On 14th May, Women in Wine LDN hosted ‘Tradition and Trends: The Fine Wine Market’ at Liberty Wines in Clapham.
The panel was made up of Ella Lister, founder of Wine Lister; Sara Phillips, Marketing Manager of Liv-ex; and Sara Guiducci, Senior Fine Wine Sales Executive of Corney and Barrow.
Although the discussion covered a plethora of topics, two key discussion points were the changing role of the fine wine critic and the broadening of the fine wine market.
The market no longer looks solely to Robert Parker’s scores, as it did just a few years ago. Sara Guiducci, who is also working towards her Master of Wine, says that she has seen her private clients increase their reliance on not just her own opinion, but also the opinion of other consumers. Sara cites the development of wine apps as being an important change in the market as it ‘allows consumers to talk and connect with other consumers.’ Ella Lister commented that ‘the wine trade loves wine critics because wine critics help to sell wine’ and that it is now ‘widely accepted that not just one person will replace Robert Parker’. For Wine Lister, the scoring is complicated, as they have partnerships with some of the most well-known critics, all of whom score differently, and aggregate their scores along with other key sales metrics. ‘You have to look at the different levels of generosity and map them onto a single scale….93 points is worth a different amount for each critic’, explains Ella. Both agreed that consensus among top critics is becoming more important than a score from one individual.