Women Writing the Future of Wine

Wine

11/01/2017

Women are taking the reins. The wine world is undergoing a quiet female-driven transformation, which deserves far more attention and recognition. Why? Because it is key to moving the industry forward.

Professional, independent and curious women are listening and getting involved.

From knowing the land to opening a bottle, women are represented throughout the value chain (if you'll forgive the soulless concept): winegrowers, enologists, managers, sommeliers and, above all, wine lovers and consumers. It's as simple as that. One look at the data and the enduring myth about the masculine nature of wine consumption instantly falls apart. It's not about gender; it's about experience and sensibility.

Yes, women drink wine, and they do so in very different ways. Some readers might be surprised to learn that in Spain 46% of women prefer their wines red and complex. Only 28% favor whites.

Dr. Maria Luisa de la Puente takes a scientific approach to the matter. From a medical point of view, she has doubts about the organoleptic differences between men and women, although she remains open to the possibility: “I don't think one can point to significant physiological differences. Other factors, such as smoking or age, have a bigger impact on taste. In principle, a person's sex doesn't seem to be a variable with a direct influence. That being said, taste—like all other senses—forms between the sensory receptors (taste buds) and the central nervous system. And generally speaking, men and women tend to perceive things and events differently.”

The nutritionist and wine lover Clara Antúnez also supports the theory that experience and context play bigger roles in taste perception than gender. Even so, Clara does note certain differences in how we drink. “Generally, I think we drink differently. A woman tastes and drinks wine in a more conscious manner. We're more demanding in terms of quality than quantity. Perhaps because women are more analytical, complex and curious. That being said, knowledge and experience aren't gender specific and will topple any myth.”

The same is true for the label and glass. Women wine writers, panelists, bloggers and prestigious sommeliers (including Anna Vicens, the president of Catalan sommeliers) are breathing new life into wine communication, making it more accessible, dismantling barriers of indifference or old culturally-imparted misgivings.

For wine writer and sommelier Ruth Troyano it's clear: “There are excellent enologists, sommeliers and writers in the wine world, women whom I admire and who deserve more visibility, because they combine knowledge with humanity and demand a lot from themselves. They reflect a new generation and part of the population—not only women—identify with them and their values of commitment, leadership and courage.”

Technological convergence is an essential tool in democratizing the discourse on wine, and here women are legion. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of names so we'll simply mention one example: Madeline Puckett and her site Wine Folly, one of the wine world's digital references for novices and experts alike, as well as being named Wine Blogger of the Year in 2013.

In short, if you read between the lines, the facts all go to show that contemporary women are a far cry from the archetypal woman who drinks fresh floral whites or bubbly.

Not only are women training their palates, but their personal passions and interests are changing the way the wine world works, making it more transparent, connected and aware of its environment. The industry is modernizing and somehow reconciling us, as a society, with the wondrous fruit of the vine.

Rafa Moreno

Sources:

AMAVI (Association for Women Wine Lovers)

OEMV (Spanish Wine Market Observatory)

The quoted interviews were originally published in VinoVidaVici

Categorías: Wine