Wine-Searcher Integrates LWIN Wine Codes into its database

Wine-Searcher has recently incorporated Liv-ex’s LWIN wine codes into its database, making it easier to search for wines. The LWIN wine codes are the equivalent of an ISBN number for books – these codes give users an additional means to find the wines they are looking for.

The Process

Type in “LWIN” followed by the seven-digit unique wine code, and this will automatically bring up international offers.

For example, entering “LWIN 1012361” or “LWIN1012361” into the site’s search bar will bring up all offers related to Château Léoville Barton, whose seven-digit LWIN code is 1012361. It is expected that this addition to Wine-Searcher’s search functionality will improve site experience for both users and merchants.

“We are delighted to incorporate Liv-ex’s LWIN codes into this database to make wine matching and discovery simpler and more accurate for our wide range of industry users,” said Wine-Searcher’s Wine Director, David Allen MW.

“It’s great to see such a significant industry player as Wine-Searcher incorporate the LWIN codes along with others like Vinous, Berry Brothers & Rudd, and London City Bond. The Wine Searcher integration makes more data points (beyond Liv-ex prices) available to more wine businesses worldwide, ” said Liv-ex director Anthony Maxwell.

LWIN is a free-to-use database of unique codes, produced by online wine trading platform Liv-ex and assigned to more than 125,000 different wines and spirits. The codes allow computer systems across the industry to exchange information rapidly and seamlessly, helping businesses throughout the supply chain describe, price, buy, sell and ship wine more efficiently.

The LWIN search functionality now falls within Wine-Searcher’s database of 16 million offers for wines beers and spirits. There are four variations on the code with the most straightforward being the seven-digit identifier, which denotes a single wine or label. For instance, LWIN 1012361 is the grand vin of Château Léoville Barton, while LWIN 1437818 is Benjamin Leroux’s Meursault Premier Cru, La Pièce sous le Bois.

LWIN codes can extend further with the 11, 16 and 18-digit codes adding vintage, bottle size and pack or case size, respectively. Wine-Searcher has integrated the LWIN7, 11, 16 and 18 codes in the search box (as well as incorporating them in the merchant data feed and text API).

Source:  The Wine-Searcher

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SYMPOSIUM ‘ACT FOR CHANGE’ ENDS ON A COLLABORATIVE NOTE

Organized by Vinexposium June 20 and 21, 2022 at the Cité du Vin, the Symposium ‘Act for Change’ gathered over 35 international experts representing 17 nationalities for a series of discussions focusing on the future of wines and spirits between now and 2030.

The event, which was held as part of Bordeaux Wine Week, ended on an optimistic note after addressing the main issues affecting the wine and spirits industry. These include changing consumer patterns, the consequences of climate change and their impact on the production and distribution of wine and spirits. Each talk addressed these issues and provided practical insight, both for industry members attending and those who joined the livestream on Vinexposium Connect, the group’s digital portal. Nine major themes were explored by industry players who view the future with pragmatism, ambition, and confidence in a world of experimentation and solutions to cope with the many challenges to come. At the close of the symposium, speakers agreed that the future of the wine industry would be collaborative, innovative and technological, where ethical practices, transparency, knowledge sharing and engagement between the large companies and winegrowers would be promoted.

Here are some observations on the panel discussions and talks:

If fine wines are to have a future, it will be close to nature

Questioned about the future of fine wines, Oliver Bernard shared his views about the changes awaiting the industry. Expressing a mix of enthusiasm and realism, the director of Domaine de Chevalier stressed the importance of reacting immediately to environmental issues, whilst reiterating his confidence in consumers and future generations in celebrating fine wines. Solutions he mentioned included the emergence of new grape varieties for appellation wines, support for estates to switch over to organic and biodynamic winegrowing and adapting vineyard management techniques.

New consumer habits and new sensory profiles

Questioned about flavour and aroma profiles in 2030, Cathy Van Zyl MW, deputy editor of Platter’s South African wine guide, stated that the South African market was in the process of transitioning to lighter wines. Whisky consultant Colin Hampden-White responded by sharing insight into changing spirits styles, which are increasingly flavourful in response to consumer expectations. Pierre Mansour, wine purchasing director for The Wine Society, stressed that 65% of consumers prioritise climate issues in their choice of wines. Many consumers are looking primarily for ‘honest wines’, showing authenticity, viewed as pure site-expressiveness. Honest wines now seem to be establishing themselves as an emerging and growing trend among consumers seeking added value. They are also asking for variety of choice, catering to their own personal consumption habits, and are turning increasingly towards wines that are drier, more unrefined in style, yet remain savoury, and also towards those that pin their environmental credentials to the mast. For spirits, the future is all about creativity, diversity, assertive tastes, and local traceability. New consumers want to be surprised, they are looking for originality and unexpected styles, which can stem either from new distillation techniques or from creative recipes with unfamiliar ingredients. Stéphanie Marchand-Marion, a lecturer at Bordeaux University studies the latest changes in flavour trends, from the consumer perspective and in terms of climate change. She concluded that wines could survive tomorrow’s climate challenges, provided a balance in their composition was found. 

Tomorrow’s packaging – where changing consumer patterns, innovation and lower CO2 emissions converge

The challenge for the packaging of the future will be to respond to the divergence between the unquestionable need to reduce the carbon footprint stemming from the manufacturing process and consumer perception of sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging. In the consumer psyche, glass remains a sustainable vessel, whereas the reality is more complex. The results of steps taken to recycle bottles are not significant, providing evidence of the discrepancy between interest shown for ecological issues and a real desire by consumers to change their habits. Lulie Halstaed, Director of Wine Intelligence – IWSR, has noticed this particularly in Australia, where 67% of wine and spirits buyers believe in climate change, but only 21% claim to act responsibly. Rob Malin, the founder of When in Rome, launched the first wine sold in a paper bottle, which emits 6 times less CO2 than a glass bottle. As a reminder, the production of glass accounts for nearly 40% of the industry’s CO2 emissions.

Tomorrow’s packaging will have two roles to play: research work and the move towards more sustainable packaging will need to continue, and bottles must be used as a tool for educating consumers of wine and spirits, which are among the most highly packaged products around.

Digitalization of Wine and Spirits

Cyril Grira, Retail & Omnichannel director at Google France, has seen an acceleration in searches for wines and spirits on the Google search engine, as with ‘organic wines’ that have increased three-fold. He also points to the fact that most consumer searches focus on grape varieties, appellations, and local productions. Yet, lack of consumer knowledge on the topic (80% of searches are generic) and of visibility for small producers are barriers to industry performance. The wine industry would benefit from taking a leaf out of the fashion and beauty industries’ book, where multiple formats are used to innovate and tell stories. At the same time, the online sales outlet must connect better with the physical sales outlet. As regards the metaverse, experts expressed reservations, stressing that wine and spirits are primarily part of real-life experiences.

Winegrowing and climate change: opportunities in the face of adversity
As climate change causes upheavals, techniques and typicities across the wine regions are evolving. During the symposium, it was unanimously agreed that coping with climate change and human resilience in supporting winegrowing would be pivotal to tackling the issue. Varietal diversification, planting grape varieties in suitable locations, rootstock and balanced management were all cited as resources. Viewing the future with optimism and ambition, participants called on the industry to take leadership of climate issues and underscored the significance of a collaborative approach – one of the biggest challenges is to think collectively, as a community, so that existing solutions can be shared more effectively.

Geopolitics, wines and spirits – lessons to be learnt from crises

The war in Ukraine undermines control of global capitalism, with consequences including the risk of entering a recession and the supremacy of the dollar in international trade. A new global geo-economy is in the making. Faced with this changing situation, the ability of wine and spirits businesses to adapt must enable them to grasp new export opportunities, in regions such as Africa for instance, and strengthen their brands and their image. Compliance with local rules and protection of brands and appellations are also drivers of this success. Similarly, the impact of climate change affects the geopolitics of wine and spirits, both in the positions taken by leaders and the viability of a supply chain designed to respond to the ‘just-in-time’ logistics expected by younger generations. As Christophe Navarre, chairman of the board of Vinexposium pointed out, “The impact of climate change on winegrowing will be huge. This is a priority mission for businesses, the choice is no longer ours”.

Agro-ecology and innovation: essential bedfellows

Faced with climate challenges and the need to remain competitive in a constantly changing marketplace, agro-ecology innovations are the future. They already come in a variety of forms, from the open access ‘calculator’ for measuring carbon footprint, use of artificial intelligence for managing farms and optimising aspects such as yields – including solutions provided by Israeli company Trellis – to the introduction of regenerative techniques. Although the latter concept covers a whole galaxy of realities, relevant regulations are rapidly progressing and influencing – sometimes even restricting – winegrowing practices. From high-tech solutions to a return to basics, agro-ecology is reinventing itself at the instigation of stakeholders who aim to make it accessible to the broadest audience.

How e-commerce has upended the relationship with the consumer

Lockdown expedited online buying and revolutionised sales. Fabrice Bernard, president of Millesima, commented on how the internet piqued consumer interest about wines that they usually did not drink. E-commerce has changed buying habits, but without driving customers away from shops. This development is compelling e-commerce players to rethink the way they work by creating new technology tools such as those provided by Preferabli, which uses digital technology to help consumers make choices. “We will witness consolidation in the marketplace, but the biggest change over the next ten years will be the increasing number of businesses focusing on the customer rather than on the product. Shops are not the only place where customers can have physical interactions. Digital technology will allow the magic surrounding the product’s story to be developed faster and technology can help tell these stories”, claimed Pam Dillon, co-founder and CEO of Preferabli. The future of e-commerce seems to mesh with a competitive marketplace where customer service will make all the difference.

The future of wine and spirits in 2030 – wrapping up 

The near future will require adjustments to cope with current changes, yet also continued pragmatism, concluded Christophe Navarre, chairman of the board of Vinexposium, who stressed the positive pressure from young people for immediate action in favour of the climate. “Rolling out large-scale, practical actions involves reconciling political agendas, corporate activities, and consumer patterns. This is a complex process. For example, in supermarkets, producers who take positive action are not promoted enough. There is no doubt that this is now one of our missions”, he also pointed out in his concluding remarks at the Symposium ‘Act for Change’.

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Global alcohol consumption will bounce back to pre-Covid levels by 2023

Global alcohol consumption will return to pre-Covid levels by 2023, according to recent IWSR data, with the market already showing signs of recovery.

Projected to grow by 2.9% in volume by the end of 2021, the research forecasts that total alcohol consumption will reach pre-Covid levels within two years and will continue to increase steadily until 2025.

Total alcohol volume decreased by 6.2% globally during 2020, affected by lockdowns and other restrictions.   Total wine and beer volumes are both forecast to be down about -9% in 2020 and are unlikely to regain volumes for several years.   However, within the wine sector, sparkling wine volume consumption is anticipated to recover to 2019 levels by 2023, along with the rest of the alcohol market. Premium-and-above Prosecco is expected to be least impacted by Covid, and premium-and-above still wine forecast to recover lost volumes by 2022.

This growth will be boosted by several factors including the growth of ecommerce which is up 45% from 2019; to reach US $29 bn in 2020, and RTD’s, the industry quickly adapting in key markets and the increasing sophistication of the at home occasion in many markets.

“In many global markets Covid-19 accelerated the impact and growth of key industry drivers, such as the development of ecommerce, premiumization, the rise of the home premise, moderation and the need for convenience in product formats,” said the IWSR’s CEO Mark Meek.

“These are the trends that will also underpin the industry’s resilience as it pivots to meet consumers where they are in the years to come. Additionally, across many markets, some segments of the population now have significantly more disposable income than they did in 2019, some of which will be spent on beverage alcohol products.”

Another trend set to give alcohol a leg up is product premiumization, according to the IWSR, with premium-and-above wine and spirits forecast to increase by 25.6% in total volume between 2020-2025 compared to 0.8% volume growth over the same period for brands in lower price tiers.

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2021 Focuses on ‘Bouncing Back’ in Digital Format

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2021 has moved to digital format for this year, it will be providing live sessions focusing on the recovery of the wine and spirits industry called ‘Bouncing Back’ – the dates are June 8, 2021 – June 29, 2021.

Webinars, roundtable debates and exclusive interviews will go live every Tuesday on 8, 15, 22 and June 29.  Sessions will be dedicated to the new major trends in the sector including online sales and the digital sprint, the tasting revolution and sustainability.

New on-demand content will also feed into Vinexposium Connect every Thursday in June.

The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) will host a webinar on the guiding principles of sustainability and its environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects, while the IWSR will present the results of its latest report on trends and outlook to 2025 for wine and spirits consumption.

There will also be virtual tastings with Marc Almert, ASI (International Sommeliers’ Association) 2019 World’s Best Sommelier, focusing on ideas and tips for remotely stimulating the senses.

Heini Zachariassen, CEO of Vivino, will also take the floor to explain how his business tackled the health crisis and outline his strategic ambitions.

Vinocamp & La WineTech will provide an overview of solutions for improving online sales, featuring good practice to make a success of e-commerce sales.

At the end of last year Vinexposium made major changes to its schedule for 2021 due to the pandemic. In addition to moving Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, Vinexpo New York, Vinexpo Hong Kong and Vinexpo Bordeaux have all been postponed until 2022.

Registration and further details https://bit.ly/VinexposiumConnect

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“Tastry” uses Chemistry + AI to Analyze Wine and Generate Flavor Profiles

A California startup that taught a computer to “taste” wine is using technology to help winemakers improve their wines and attract new customers.

Founder Katerina Axelsson says Tastry uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze “tens of thousands of wines a year,” generating vast reams of data to help winemakers and retailers target their products more effectively.

Ms Axelsson formed her idea as a chemistry student working at a winery, where she noticed “idiosyncrasies” in how wine was evaluated. A 100,000-gallon tank of wine would be divided in two and sold to two different brands, where it would end up in different bottles, sold at different prices and receive different scores from critics, she states

She began analyzing wine samples, identifying thousands of compounds. Using AI, she could see how these compounds interacted with each other, creating the wine’s flavor profile. She then took that profile and used machine learning to compare its flavor, aroma, texture and color with other wines in the database.

The method allowed Axelsson to develop a wine recommendation app, which was launched on screens in the wine aisles of retailers in 2019. Through a quiz, consumers could input their flavor preferences, and the software would recommend a suitable wine with 80-90% accuracy at the first attempt, she says, rising to 95% with additional input form the user. Tastry’s system now powers its BottleBird wine recommendation app.

Tastry has also begun working directly with winemakers in the United States. Brands pay to have their bottle analyzed “and in exchange they would have access to what we call an insights dashboard, where they can identify how their wine is perceived in their market of opportunity, on a store, local or regional level,” says Axelsson.

One client is O’Neill Vintners and Distillers, one of the largest wine producers in California. To produce some blends, it combines wine from “upwards of 30 different tanks” to create the desired flavor profile, according to Marty Spate, vice president of winemaking and winegrowing.

The company is using Tastry’s AI to “streamline” the blending process by suggesting which tanks to use. “[Tastry is] not a replacement for the modern winemaking team,” he says, however, “that data can be pretty powerful.”

But in an industry steeped in artisan tradition, there are some critics of its algorithmic approach.  “It’s like having a computer analyze a piece of art,” says Ronan Sayburn, master sommelier and head of wine at 67 Pall Mall, a private members club for wine lovers in London.

“I don’t know how keen people would be on following what a computer tells them to drink, based on what they had previously,” he says. “I think part of the appeal of wine is forming your own opinions.”

Sayburn concedes technology can be useful to the amateur, for recommending serving temperature, aeration time and food pairings. “But when it comes to something which is a very emotive subject, I think there’s got to be human contact,” he argues.

Axelsson agrees that Tastry is not a substitute for a sommelier. But she says the scalability of her product makes it possible to analyze more wines per year than a human could ever taste.

Her company will start offering services in Europe later this year in collaboration with an online retailer, and is already thinking beyond wine, having conducted tests for beers, spirits, coffee and fragrances.

In the meantime, she’s happy to spend time winning over the naysayers.

“It takes time to educate any industry about AI and its benefits,” she says. “But if the use case is there and the value proposition is there, I think it’s just a matter of time before people really embrace it.”

Source :CNN Business London

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