Wine is emerging as a fashion statement: Vinexpo

It used to be something 'old' people drank.

In France, "eau de vie" is - by all tourist accounts and Parisian mythologies - supposed to be a glass of wine or two with your steak frites, but up until just 10 years ago the beverage was considered old-fashioned and outmoded.

"Young people didn't drink wine because it was a product for their parents and grandparents," says Robert Beynat, chief executive of Vinexpo, one of the largest wine trade shows of the year held bi-annually in Bordeaux, set to start June 19.

"Now, young French people want to discuss wine because it's fashionable."

According to Beynat, wine is experiencing a global revival especially among the younger demographic who have embraced it as a chic, status symbol.

This is perhaps nowhere truer than in Asia, where holding a glass of red wine aloft at a glitzy wine bar or restaurant is considered the height of sophistication.

Though a relatively new wine consumer, Asian markets like China and Hong Kong have become eager to engage in a drinking habit that is considered an old world, Western tradition. 

In a region where one's status is best identified through the luxury brand name emblazoned on an expensive handbag or piece of jewelry and where the consumption of high-end goods is occurring at a dizzying pace, there is, perhaps no easier way for people there to demonstrate sophistication.

Together, China and Hong Kong make up the world's largest importer of Bordeaux wines by volume.

Beynat points out that, 20 years ago, the industry predicted Asians would whet their palates with white wines to start, given a culinary repertoire heavy on fish and seafood.

They were wrong.

Instead, Asian consumers leapt full-force into the more complex world of reds, eager to sip on something that presented a challenge to their palates and, perhaps, put them on par with their European and Western counterparts.

Their preference for red could also be attributed to the emphasis Asians place on health benefits, as red wine is touted to be good for the heart.

But wine as a fashion statement has also spread to Britain, where the drinking scene has changed considerably, Beynat said.

"Two years ago, if you were in London at 6 pm, a lot of the young people standing outside the pubs would be holding a pint of beer," he said. "Today, if you visit a pub they're now drinking a glass of white wine like Pinot Grigio."

In fact, given that Britain has few wineries in their climactically hostile environment, the UK is the No. 1 importer of wines in the world, followed by the US.

And young, female consumers are leading the charge.

But despite attempts to create wines specifically for women - sweet wines that are fruit-infused and bubbly - Beynat says the industry underestimates their female market.

"Women say, ‘Don't make special wines for us, we don't want feminine wines,'" he said. "They want the same thing as men."

Female wine consumers also seem to have fewer hang-ups about choosing wine than men, Beynat added, especially in Asia where losing face as a man is considered a cultural indignity.

"In Asia, women have less of a complex choosing wine than men," he said.

Vinexpo kicks off June 19 in Bordeaux and is expected to draw 50,000 attendees from up to 140 countries.

http://www.vinexpo.com/en/

 

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
boksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor