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25-26 November 2019 | Buy tickets
Elaine Chukan Brown

Elaine Chukan Brown

Elaine Chukan Brown

Elaine Chukan Brown

Writer, Speaker, Illustrator,

Elaine Chukan Brown serves as the American Specialist for, and as Contributing Writer to Wine & Spirits Magazine. She contributed to the upcoming 8th edition of the World Atlas of Wine, as well as the recent award-winning 4th edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine. In 2019, the Wine Industry Network named Brown one of the 9 Most Inspiring People in Wine, and she was named by the International Wine & Spirits Competition and VinItaly as one of five of the top Wine Communicators of the Year in the world. Her writing has been featured in DecanterWorld of Fine Wine, the Robb Report, and others, and recommended by Food & WineImbibe, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and more. She has been a celebrated key note speaker and seminar leader for events in wine, philosophy, and writing in New Zealand, China, Australia, Chile, Germany, Canada, and throughout the United States. Her work also appears on her own website She is known online as Hawk Wakawaka, and is known for having created illustrated tasting notes, which @KermitLynchWine named “a new standard in wine reviews.” Prior to her career in wine, Elaine was an academic philosopher. She served as the Charles A Eastman Fellow at Dartmouth College, and a Tomlinson Fellow at McGill University, where she did her doctoral work. Prior to her academic career, Elaine owned her own commercial fishing business in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where the rest of her family still operate their own commercial salmon fishing businesses.

“Responsibility in Wine Communication”

The audience will learn key takeaways for how to respect and work with the social diversity of the US market in this period of swift cultural change. This is especially important for hosting guests from the United States, those traveling to the United States for wine business, and for those working with US media. The US is one of the more diverse countries in the world. It is also one of the largest wine-buying markets in the world. As such, learning to navigate and communicate about wine in respect of the diversity of that market is important. The presentation will provide both basic education on diversity and communication, and offer straightforward guidelines for respectful communication. It will address: understanding key categories of diversity in the US market, the advantages of diversity for a successful business, and simple guidelines on appropriate language use. When we use the term “language” we mean understanding and learning the racial history of the U.S., it’s current political climate, and being able to understand perceived biases in wine marketing, wine sales, and wine presentation. Language varies in different racial sectors of the U.S., and from other markets. So, it is important to understand which words can be normal in one country, but offensive in another. As wine communicators, in every form, it is our responsibility to communicate effectively and with sensitivity of culture, race, and gender.


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