Takeaway: Vinexpo New York City 2019

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As I sort through the stack of business cards from Vinexpo New York City on my desk – and try to put faces to names – I can’t help but think of the dozens of brands and people I met that would be great partners for Astra Digital Marketing! It’s no surprise because when I entered the conference on my first day, I could hear the voice of my CEO, Ron Scharman, in my head saying, “Be strategic and show these people what success can look like with digital marketing!”

What is Vinexpo?

Vinexpo is one of the largest exhibitions for wine and spirit professionals held in Bordeaux, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, and (my personal favorite) New York City! The expo swarms with hundreds of wine and spirit buyers, distributors, winemakers and brand managers there for a variety of different objectives. The wine and spirits industry is constantly changing and because of that, Vinexpo was created. It is a space where people can network, engage, learn, collaborate, and of course, taste incredible wine and spirits.

The Conference Sessions

For me, the conference was a vital component of the expo. While some sessions were more informative than others, a few were interactive and full of relevant statistics for me to bring back to my team. There were six sessions total (I promise I won’t cover each one). Two in particular made an impact on me.


The first was hosted by some of the biggest names in the wine industry: Wine Spectator Presents: Trends in the U.S Market,” moderated by Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor at Wine Spectator with panelists, Chris Adams, CEO of Sherry-Lehmann Wine and Spirits, Steve Slater, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Wine Division of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Bill Terlato, CEO of Terlato Wine Group, and Rick Tigner, Chief Executive Officer of Jackson Family Wines. My primary takeaway from this session was Rick Tigner talking about how eCommerce is still relatively new for everyone in the wine industry, and he believes it will make a positive impact on his company in the future. I agree, this applies across the board for the wine industry as a whole. He then went on to talk about how important having a digital marketing presence is for wineries and having an authentic brand story matters to consumers. Well, Rick, we at Astra Digital Marketing could not agree more. I wanted to raise my hand and ask what the status is on the white wine emoji lobby, but I refrained.

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The second session I felt left an impact was “Women of the Vine & Spirits/Wine Intelligence Present: Do Women Really Approach Wine Differently than Men?” presented by Lulie Halstead, Co-Founder and CEO of Wine Intelligence. This one was fascinating. At Astra Digital Marketing, we thrive on strategy and getting into the nitty gritty understanding of our clients’ audiences. A big part of that is understanding how males versus females play a role in understanding their consumer base. I could go on and on about this topic, but instead of boring you with a rant on all the relevant details, I have listed out my top takeaways:

  • Men and women are equal in terms of who drinks more wine in the U.S. 🇺🇸

  • There are more millennial male drinkers in the U.S. 🤔

  • Globally, men drink more wine than women 👱🏻🧔🏻👴🏼   🍷 👱🏼‍♀️🙍🏻

  • Women are more knowledgeable than men about wine in the U.S. 🧠

  • Men look to external validation when purchasing wine 💁🏻‍♂️

  • Women ask, “What does it taste like? Is it a good value for what I’m paying?” 💁🏼💰

  • Rosé is consumed evenly between men and women in the U.S. 🌹

  • More men in the U.S. are conscious about their wine consumption 🤯

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The common thread among all the takeaways? Women and men consume wine differently.

Would I Go Back to Vinexpo?

How could I possibly say no? A room filled with amazing wine from all over the world; the opportunity to network and engage with fascinating, passionate people in the wine world... it kind of sounds like a dream for anyone in the wine industry.

As a digital marketing agency based in Napa, it is important to have a presence at these types of shows. We’re always pushing ourselves to learn and understand the nuances of wine, no matter its origin. I would say at least 75% of the brands I spoke with were attending to learn more about importing international wine into the U.S market. Overall, it was a valuable learning experience, I networked with all kinds of individuals who all share the same passion as I do for wine and the brands they represent.

Kimberly Kirsch