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Unreserved Wine Talk

236 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


178: Pandemic's Positive Impact on Wine + Buying Wine Online with Cathy Huyghe and Andrea Smalling

How has the pandemic positively impacted the wine industry? Why is the percentage of women buying online rising faster than men? How do consumers benefit when wine producers have access to more and better data?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Cathy Huyghe and Andrea Smalling, authors of the WineDirect x Enolytics 2021 Direct-To-Consumer Impact Report: What Wineries Need to Do Now.


You can find the wines we discussed at



Which interesting trends have been identified when it comes to Gen Z drinking habits?

What can wine brands do to engage younger generations?

Which positive trends stood out in the DTC report?

How did the pandemic impact online DTC sales?

Has the lifting of lockdown restrictions negatively impacted online DTC sales?

Why should consumers be excited about the growth of the online side of the wine industry?

What are the implications of the DTC report for the Canadian wine scene?

How did Canadian wineries quickly adapt to the new environment of the pandemic?

What would be the benefits of opening the borders to shipping wine across provinces in Canada?

How does having more data and more granularity benefit everyone from wine consumers to producers?

Why are more women purchasing wine online than men?

What are Andrea & Cathy’s ideal settings for having a glass of wine?

Which controversial wine opinions do Cathy & Andrea have?

Which childhood foods would be fun to pair with wine today?

What was Andrea’s worst food and wine pairing?

Which great historical figures would Cathy & Andrea love to share a bottle of wine with?

What message would Andrea & Cathay share if they could put up their own billboard downtown in a big city?

Which wine would Cathy & Andrea want to be served at their funerals?


Key Takeaways

At least there were some upsides to the pandemic on the wine industry in terms of moving it forward with selling online and tightening direct connections between those who make wine and those who drink it.

I found it fascinating that the percentage of women buying online is rising faster than men. It makes sense though given women still buy most household items.

Getting granular on the data means getting more personal with consumers in terms of their experience in buying the wine whether that’s in person at the winery or online.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video

Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.

I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.

I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?

Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar:


About Andrea Smalling & Cathy Huyghe

Andrea Smalling & Cathy Huyghe have recently co-authored a ground-breaking report on the wine industry that will be of interest to those who make, sell and buy wine, from wineries to consumers. 

Andrea Smalling is Chief Marketing Officer and Head of E-Commerce Sales of WineDirect, a U.S.-based company that helps wineries sell directly to consumers.

Cathy Huyghe is an award-winning journalist with a regular column in Forbes and co-founder and CEO of Enolytics, a data-driven business intelligence company for the $970 billion wine and spirits industry.



To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

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