If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or enjoy a glass or two of your favourite tipple, then you’ve come to the right place! We catch up with Joanne Koukis – founder of ‘Outpour’ – who has created a platform for women to enjoy and explore wine like never before!

Founder of 'Outpour' - Joanne Koukis - chats to Female First on all things wine and confidence for women / Photo credit: Outpour
Founder of 'Outpour' - Joanne Koukis - chats to Female First on all things wine and confidence for women / Photo credit: Outpour

Could you tell our readers what ‘Outpour’ is?

Outpour is a new community and wine buying experience for women. We offer women only tastings, wines selected and tasted by female wine professionals and regular wine lovers. We offer curated boxes, such as our Takeaway Nights Box which has 6 wines paired to the UK’s 6 favourite takeaway cuisines. The Sauvignon Blanc A like Box which has 6 similar, but different white wines for Sauvignon Blanc ride or die lovers. We offer bespoke boxes for which our experts can choose the right wine for your tastes and budgets. We sell individual bottles, we do cellar restockings and do lots of events now that lockdown has ended. 

Where did the inspiration for ‘Outpour’ derive from?

The inspiration comes from my many experiences in the world of wine. It became clear to me that women should have their own space in which they are free to learn, taste and choose without judgment or preconceived notions of what ‘good’ wine is. It has become increasingly obvious that lots of male owned wine companies are trying to appeal to women, whilst offering women absolutely nothing useful or new. The actual idea came from a bottle that I received as a gift from a friend who had recently returned from France. He gave me the bottle because its name was Château de Planques aka House of Plonk. I saw that there was a medal on the bottle, signifying that it was a winner in the Féminalise competition, in which women judges award medals to the winners in France. I was not interested in running a competition but loved the idea of a place where female experts and wine drinkers could choose wines according to their tastes and preferences. At that point Outpour was not online, we were just serving private clients, events and doing cellar restocking but during lockdown we decided to create a website and go fully retail. 

Why have you aimed ‘Outpour’ at women?

We really need our own space in wine. It is very male dominated at every level and has been for many years. We buy 80% of the wine in the UK but you would never guess that as most prominent wine writer, experts, presenters and especially those in sales and import are all men. During our lockdown tastings we realised that women really love having a fun, non judgmental space where they can ask questions, learn and explore their preferences. 

Outpour aim to give women confidence in the wine industry  / Photo credit: Outpour
Outpour aim to give women confidence in the wine industry / Photo credit: Outpour

What advice do you have for women who don’t want to venture away from the wines they love?

Don’t! Drink whatever you’d like. No one criticises people for only liking chocolate based desserts or only one type of meat. Why should wine be any different? In our experience, people can get bored of the same grape or style and that is where your independent wine seller comes in. We love wine, we love questions, we love to help and would love to help you branch out and try new things, if you would like to. 

Why should women choose your selection of wines?

All our wines are tested by female experts and regular wine drinkers. We have a smaller selection than most because we only select the best and highest rated wines from each region and for each grape. We think it is essential to reduce the likelihood of purchasing something that you don’t like. Life truly is too short for bad wine. We also have filters/drop downs on our site that rate the wines from lightest to heaviest. Most people tend to like a stye on the spectrum. If you know what you are buying is generally in your style ballpark (eg light red) then you can be sure you will enjoy it. We feel this sort of information is more useful than talking about ‘wet stone minerality’ or ‘smashed blackberry aromas’ in a wine. We also offer food pairing info and dinner party facts about each wine because we all love a story. 

You mention that you offer confidence to woman – In what ways do you do this?

The majority of most people (men and women) find the world of wine a little impenetrable and intimidating. Useful knowledge can go a long way in developing confidence in the wine world. We do this through our educational tastings, product information, the LEARN section on our site where we discuss red wine heaviness, winemaking regions and even ‘how to speak with a sommelier’. We are also open to chatting about wine, helping you choose for occasions, and giving and advice or info that can help you become a more informed buyer. 

How will the wine be catered to each individual?

Wine is very personal. Most people have a strong preference or taste profile. Through our bespoke services, we have a chat with you, you let us know what you like/what you don’t like and our experts can select a wine or a box that fits your flavour profile. Lots of wine sites are doing this with algorithms now. They ask questions like ‘Do you like the smell of freshly mown grass?’. If you say yes, then the algorithm will probably recommend a Sauvignon Blanc. We work in wine because we love it and there is so much personal satisfaction in selecting the perfect wine for a client. We believe no algorithm can select wine as well as we can!

Do you offer different alcoholic beverages?

We have plans to expand to low/no alcohol and also spirits in the future, with a whole new raft of female experts and tasters. 

Outpour offer a wide range of wines to cater to all your tastes / Photo credit: Outpour
Outpour offer a wide range of wines to cater to all your tastes / Photo credit: Outpour

For more information, visit www.outpour.co.uk or you can follow Outpour on Instagram @outpour_wine

Written by Laura, who you can follow on Twitter at @LauraJadeC20

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk

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