6 Ways to Celebrate A Socially-distant Labor Day While Sheltering in Place
Wow. If someone had told us how the first 8 months of 2020 would pan out we probably wouldn’t have believed them. Yet here we are, heading up to Labor Day in the midst of a pandemic and like us, we’re sure most of you are eager to find ways to let loose. Labor Day is about taking a break; it has been a wild year for all of us, and we all deserve some time off. Due to social distancing, we won’t be doing most of the typical things we’re used to doing to celebrate the long weekend, such as throwing massive cookouts with our family and friends or heading to our favorite busy hot spots, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun! There are numerous ways for us to get creative, so gather up your quarantine crew and try out these exciting ideas for Labor Day.
Mix Up a Summery Cocktail
Release your inner mixologist and show off your newfound skills. You’ll be sure to impress your friends with these delicious cocktails that will officially mark the start of cocktail o’clock.
McBride Sisters Sparkling Summer Rosé Margarita
- 10 oz Mezcal
- 1 bottle of McBride Sisters New Zealand Sparkling Brut Rosé
- 5 oz fresh lime juice
- 4 oz Agave syrup
- A handful of sliced strawberries
- A bunch of basil
- Garnish: sliced strawberries, lime wheels and salt
- Combine the mezcal, lime juice and agave syrup in a punch bowl.
- Add the sliced strawberries and basil.
- Sit in the fridge for half an hour to infuse.
- Add cubed ice and stir to mix.
- Top with the sparkling rosé.
- Garnish with lime wheels, strawberries and salt and serve.
Tip: The bottle of mezcal can be infused for 3-5 days prior with the strawberries and basil for a stronger flavor.
McBride Sisters Red Wine Sangria
- 1 bottle of McBride Sisters Central Coast California Red Blend, chilled.
- ½ cup of brandy
- 1 large orange
- 1 cup of sliced mixed seasonal fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines), prepared and cut as desired
- 1 lemon sliced into thin rounds
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- Ice for serving
- Squeeze the juice from half of the orange into a pitcher. Thinly slice the remaining orange and add the slices to the pitcher.
- Add the prepared seasonal fruit and lemon and remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Taste and add additional brown sugar until the flavors have reached your preferred sweetness.
Note: this sangria can be served immediately or let sit to marinate for a few hours to enhance the flavors.
Serve in wine glasses with a few ice cubes to keep chilled. Enjoy!
Host a Wine Tasting Party with Your Squad
There’s nothing like indulging in some refreshing wines and delicious snacks to cool you off during the summer heat! Tell everyone to bring their own bottle of wine, and you can assign a theme such as favorite Californian wineries, family-run wineries and Black-owned wineries. (Hint: McBride Sisters fit into all three categories). We recommend pairing the elegant McBride Sisters Central Coast California Chardonnay with a buttery or nutty cheese such as Camembert or Tête de Moine. If you’re craving a red, pair the sultry McBride Sisters Central Coast California Red Blend with a sharp or smoked cheese such as a smoked Gouda or sharp Cheddar.
Throw a Virtual Zoom Party (BYO wine)
If a small gathering with a few of your closest friends just isn’t cutting it for a national holiday, round up your extended family, friends and entire Facebook list for a virtual Labor Day celebration. The best thing about a virtual party is that you can connect with your friends and relatives on the other side of the country (or in another continent) without having to leave your own living room. Nothing says party like a cold canned beverage, so grab your favorite She Can flavor (they’re all delicious but with tropical notes of guava, grapefruit and golden kiwi the Island Citrus Dry Rosé really says let’s party), throw on an outfit that slays and get the good times rolling.
Always wanted to check out a paint and sip wine party but never had the chance? Well, here’s your opportunity to host your own. Pick up a canvas, a set of acrylic or watercolor paints and an easel and turn your living room into the artist’s studio you’ve always dreamed of. You can invite a few of your closest friends over to join you (beware: things may get a little messy), or live stream the painting fun over Zoom. Tell your friends to pick up a bottle of their favorite McBride Sisters wine and get ready to unleash your inner Frida Kahlo. To mix things up a bit you can play with different themes or art periods, set a timer for 20-minute intervals and see what you come up with!
Have a Picnic in Your Backyard (or Rooftop, or Living Room)
One of the best things about summer is having outdoor picnics with delicious snacks, great wine and your besties. You don’t have to let the restrictions in your state hold you back from getting outdoors, with a little imagination and creativity you can turn your backyard, rooftop or living room into a magical retreat. Set up hanging fairy lights, large cushions and soft blankets and surround your space with plants for an instant, easy transformation. Our ideal way to kick off a picnic is with a can of She Can Rosé, the perfect pairing for any picnic spread. Turn up your summer playlist, like this 90s summer hip hop playlist on Spotify and slide right into picnic mode.
Get Your Game On
It’s time to dust off the box of Pictionary and gather up your crew. Or is Cards Against Humanity more your style? Whatever your game of choice is, pick it up and get ready for the best games night of your adult life. It’s not a real games night without drinks, so pick up a bottle or two of McBride Sisters Sauvignon Blanc, throw on some tunes and let the games begin.
Have Fun and Stay Safe
No matter what you decide to do for Labor Day remember to celebrate and have fun while staying safe. This isn’t only referring to COVID-19, but also keeping in mind to wear sunscreen on hot days, stay hydrated if you’re outside and keep social distancing rules in place where possible. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend with the McBride Sisters by your side.
AS A BUDDING OENOPHILE, I’M ALWAYS ON THE HUNT FOR NEW and exciting wines to try and add to my growing, albeit small, collection. Although they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, one of the first things that catches my eye when I’m perusing wine bottle selections is the label. This was definitely the case when I did a double take at one of the bottles belonging to the McBride Sisters Collection.
In big, bold letters across the bottle read, “BLACK GIRL MAGIC ROSÉ,” and I knew I had to have it. After further research, I learned there were even more options from the McBride Sisters Collection line and I mentally made room for them on my wine shelf.
A local Black-owned wine shop in Brooklyn called Happy Cork is to thank for my discovery of the McBride Sisters wine collections. It’s virtually impossible to scroll down the shop’s Instagram page without seeing a post about the McBride Sisters’ Black Girl Magic wine.
Sunshine Foss, owner of Happy Cork, says the McBride Sisters collection is huge at the shop now, but Foss says initially she had to search “high and low” for their products.
For Black-owned wine brands, systemic racism makes it difficult for them to have access and equal representation in the industry. Phil Long, president of the Association of African-American Vintners and owner of Longevity Wines, estimates that Black winemakers and brand owners make up less than 1% of all wineries in the US.
And the pandemic hasn’t helped with the number of Black businesses in general that have had to shut their doors permanently.
A report published in June by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that Black-owned businesses were hit the hardest by COVID-19 with April US estimates including a decrease of 1.1 million Black business owners in February 2020 to 640,000 in April 2020.
Once the pandemic hit, Happy Cork was one of the stores deemed essential, so the shop never shut down over the course of the last few months, including during the peak of the fight against racial injustice after the murder of George Floyd.
“There was a huge push for anything Black-owned,” Foss says. “With the traction of all these Black-owned wine brands, McBride Sisters was obviously at the top of that list and we’ve not been able to even keep it in stock.”
Robin McBride, co-founder of the McBride Sisters Collection along with her sister Andréa McBride-John, notes one of the main challenges in starting their business was their initial lack of knowledge of how the industry functioned and the obstacles that accompanied it.
“Obviously, we were women who were not wine professionals, and on top of that, we're Black. So, it became obvious very quickly what the biases were in the industry, which was definitely a challenge,” McBride says. “We had to figure out how to jump over a lot of the gatekeepers and a lot of what the establishment in the industry is and speak directly to the consumer.”
The two sisters started their business nearly 15 years ago, but McBride says during that time, the wine industry was not catered toward women or people of color.
“Over time, we focused our efforts on what we inherently knew to be overlooked consumers and wine-drinkers,” says McBride. “We’d say, ‘Look, we've had success in these places because you guys aren't making products available for these people and you're not talking to them in the right way. We know how to do that. We really need to be distributed here, in this state, in this market, in this way. We need to have visibility.’”
Like Happy Cork in Brooklyn, Alyson Rae Lawson’s 7-Eleven franchise in Arlington, Texas also carries the McBride Sisters Collection -- when it can actually stay on the shelves (in the past, she’s sold over 900 bottles from the Black Girl Magic Collection in two days!).
“It’s been absolutely nuts. I think a lot of it is the Black community supporting the Black community,” Lawson says. “I want to say it’s crazy and I'm exhausted, but I’m not going to complain because it’s amazing to see people who want to support me and also want to support the McBride sisters in the same wave.”
Robin McBride says she stays in contact with Alyson often to make sure her store stays stocked, which has further helped her and her sister’s goal of their products remaining accessible. And what better place to put a product that people can actually get their hands on than a convenience store?
“I actually got in touch with the McBride sisters early on, almost immediately after opening our doors, however they had no distribution in New York,” Foss says of the California-based company. “It took months and so much pestering from my end to finally get them in-house but to have a bottle that actually says ‘Black Girl Magic,’ there’s something golden there.”
But the McBrides sisters’ story of how they met in 1999 after spending their entire lives thinking they were only children is what really drew me in to their magic. After Robin’s mother and their father divorced, Robin and her mother moved to Monterey, California and lost contact with him, and he later remarried to Andréa’s mother in Los Angeles.
“[My mother] didn't have any more children either, and she didn't remarry, so I grew up with just me and my mom,” McBride says. “Not knowing our father, we had no way to know of course that he had remarried back in Los Angeles, that my sister was born nine years later and her mom was originally from New Zealand.”
Andrea’s mother and their father eventually divorced as well, and Andrea’s mother became terminally ill and took Andrea with her back to New Zealand to be closer to her family. After she died, their father fell ill several years later and relied on family members to connect the two sisters after he passed. And that connection came to fruition three years later and the origins of the wine collection that exists today began to form.
McBride says the idea behind their business was based on where they grew up, and the grape-growing and wine-making culture that exists in Monterey and New Zealand. Today, both sisters are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the McBride Sisters Collection is headquartered.
“When we first started our business, we didn't know how to make wine, we didn't own a winery, we didn't own any vineyards, and we didn't have any money to buy a winery,” McBride says. “So when we started, we started with what was familiar. At the time, what was familiar was the family-owned small wineries where Andrea grew up in New Zealand, so we traveled there and we talked to them about bringing wine into the States and into California.”
Robin and Andrea then visited wine regions outside of California and New Zealand, and expanded to the Old World -- which includes France, Spain, and Italy -- to understand the history and heritage behind what is notably regarded as the place where the best wine comes from.
McBride described their approach to wine as “Old World elegance with New World finesse,” referencing not only the Old World wine-making practices, but also acknowledging the grape expressions of the New World.
The original McBride Sisters Collection pays homage to both New Zealand and California where each of the sisters grew up. It includes a red blend and Chardonnay from California and Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling brut rosé from the central coast of California.
The McBride sisters are using their influence and resources to uplift others not only through the stores their wines are available in, but also in the creativity of the products themselves. The SHE CAN Collection includes canned versions of their bottled rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, and their new canned wine spritzers that come in coastal berry and island citrus flavors.
“Our focus is on women's empowerment. We launched the first two products, rosé from California and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and we dedicated each of those to our mothers,” McBride says. “If you look in the design on the can, which has a line down one side, it has all the fruits, flowers and different aromas that are in the wine. Next to the line, each of our mother's initials are in the design because they're our inspiration and our strength.”
The canned wines were also launched with the SHE CAN Professional Development Fund, which this year, has expanded to focus on the theme, “SHE CAN Thrive,” which will provide COVID relief funds specifically for Black women-owned businesses.
As far as what McBride and her sister want to see change within the wine industry, representation is at the top of the list and challenging distributors and retailers to do better at making room for Black- and women- owned brands is how they’re doing their part.
“We want to see the wine industry really reflect its consumers,” McBride says. “You look at movements like the 15 Percent Pledge and we really view it the same way. The industry has been pretty blind to accept reality. Not too many years ago, it was brand new news within the industry that women bought wine.”
Despite the wine industry being a majorly male-dominated industry, the McBride sisters’ goal is to change the face of wine for the industry, consumers, and for representation of Black women overall.
“We feel we have a voice and we feel that our voice represents the will of our customers, so I'm not going to back down anytime soon,” McBride says. “We're looking for diversity in terms of what the consumer wants despite what the industry has been for a long time.”
Kristen Adaway is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @kristenadaway.
On June 3rd, we created a post on our Instagram in recognition of the #BuyBlack movement, with hopes that it would bring awareness to other Black-owned wineries much like ours! We are happy to say that you all shared this post far and wide (over 29,000 times), so much so that many of the wineries sold out and had to gear up for a full restock.
Being that August is Black Business Month, we want to continue the support of Black-owned wineries by expanding our initial list from 67 to over 130 companies that are either Black-owned, feature Black winemakers, or both!
You can help us support Black-owned businesses around the world by sharing this blog post and letting us know about your business or a Black-owned business in your area!
- McBride Sisters Collection - Instagram
- Theopolis Vineyards - Instagram
- Zafa Wines - Instagram
- P. Harrell Wines - Instagram
- Jenny Dawn Cellars - Instagram
- Love Cork Screw - Instagram
- Stuyvesant Champagne - Instagram
- Browne Estate Napa Valley - Instagram
- Aslina Wines by Ntsiki Biyela - Instagram
- La Féte du Rosé - Instagram
- Bodkin Wines - Instagram
- Abbey Creek Vineyard - Instagram
- D Wade Cellars - Instagram
- Flo Wine - Instagram
- Amour Geneve - Instagram
- Vision Cellars - Facebook
- Armand De Brignac by Jay-Z and Beyoncé - Instagram
- Domaine Curry - Instagram
- Cheurlin Vineyards - Instagram
- Lyons Wine - Instagram
- LVE Wines by John Legend - Instagram
- L'Tonya Renee Red Blend - Instagram
- Marie Cesaire - Instagram
- Serendipity Wines - Instagram
- Shoe Crazy Wine - Instagram
- Frichette Winery - Instagram
- Silkbush Mountain Vineyards - Instagram
- Simply Love Wines - Instagram
- Sip and Share Wines - Instagram
- Darjean Jones - Instagram
- Sosabe Cellars - Instagram
- Virgo Cellars - Facebook
- Maarkell-Bani Fine Wines - Instagram
- J Moss Wines - Instagram
- Kumusha Wines - Instagram
- Ole Orleans Wine - Instagram
- Longevity Wines - Instagram
- Enat Winery - Instagram
- Free Range Flower Winery - Instagram
- Indigene Cellars - Instagram
- Stover Oaks - Instagram
- Tympany Vineyards
- Frog Crest Vineyards - Instagram
- Corner 103 - Instagram
- Taste Collection Cellars - Instagram
- Charles Wine Company - Instagram
- Marbue Marke Wines - Instagram
- Earl Stevens Selection - Instagram
- Myx Fusions by Nicki Minaj - Instagram
- M'Hudi - Instagram
- Nyarai Cellars - Instagram
- Okapi Vineyards - Instagram
- Charles Woodson Wines - Instagram
- Vina Sympatica - Instagram
- L'Object Noir - Facebook
- Edelheiss Wines - Instagram
- Esrever Wines - Instagram
- The True Wine Connoisseurs by Sadat X & Will Tell
- Seven Sisters - Instagram
- Mukamii - Instagram
- Mosi Wines - Instagram
- Wachira Wines - Instagram
- House of Mandela - Instagram
- Bee D’Vine - Instagram
- Thomas T Thomas Vineyard - Instagram
- Bass Note Sangria - Instagram
- Davidson Wine Co - Instagram
- Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery - Instagram
- Chateau Le Lous Gris - Instagram
- Sapiens Beverage - Instagram
- Stoney Wines - Instagram
- The Collection Cellars - Instagram
- Wifey Brands - Instagram
- Women in Wine - Facebook
- K Rose Wine - Instagram
- Stoudemire Wines - Instagram
- Ses' Fikile Wines - Instagram
- Lathitha Wines - Facebook
- Thandi Wine - Instagram
- Adama Wines - Instagram
- Bayede - Instagram
- Imvula Wine - Instagram
- House of BNG - Instagram
- House of La Ricmal
- Amelie Wine
- Botebo Wines - Instagram
- Cape Dreams - Instagram
- Saarloos & Sons - Instagram
- Compagniesdrift - Instagram
- Carmen Stevens Wines - Instagram
- De Ladegourdie Wines
- Delisa Wines - Facebook
- Doornkraal Wines - Instagram
- Earth Bound - Instagram
- Enaleni Vineyards
- Epicurean Wine - Instagram
- Fairvalley - Facebook
- Inkosi Wines - Instagram
- J9 Wines - Instagram
- Jan Harmsga - Instagram
- KABB Wines / Mountain Breeze
- Koni Wines - Instagram
- Koopmanskloof - Facebook
- La Ric Mal - Facebook
- Land of Hope
- Libby's Pride
- Magna Carta Wines - Instagram
- Oakfields Wines
- Opus Wines
- PaardenKloof - Instagram
- Paul Roos Wine
- Poker Hill Vineyard
- Sena Wine
- Siwea Wines
- Sizanani Wines
- Son of Soil Wines
- Stellar Winery - Instagram
- Stellenrust - Instagram
- Tesselaardal Wines - Instagram
- The Bridge of Hope Wines - Instagram
- Thembi & Co Wines - Facebook
- The Township Winery - Facebook
- Truevines Wines - Instagram
- Tumbaga Fine Wines
- Five's Reserve
Companies that support Black Drinks Professionals:
- Black Wine Professionals
- Black Bourbon Society - Instagram
- Black Food Folks - Instagram
- Black Girls Drink
- Causing a Stir - Instagram
- Diversity in Wine & Spirits - Instagram
- Hue Society - Instagram
- Radical Xchange - Instagram
- Urban Wine Collective
- Urban Connoisseurs - Instagram
- Association of African American Vintners - Instagram
Ok, we can all admit this spring is definitely not “business as usual.” Most of us are stuck at home S.I.P. (sheltered in place), which is especially hard during this Easter/Passover week, a time normally celebrated with our families. If you’re like us, you’re looking for all the positive energy you can find in this world of scary COVID-19 news.
For the first week or so, Robin and I read ALL the articles that popped up in our notifications and religiously watched the news for updates on the virus. We were STRESSED. However, after a FaceTime session, we realized that we’d been working so hard with events and travel, and for real––we were a little worn out. While we continue to work hard during S.I.P., now is a great time to focus a little more on taking care of ourselves and getting back in touch with the things we love, like hanging out with our families, cooking, catching up on movies and shows, and listening to music, to help us feel more calm and relaxed.
Like so many of us, Robin and I are not good at making time for ourselves––we always feel like there’s something we should be doing to stay busy––but caring for ourselves, especially during stressful times, helps clear our minds. So, we wanted to share some fun activities you can do, paired with our favorite wines for spring, to bring a little fun into a tough situation!
Rosé All Day!
Rosé is perfect for spring, and it’s even better when enjoyed with your girlfriends. Fragrant orange blossom and tart raspberries make our Black Girl Magic California Rosé an excellent wine to sip on with your girls this season.
Although you can’t see them in person right now (shoutout to #SocialDistancing), you can meet up at the club! #ClubQuarantine, that is. Our favorite DJ, D-Nice, has been live on Instagram spinning the songs that make EVERYBODY move. Grab your girls and jump in––it’s just like being at the club back in the day but you don’t even have to get dressed!
Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay
Ok, truth? We haven’t had much time to read. But, I’ve got a plan to chill with some smooth R&B and a few books that I’ve been dying to read. Robin and I like to read books written by strong women who write honestly about their lives and learnings. A lot of humor and maybe even a little spilling of tea along the way and we are IN. On our list right now? “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” by the fabulous Elaine Welteroth, “We’re Going to Need More Wine” by the smart and gorgeous Gabrielle Union-Wade, and “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” by truth-telling Luvvie Ajayi Jones. Let us know your favorite reads in the comments!
The perfect companion to great music and an excellent book is, of course, Chardonnay! Try our elegant and crisp Central Coast California Chardonnay. With notes of juicy pineapple and zesty citrus––it’s perfect with this delicious Grilled/ Smoked Salmon recipe featured in the latest blog from our good friend Mark Phillips at Southern Temptation.
Sauvignon Blanc and Downward Dog?
Yoga and wine are known to be two of the best ways to relax. If you’re craving some good yoga and maybe even a little side of meditation, check out the awesome sessions hosted by Faith Hunter or join in on the FREE classes CorePower is offering on their YouTube channel.
Red Blend and Chill
And finally, now is the perfect time to binge a TV series or watch some movies! If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Uncorked on Netflix––a fantastic family drama centered around our favorite thing: Wine!
For a relaxing movie night, all you need is a smooth red wine, some PJ’s and a cozy seat.
Hungry? Skip the popcorn and go all out with some BBQ! Treat yo’ self to one of our favorite recipes: McBride Sisters Family Chocolate & Jalapeño Short Ribs. Enjoy it with our Central Coast California Red Blend. With its leathery notes of tobacco, flavors of juicy plum, cherry, and blackberry, and a hint of peppery spice, you’ll be ready for a dope night in!
Order our wines now in our Online Wine Shop to stock up on these spring essentials!
Happy Easter and Passover to you all! Wash your hands and be well.
McBride Sisters Family Recipe: Chocolate & Jalapeño Short Ribs with McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend
Total Time: 3 hr. 30 min
- 3 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. canola oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 3 tsp. tomato paste
- 3 tsp. ketchup
- 1 1/2 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 cup McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend
- 2 cups beef stock
- 6 dried mixed chilies (Chipotle, arbol, ancho)
- 1 disc Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate chopped
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- Preheat a Le Creuset Grill Pan over medium heat; brush lightly with canola oil. Pat the short ribs dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Grill short ribs in batches on all sides until grill marks appear, remove from grill and repeat with remaining short ribs.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat olive oil in the Le Creuset Braiser over medium heat; add the onion, carrot, and celery to skillet. Sauté until they achieve color. Stir in garlic and jalapeño, cooking for one minute, and then add tomato paste and ketchup. Cook and stir until the paste starts to darken, scraping the bottom of the braiser to prevent burning. Stir in Paprika and Cumin, thyme, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook and stir to toast spices. Deglaze with McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend wine and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan; allow wine to reduce by half. Add dried chilies and beef stock and heat mixture to a rolling simmer; add chocolate and stir to melt.
- Place short ribs into braiser, cover with lid, and place in oven for 30 hours. The ribs should be very tender and almost fall off the bone. Carefully remove ribs to a serving platter and keep warm.
- Remove whole Chile pieces from sauce and skim fat from the surface. Stir in 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar. If the sauce is too thin, mix 1/2 tbsp. flour 1tbsp. water together to form a slurry and whisk into sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and serve over ribs.
Ladies, it’s our time to shine: It’s Women’s History Month! Embrace your inner Sasha Fierce and raise a glass to all of the impactful women who have paved the way for us to live our best lives. After all, we know #SHECAN do anything.
A Boundless Sisterhood
When we entered the winemaking business, we knew we would face adversity––breaking into a male-dominated industry as two Black women is NOT easy. Taking inspiration from our two strong mothers and combining our determined, fearless personalities, our mission became clear: we would transform the industry through leading by example and cultivating community, one great wine at a time. We envisioned a true Sisterhood where women could bond over their achievements and a good bottle of Rosé.
The McBride Sisters Collection was born in 2010, and we can proudly say we are the first Black Sisters to create and grow a wine company. We didn’t do it on our own, though––from Coco Chanel to Oprah, Andréa and I looked up to many resilient women throughout history to turn our shared dream of making wine into a reality. (On a side note, Coco is definitely a Brut Rosé kind of girl.)
Chasing a dream is a never-ending marathon that takes dedication and support. Each day we think about how we can create uplifting, positive experiences for women. We want to encourage women to color outside the lines, to never settle, and to empower each other, because, as we always say, empowered women empower women. Hopefully, Andréa and I will help open doors for other women, just as women before us have done.
Check out this inspirational gallery of women who are changing the game.
#SHECAN, So She Does
This March, we are showcasing our SHE CAN wines. Designed to motivate and encourage all women to go after what we want––no matter what obstacles we encounter––our SHE CAN packaging is a roar, not a whisper. We hope it reminds you to be unafraid of your powerful voice and unique story. You are automatically a part of our Fearless Pride when you crack open a can of Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc!
To ride the wave of International Women’s Day (did you know there’s a theme each year? This year is #EachforEqual, encouraging us to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, and celebrate women's achievements), we have finally announced details for the 2020 SHE CAN Professional Development Fund! Founded in 2019, our scholarship program initially promoted the professional advancement of women in the winemaking industry. But, to celebrate a new decade, we are now supporting women who are overcoming gender biases in all industries. Applications will go live on June 1st, but you can click here for more info––get pumped, ladies!
Last year, we awarded scholarships of nearly $40,000. We can’t wait to help a new round of fierce go-getters knock down barriers. June 1st, hurry up!
Spring is in the Air
Flowers are beginning to bloom, spring fashions are emerging, and it’s getting warm enough to start thinking about chilled wines and picnics. Our SHE CAN Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and refreshing––the perfect complement to a gorgeous spring day! Pair it with this colorful, vegetarian-friendly Spring Panzanella with Asparagus, a recipe we LOVE from Food&Wine.
Spring Panzanella with Asparagus
- 4 large eggs
- Four thin slices of peasant bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 pounds fat asparagus, peeled
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups packed young mustard greens or chicory
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound ricotta salata, thinly sliced and crumbled
- 1 watermelon radish or 2 large red radishes, very thinly sliced
- Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the eggs in a saucepan of water and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Simmer for 6 minutes. Drain the saucepan and fill it with cold water. Crack the eggs all over and let stand in the water for 1 minute. Peel and thickly slice the eggs; the yolks will be barely cooked but not runny.
- Step 2: Spread the bread pieces on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 12 minutes, until crisp.
- Step 3: Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, cool and cut the asparagus in half lengthwise.
- Step 4: In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of oil with the vinegar; season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus, toasted bread, greens, onion and cheese. Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Garnish with the eggs and radish and serve.
Choosing Wine for Date Night Just Got Easy!
Whether you’re planning a romantic date night or a fun girls’ night in, there’s one must-have: the perfect bottle of wine. No excuses!
You may be wondering if it really matters which variety you choose. In fact, it does! You could have any random bottle of wine, but why think so small? Your choice says a lot about what you expect of the evening. It’s these subtle details that contribute to a romantic evening with your partner or a fun night with the girls. Besides, there’s nothing more special than opening a bottle of wine with your date! We’ve come up with a list of 3 sophisticated wines that tend to appeal to the masses (and exceed expectations).
1. BRUT ROSÉ
It’s hard to go wrong with Sparkling. Add the Rosé factor into the mix and we have the duchess of wines (*cough cough* subtle shoutout to our girl Meghan Markle). Needless to say, popping a cork signifies that you’ve gathered to celebrate. If you’ve opened Brut Rosé with your date or girl gang, the message is clear.
McBride Sisters Collection Brut Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that possesses gentle floral notes of rose petals––the universal flower of love. This is complemented by strawberries and cream, a romantic fruit if there ever was one. Strawberries dipped in chocolate, anyone? This refreshing Brut Rosé is delicately structured and generous with a dry finish.
Fun fact: Carbonation stimulates the salivary glands so you don’t need to worry about your mouth going dry from date nerves!
Pairing suggestion: Roasted Oysters
Similar to Brut Rosé, a Rosé’s color is key. That gorgeous pink has our mouths watering and reminds us of love. If you’re ever unsure of what your girls or date drinks, Rosé is generally a crowd-pleaser.
Black Girl Magic Rosé is a sophisticated dry Rosé. This Rosé has aromas of raspberry and orange blossom with delightful acidity and delectable fresh stone fruit and citrus palate.
Pairing suggestion: Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms
3. RED BLEND
Deep, rich reds are usually a date night go-to. The beautiful red color screams romance. It is also a great wine to have in-hand while you chat with the girls. Picking a red wine can be daunting if you don’t know which grape your date prefers. That’s where a Red Blend comes into play. A Red Blend is a wine that encourages meaningful conversations. Just remember not to wear a white shirt ;)!
McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) has a lovely rich garnet color. This complex wine has tobacco and vanilla bean notes alongside generous plum, cherry, and blackberry. Ripe and juicy in the mouth, the soft tannins offer just enough velvety texture to round out the full body. Peppery spice and a hint of herb show up on the finish, encouraging another sip and cheers.
Pairing suggestion: Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna (and Chocolate Fondue for dessert)
Visit our Wine Shop to prepare stress-free for your next date or girls’ night. Enjoy!
Fall *wink* in Love with These Favs
We’re putting away our flip flops and bringing out the tall boots. Red, yellow, and orange leaves have begun to fall, leaving branches bare. It’s pumpkin season, y’all!
As much as our Pride loves the light and fruity wines that did us wonders in the summer heat, fall’s wines warm the palette so well. Maybe we’re biased, but we would argue it does it better than a pumpkin spice latte ever could; are we right, ladies?! ;)
You might not be quite ready for full-bodied, rich reds that tend to be associated with winter. Not a problem! There are plenty of lighter reds, aromatic whites, and even Rosés to choose from. Typically, when we hear “Rosé” we associate this pink wine with the sweltering summer. Let’s not limit this wine’s potential. Think of Rosé as the perfect transition wine. In fact, Rosé season never has to end!
Rosé For The Wine
McBride Sisters Collection Brut Rosé is a blend of Pinot and Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir was mainly sourced from Kelly’s Creek Vineyard in Spring Creek, Marlborough. (Fun fact: Andréa helped plant these vines as a child!) This beautifully salmon-colored wine is delicately structured with gentle notes of rose petals and strawberries and cream. The red fruits carry through the palate with cranberry, peach, strawberry, and raspberry notes taking center stage. There is a hint of toasty complexity and creamy richness that makes this versatile wine work so well in the cooler months. There is a dry finish with lingering hints of spice, giving the mouth a kick.
Pair with Bouillabaisse.
Black Girl Magic Rosé is a sophisticated take on the classic Rosé. The raspberry and orange blossom aromas play with the delightful acidity and counteract the chilly weather outside. Meanwhile, the delectable fresh stone fruit and citrus palette encourage sip after sip.
Pair with Ratatouille.
Are You Red-y?
McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend is perfect for those late, rainy evenings. This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is a garnet gem. Let’s get complex. This wine has flavors of plum, cherry, and blackberry, alongside tobacco and vanilla. That’s not all! Peppery spice and a hint of blackberry show up on the finish—so rich; so luxurious.
Pair with Butternut Squash and Kale Salad.
Dessert and White Wine
Black Girl Magic Riesling is an intensely aromatic white. Its characteristics are typical of a Riesling: honey, apricot, and white flowers. Tangerine, jasmine, and coriander seed appear in the nose. The palette then turns to tropical flavors of guava and pineapple. It doesn’t stop there! Mild sweetness is balanced by tangy citrus for a sweet and sour finish. No one ever said that fall flavors need to be savory!
Pair with the ultimate fall dessert, Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler! Check out the recipe below.
Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler (via Lauren's Latest)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 cup and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup melted butter or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 1 ½ cups very hot water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, melted butter, and vanilla together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Pour into a small 8-inch casserole dish with high sides.
- In a separate bowl, stir sugar, brown sugar, and pecans together. Spread over the top of the batter evenly. Pour hot water over the entire thing without stirring, and bake for 40 minutes or once the middle is set. Be sure to place it on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with more pecans, vanilla ice cream, and a tall glass of Black Girl Magic Riesling!
Visit our Wine Shop to try all our fall favorites. Happy sipping!
Put down your glass of Sauvignon Blanc…now pick it back up.
If you’re like us, you like to know the facts about what you’re consuming. Well, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get to know everyone’s favorite white wine: Sauvignon Blanc!
Back To Basics
Sauvignon Blanc, a green-skinned grape variety, originates from the Bordeaux region of France and produces a dry, crisp white wine. In the 1880s, the first Sauvignon Blanc cuttings were brought to California, the location of McBride Sisters Collection headquarters. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the grape was first introduced to New Zealand, where the McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc and SHE CAN Sauvignon Blanc are cultivated. In 1979, Sauvignon Blanc was first commercially produced on New Zealand shores, and is now the country’s most widely planted variety.
Besides California and New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc is also cultivated in France, Chile, Romania, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Washington state. Can you get any more worldly?!
Did you know that the Sauvignon Blanc vine often buds late but ripens early? Therefore, it performs best in sunny climates, as long as it’s not exposed to overwhelming heat. In warm regions––for example, South Africa, Australia, and California––the grape thrives in cooler climates. High heat causes the grape to over-ripen and produce dull-flavored wine.
Both of our Sauvignon Blancs are cultivated in the Marlborough Region of New Zealand. The region’s sandy soils over slate shingles makes for great soil drainage. It also has poor fertility, which encourages the vine to focus its flavors in lower yields. Climate determines if the wine’s flavor is more tropical or grassy.
Flavors of The Month
Warmer climates produce a wine with tropical fruit notes. Over-ripeness is a risk, and leaves faint grapefruit and tree fruit notes. On the other end of the spectrum, cooler climates produce wine with noticeable acidity and flavors of grass, green bell peppers, passion fruit, and floral notes. An unripe grape is high in malic acid. As it ripens, it develops bell pepper flavors, achieving a balance of sugars. Sauvignon Blanc’s primary flavors are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. The flavor palette ranges from zippy lime to flowery peach.
What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines? Well, its aromatic organic compounds called “pyrazines” give the wine its herbaceous flavors of bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry, and grass. Sauvignon Blanc’s acidity level is medium to medium-high.
Similar varieties include: Verdejo, Albariño, Colombard, Grüner Veltliner, Verdicchio, Vermentino, Tocai Friulano, Savignan (rare), Traminer, and Sauvignon Vert (rare).
Via Wine Folly.
Tu Parle en Français?
“Sauvage” is the French word for “wild,” and “Blanc” is the French word for “white.” Therefore, Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white.” So, guess we’re gettin’ wild with a glass of “wild white!”
Pour To Enjoy
Sauvignon Blanc does not particularly benefit from aging, so there’s no need to wait to open a bottle. Lighter, crisp wines like Sauvignon Blanc shouldn’t be oxidized as much to preserve the clean flavor. When it comes to using the right wine glass shape, look for wine glasses with a smaller mouth.* These glasses reduce the surface area of the wine. Use these glasses to enjoy our delicate McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc.
*Psst! Visit our blog post “Why the Shape of a Wine Glass Shapes the Taste of Your Wine” for more information.
Another trick of the trade is to serve Sauvignon Blanc at “cellar temp” (about 50 to 60 degrees). When it comes to chilling white wine, there are two options. You can either leave it in the fridge for several hours, or you can put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. If the girls are on their way, pop that bottle in the freezer and you’re good to go.
Luckily for us, Sauvignon Blanc has a variety of foods that mutually compliment each other.
- Seafood lovers, this one’s for you! Sauvignon Blanc’s zing enhances the citrus and garlic-based sauces used for seafood, shellfish, and white fish. It is also one of the only wines that works well with sushi.
- By now you know that Sauvignon Blanc has herbaceous notes. These pair well with similar green herbs like parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro, mint, tarragon, thyme, fennel, dill, and chives. Other “non-green” spices include white pepper, coriander, turmeric, and saffron.
- Meat lovers, unite! Perfect white meat pairings are chicken and turkey.
- We love a delectable cheese board. Try Sauvignon Blanc with softer, briny, and sour cheeses like goat’s milk cheese.
- Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the veggies! Pair these vegetarian dishes with Sauvignon Blanc: asparagus quiche, cucumber dill yogurt salad, white bean casserole with zucchini, and green hummus.
Now that you’re a Sauvignon Blanc expert, put your knowledge to the test. Kick back with a bottle (or two) of crisp, clean Sauvignon Blanc! Visit our Wine Shop to explore our wines.
Cheers to You!
Are you a glass-half-full or half-empty kind of person?
If you’ve ever wondered why wine glass shapes are a big deal, we’re here to help clarify. Through a number of testings and experiments, experts have found that the shape of the glass has the ability to concentrate the wine’s aroma, further intensifying the varietal characteristics. How can we say no to that?!
Typically, glasses are composed of three parts: the bowl, stem, and foot. Key factors that drive the shape of the bowl are the release of aromas, the collection of aromas, and the lip. As the alcohol volatilizes at the wine’s surface, aromas are released. The space between the wine and the glass’s lip is where aromas are collected. Generally, red wines have larger bowls to highlight their aromas. To maintain their temperature, white wines have smaller bowls. The lip of the glass is usually made quite thin so it’s out of the way and doesn’t affect the drinker’s experience.
Now that we’ve discussed the general guidelines, let’s get down to the specific, nitty-gritty differences in wine glass shapes!
Via Wine Folly.
Let’s break it down!
Red Wine Glasses
By now you know that red wine glasses have wider, rounder bowls. You may not know that these bowls are intended to increase the rate of oxidation. Oxidation allows the complex flavors found in red wines to be smoothed. (Psst! Visit our blog post for information about decanting wine!) Some examples of red wine glasses include:
- Bordeaux glass: This tall, broad bowled glass is designed for bold, full-bodied red wines like our Black Girl Magic Red Blend, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The wide opening helps smooth the flavor and allows the ethanol to evaporate.
- “Standard” red wine glass: This glass is ideal for medium to full-bodied reds, especially those with spicy notes. Use this glass to sip on Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah (Shiraz), and Petite Sirah.
- Burgundy glass: The Burgundy glass is broader than the Bordeaux glass. It’s bigger bowl accumulates delicate aromas, like from Pinot Noir.
White Wine Glasses
Compared to red wine glasses, white wine glasses vary quite a bit in shape and size, from the tapered Champagne flute to the wide and shallow glasses used to enjoy Chardonnay.
Similar to red wine glasses, wide-mouthed glasses promote rapid oxidation. Chardonnays, like McBride Sisters Collection Chardonnay, are best served slightly oxidized.
Lighter, crisp wines shouldn’t be oxidized as much, in order to preserve the clean flavor. Look for wine glasses with a smaller mouth intended to reduce the surface area of the wine. Use these glasses for our delicate McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc, a summer favorite.
Sparkling Wine Glasses
When you think of sparkling wine glass, you think “Champagne flute.” This tall, narrow-bowled, long-stemmed design is meant to be held by the stem to prevent your hand from heating the wine. The narrow bowl helps to retain that scrumptious carbonation. Also, we can’t deny the Instagrammable quality of the flute! Add a strawberry slice to a glass of McBride Sisters Collection Brut Rosé and get snapping! It also helps to preserve the wine’s floral aromas, express more acidity, and deliver the aromas to the nose.
However, a “universal” or white wine glass is also a great option to enjoy a celebratory glass of sparkling wine or Prosecco. These wider-mouthed glasses allow the aromas to pop out of the glass, which can be muted with the traditional Champagne flute.
“Universal” Wine Glass
This is probably the handiest invention to benefit the wine world. “Universal” glasses are suited for drinking any kind of wine. If you’re a drink-outta-any-glass kind of gal, then the universal wine glass is the shape for you. There’s no need to collect specific glasses for varietals if you classify yourself as a “casual wine fan.” Of course, if you want to step it up a notch, use a standard red wine glass for all reds and a Chardonnay glass for whites.
Stemless glasses are great for everyday enjoyment. They’re an easy choice if you’re collapsing wine-in-hand after a long workday. However, we don’t recommend using them for higher-quality wines. Without the stem, you're forced to hold the bowl, which warms the wine—a white wine lover's nightmare.
Are your glasses clean and need to be filled? Visit our Wine Shop to make your flavor palette and glasses happy with a number of our sophisticated wines. We’ll drink to that!