Sharing and Teaching Wine Love
Alexia Hupin is a French wine educator, blogger, and entrepreneur. She talked to us about her path towards teaching, the wine industry, and the joy of sharing a passion.
“What I love about wine is the diversity and magic it brings to people’’. Alexia starts strong in her explanation of her wine passion. And wine career. “I find it fascinating how the same grape variety can give totally different wines if one tiny element (terroir, viticulture, vinification…) changes. People can talk for hours about wine and everyone’s perception is different’’.
“I want to inspire them and give them fuel to become more confident when it comes to wine”
Alexia Hupin is a 29 years old French wine educator, blogger, and entrepreneur. Living in the South of France, she created @wine.by.alex on Instagram to share her passion and expertise about wine, in what she hopes is a demystified and approachable way.
More than anything else, what drives her is to see her community ‘light up and gleam” when they learn something new. “I want to inspire them and give them fuel to become more confident when it comes to wine”, she explains, full of hope.
The Sunday family meal and the wine passion
The passion can be traced back to Sunday family meals, where she would listen, captivated, to her father and grandfather talking about wines. Their own passion was contagious, and soon enough, enology and wine pairings were her favorite classes when she studied hospitality.
She worked for 5 years in that area, until she decided to fully commit to her core passion, in 2017. After completing her WSET 3 (Award in Wines), she quit her job and started working as a sommelier. But that wasn’t IT either, she wanted to be useful to others, and to inspire them. The teaching idea developed.
Alexia got contacted through her Instagram account and offered a position as Educator at the Weeno (WSET APP) in Marseille. “I tried it, liked it and I’m now teaching in 2 other schools” she beames.
“It was hard to decide to change careers. It’s always hard to stop something you’re used to doing, our brains are wired to protect us and make us stay in our comfort zone. It took me long discussions with my fiancé, who was supportive and pushed me on the right path. With wine, every new opportunity comes to me and unfolds perfectly”.
Sharing first of all
Alexia loves sharing her enthusiasm and her passion for wine. Her public is extremely varied, from 18 to 70, men and women. “I have people who are just enthusiastic about wine, others who already work in wine, and some who want to change careers” she explains. The courses being dense, with a lot of information in a short amount of time, she tried to be as fun as possible. “I keep it short, clear, and approachable,” she smiles.
Her Instagram is just another way to share, and teach. She loves writing to share short educational tips.
She felt such a sense of accomplishment when reaching the 10k followers on Instagram. “I feel proud and blessed for the amazing people following me and seeing an interest in the work I do! It’s been a long and laborious journey. Content creation and planning is hard work. Engaging and building a community takes a huge amount of time” she confesses.
A wine industry open to new initiatives
Being a young woman didn’t help. “It’s hard work to make people acknowledge your credibility. There are always people telling you that you’ve ‘’made it’’ only because you’re a woman or other BS!”
But she kept consistent, and went further, with the creation of her own blog, WinebyAlex, in October 2019, to “pursue my love of writing and translating through interviews of wine personalities (MW, winemakers)”. The website has just been redesigned, and she’ll launch an online training in 2021.
“The wine industry is open to new initiatives and there’s still a lot to invent. It’s exciting to enter a career that keeps changing and moving”
“My dream is to be able to share my knowledge and experience in wine with my community so that they become inspired and more confident. I want to see people win, be happy, and fulfilled. I love it when my students pass their exams and leave my class excited to take the next step. There’s nothing more heart-warming than this and feeling useful”.
She advises all of us out there to follow our passion, and trust our instincts. As for her domain, it may still be a male-oriented industry, but Alexia is seeing an opening-up, and more and more women coming in. “The wine industry is open to new initiatives and there’s still a lot to invent. It’s exciting to enter a career that keeps changing and moving. Since I’ve entered it, I’ve never had a dull moment!”
Favorite grape and favorite spot
And at the end of the day, her love for wine stays pure and simple. She loves drinking wine when she’s relaxed and fully available to enjoy it properly. Her favorite place to do so? “Home: comfy on my couch, with my fiancé and indie-folk music in the background. Even better if the wine’s paired with a delicious meal, prepared by him because he’s a good cook!”
As for her favorite wine, Alexia laughs and says it’s the toughest question for sure. She tasted so many different wines for her studies and now her teaching, it’s hard to pinpoint one. “I can only say I’m a sucker for anything that contains Syrah! That’s my favorite grape for sure, it warms my heart every time I taste it”.