Show Up & Show Off Your Wine Knowledge This Season
This season, we’re showing up to the holiday party with a lot more than a bottle of wine. Show off your wine knowledge and be the person at the party who knows which wine to pair with the favorite family recipes.
McBride Certified Wine 101 is a free wine education course that was created to teach the wine curious about winemaking, wine tasting, food pairing and more. Wine knowledge and education should be accessible to everyone. For the holidays this year, we’re joined by Cassandra Schaeg of SIP Wine & Beer. She’s using her platform to educate and entertain the wine world in an inclusive and exciting way. The more success she finds, the more she brings everyone up together. Her wine knowledge is on point, her business is booming and we can’t wait to learn more about her tips and tricks for how to enjoy wine over the holidays.
Cassandra is the Founder of SIP Wine & Beer, a tasting room in Escondido, CA, specializing in and promoting wine and beer made by women and people of color. Since 2016 SIP Wine & Beer has been a destination to inspire, empower, and educate.
Cassandra supports her community by sharing her experiences and knowledge to assist entrepreneurs, students, and the community in understanding the importance of social and economic impact. SIP has been a hub for women and BIPOC brewmasters to thrive and share their stories and spirits. As a result, the San Diego community spent $500k supporting brands made by women and people of color.
She is passionate about assisting women and people of color in the wine, beer, and entrepreneurial ecosystem and champions initiatives to increase advocacy and resources. Supporting women and people of color is vital to expand views often seen from a singular narrative. Through SIP Wine & Beer, her movement to SIP | CONNECT | SHARE lives through community, culture, conversation, and your support.
Level Up Your Holidays With Cassandra
Robin: Why wine? What made you decide to get into the wine industry and what challenges did you overcome along the way? What made you decide to get into the wine industry, and what challenges did you overcome along the way?
Cassandra: I decided to get into the wine industry because I enjoy the community, culture, and conversation it brings. Connecting with friends, family, and strangers over a bottle of wine is exciting. Sharing the stories of winemakers who've persevered through challenges and created their rulebook to navigate the industry gives me the strength to continue chasing my dreams. Challenges are a part of entrepreneurship. The biggest challenge was navigating a space where representation was limited. Having a support system is vital, and I appreciate Robin and Andrea's willingness to be sisters to others in the wine industry.
Robin: Over the holidays, which wines are you always reaching for? What’s your go-to holiday wine?
Cassandra: Bubbles are my go-to to start the party. I always start the party with Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut. After, it's a bold cabernet for dinner and conversation. My favorite is Kita's 2016 cabernet, made by the 2021 VinePair winemaker of the year Tara Gomez!
Robin: What role does wine play in your family feasts or holiday celebrations?
Cassandra: Wine is the glue that keeps our family feasts and holiday celebrations memorable. As the founder of SIP Wine & Beer, I am the designated wine curator, and I take this job seriously.
Robin: Our holiday wine education theme is Show Up & Show Off Your Wine Knowledge this season. How does that resonate with you?
Cassandra: Excellence and sophistication are words that come to mind when I Show Up & Show Off. Sharing the excellence of women and BIPOC winemakers while drinking their wine with pride is a feeling everyone should experience.
Robin: What are 5 wine facts to bring to the holiday dinner table this year?
- Bubbles are a must, and they also help with digestion.
- Wine with acidity complements dishes like yams, mac and cheese, stuffing, and turkey.
- Keep your wine selection to 3 bottles to savor the flavors and aromas paired with your meal.
- Add a port or late harvest riesling with your banana pudding or peach cobbler and watch your guests will love it!
- Drink responsibly!
Robin: What are the 3 best holiday dishes + unique wine pairings to try this year?
- Fried chicken + rose
- Collard greens + chenin blanc
- Peach cobbler + late harvest riesling
Robin: Can you tell us about one of your favorite holiday wine & food experiences? From the varietal, setting, music, any details you can remember — but a moment that is frozen in your mind as a perfect wine experience.
Cassandra: A moment that sticks out is Thanksgiving 2020. I had to be creative to cure my pandemic woes, so I decided to cook fried chicken, yams, mac and cheese, greens, and cornbread. My drink of choice was LeFete Rose, and it changed my life! Paired with classic movies like House Party and Boomerang, it was a Thanksgiving I'll never forget.
Robin: Wine education also includes educating the consumer on inclusivity. What role have you taken in driving forward a more inclusive wine industry? How are you continuing to make an impact?
Cassandra: SIP Wine & Beer's business model supports local women and people of color. When you visit SIP, you are entering a space where inclusivity thrives. SIP's success depends on the success of brands represented, and it is vital to support innovators who defied odds in an underrepresented industry.
Robin: Why did you decide to start SIP Wine & Beer and what’s next for your career?
Cassandra: I started SIP Wine & Beer to immerse myself in the community. Through wine and beer, I forged bonds with women and BIPOC winemakers who are the epitome of excellence. I truly enjoy my entrepreneurial journey, and next year’s goal is to continue to generate $1M in sales through women and BIPOC brands. Stay tuned for what’s next!!!