. On Wine-Searcher's free version, only the names of sponsor merchants appear.
 
Kumar said Wine-Searcher will turnover USD$2m in 2008.