It’s 2 pm on the east coast and award-winning influencer and wine enthusiast, Xingyu jumps on the Fragrances of Wine conference line to chat with us for the first time. She gets comfortable in her NYC apartment and we begin by both commenting on the weather hopefully warming up very soon.
Having grown up in China, Xingyu (pronounced Shing-Yew) moved to the states to attend college. She travels back to her home whenever possible. She misses the food and of course her family. “China is not a typical wine country,” Xingyu emphasizes. However, her curiosity to know more developed from the various aromas, tastes, and regions that embody wine. “When it comes to wine, the more you drink, the more you love it and you begin to wonder how it’s made, where it comes from, how can I learn more? So I joined a diploma program to become an expert.” When it comes to learning your skill, especially in a program with so many levels, Xingyu emphasizes the devoted hours and passion for her trade.
Aside from the serious intricacy that is the wine world, we shifted gears to ask Xingyu what advice she would give to those who are new to the world of wine, and with light-hearted humour, she jokes, “Bordeaux wines are scary...when it really doesn’t have to be!” Xingyu is as savvy as she is charming, using her Instagram platform, she interacts with her followers to find out what people truly want to know. Gathering that people right now are hesitant to enter the realm of wine because of a lack of expertise. She uses her platform to bring people closer to reasons to love wine and the community that comes with it!
Founding Wine Memoir in 2017, a social identity that combines her passion for wine and creative direction, Xingyu works to bring daily wine flavors to life through her imagery. Shaping scents into scenes, love becomes the smell of a fireplace on a cold winter night. Happiness is a sweet Pina-colada on a Caribbean beach and life smells like various flavors of wine. Her bold pictures captured by her photographer husband garnered her the 2019 Wine Imagery award for blogging platforms.
When asked what she does for fun, aside from indulging in all things wine, Xingyu laughs and lists a few surprising pastimes like playing electric drums while her husband plays the piano, bass, and guitar. Travel is also something Xingyu loves, making a few wine-oriented trips every year, listing some of her top places to visit as Bordeaux, Mendosa, and Douro Valley. Of course, there are some places closer to home that held her heart, like Oregon! Luckily, Xingyu’s husband, whom she met through a mutual friend in New York, loves wine just as deeply as she does, which makes their trips together extra special.
Finding a balance between work and love, Xingyu’s ideals are simple, “success in life is taking care of yourself and the ones you love.” Additionally, being an expert in your field will earn you respect and trust. If you care enough about something to build a life around it, learn everything that you can about that one thing. The sky is not a barrier, it’s just space for your potential to grow. And finally, be supportive of people who are working to achieve their own dreams. Who you aspire to be will take time and dedication, and above all else, support.
After losing ourselves in travel stories and fun pastimes, we began speaking more on the bigger issues of representation and presence online. Truly an advocate for speaking with purpose, Xingyu explained the importance of using your voice on social media, explaining that, “it’s so easy to speak to someone about what they're wearing instead of focusing on the things that they are doing; the real focus can be lost so easily on social media - especially for women. But you can’t choose your audience, only what you say to them.” True to herself, regardless of the circumstance, there isn’t anything that Xingyu considers inauthentic or hidden about her values on social media.
Xingyu works to inform her followers by introducing the venue and product to people, rather than showing her face, working to build a different connection than common influencers. Interestingly, Xingyu exists on a line between friends going live on platforms and those who don’t interact with social media at all, which introduces an interesting perspective for the thriving influencer. Xingyu says, “Often, the people I engage with are part of a community that doesn’t use social media. Although I do enjoy the way you can get instant feedback from my social media post, where people can message you privately, you are able to get information from interactions just as quickly as you can post them.” She also mentions the complexity of the internet as being a mode for misinformation, which is something her, and those she surrounds herself with, work to dismantle.
As perfume connoisseurs ourselves, we had to ask Xingyu why she chooses to wear a fragrance every day. She says, “perfume is a lot like wine, it’s seasonal. People tend to like those floral notes in the summer and those spicy notes in the fall.” Linking back to the effect that scent has on experience, Xingyu even explains the way smelling something in the morning can affect your entire day. In fact, her idea of a fragrant life is one that literally smells great! A life that uses aroma to promote happiness - where something as simple as a crafted perfume or a freshly corked bottle of wine can uplift your spirit, that is a fragrant life.
In parting, Xingyu shares her vision for the upcoming years. Included in this, she wants to complete her diploma, then perhaps master in wine. She also plans to travel more while learning at any given opportunity. After talking with us, she’s also eager to explore her own representation on social media and the power of her voice as a woman in the wine industry. Truly, a unique influencer who is true to her craft, it was brilliant to catch up with Xingyu. Make sure to check in with Wine Memoir to learn more about the world of wine, after all, her hard work has made her an expert!