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Andréa McBride
 
June 16, 2021 | Andréa McBride

#TracingOurRoots through Barbados

We’re celebrating Black History long after the month of February. Through Juneteenth, we are #TracingOurRoots through the African Diaspora by highlighting different cities, countries and regions. For each region we focus on, Robin & I are hoping to celebrate the traditions, culture and cuisine that have been influenced by the routes of migration of African peoples. For our next stop, we’re on the beautiful island of Barbados, located off the Southeastern coast of the United States in the Carribean. A one-of-a-kind region, Barbados is a country with a unique history that contains traces of a multitude of ethnic influences. It also happens to be where my husband is from, please enjoy our photos from the trips we’ve taken back to his home.

Since the 13th century, the island has been inhabited by the Kalinago indigenous people, and other Amerindians after. It was then invaded by Spanish settlers in the 15th century, followed by the Portuguese Empire who abandoned it in 1620. Less than ten years later in 1627, ships from England colonized the island to became the first permanent settlers and they brought the African slave trade along with them. 

Through its complex history, a strong and incredibly vibrant culture has emerged, resulting in unforgettable cuisine, arts and style that people from all over the world travel to experience. Pack your bags and join us as we hit the easy breezy Carribean island of Barbados, one delicious glass of wine at a time.

Image via wikiwand.com

An Island of Traditions 

Barbadian, or Bajan traditions are a fusion of West African and British practices that have resulted in a range of electrifying festivals, intricate arts and crafts, and extravagant performances. 

Landship

Landship is an inherent part of Bajan culture, with origins dating back to the 1800s. It is best described as a theatrical group that performs complex dances reflecting the passage of ships traveling through rugged seas and the adventures that occur onboard. 

The performers wear costumes similar to those worn in the navy and the dance is based around the structure of the British Navy but they are performed to an African rhythm that is typically accompanied by a Tuk band, another intrinsic part of Bajan culture.

Image via Nationnews.com

 

The Crop Over Festival

The Crop Over Festival is an exciting, vibrant 200 year old festival that marks the end of the sugar cane season. Rooted deep in the colonial history of Barbados, when sugar cane ruled the island, this festival is now all about celebrating creativity from indigenous art and crafts to flower and folk performances. Lasting for three months starting in August, the finale of the festival marks the most exciting day of the year when you will hear Bajans say: "Crop Over it sweet fuh days!" This gives us a reason to stay in Barbados for three months, you coming?

Dancers at the Crop Over Festival. Image via theglassmagazine.com
 

The Food

As a small island with an incredibly vast culinary heritage, get ready for a melting pot of incredible flavors from India, Africa and England that combine to create a range of unique, varied dishes that intrigue all the senses. 

With an abundance of fresh produce, local Bajans produce an array of tasty dishes including macaroni pie, fish cakes, bakes, cassava pone, salt bread, rice and peas, conkies, coconut turnovers, and of course, the national dish. 

Ask any Bajan what to eat in Barbados and they point you towards the national dish - flying fish and cou cou. Flying fish is a native fish and is so important that it’s featured on the country’s national currency. Barbados, at one point in history, was referred to as the “island of the flying fish” due to the abundance of flying fish that inhabited the waters. The fish tastes great on its own, steamed with acidic lime juice or fried, however, with cou cou, which is similar to grits or polenta in texture, it’s a dish you’ll never forget.

Fried flying fish image via trip101.com
 

The Recipes

Flying Fish & Cou Cou

You know we love the iconic flying fish, however, it’s time to share the wonders of cou cou. Made from a combination of cornmeal and okra, cou cou is a warming comfort dish that you will come across at many restaurants in Barbados. Tasting like a savory porridge, cou cou pairs perfectly with spicier Bajan dishes too. If you want to follow Bajan tradition, prepare this dish on a Friday or Saturday, or throw it together mid-week for a delicious work day indulge. Your tastebuds will love you for it. 

Get the recipe here. 

The Wine Pairing

 

Flying fish is a mild white fish, with a firm, tender texture, similar to cod or haddock. If you’re able to fry your fish at home we’d recommend pairing it with a chilled glass of our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic NV California Sparkling Brut as the bubbles will balance the delicious greasy fried fish and complement the diverse flavors in the dish.

If your fish is grilled or baked, this medium-textured fish would pair beautifully with an aromatic white wine with high acidity. Sound familiar? Pair this traditional dish with our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Riesling, the aromatics will complement the fish and the high acidity will travel to the end of every bite of the fish and cou cou.

For the Cocktail Lovers

 

Being the birthplace of rum, it goes without saying that we absolutely must include a rum-based recipe. We’ve taken this Barbados Rum punch recipe and given it a twist with our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic NV California Sparkling Brut, since you already have the bottle open from the wine pairing above! Enjoy, and as the Bajans say, time flies when you’re having rum!

What we're making: Barbados Rum Punch

 

Ingredients 

 

2 ounces aged Barbados rum (such as Mount Gay)

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce rich simple syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)

1 dash Angostura bitters

McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic NV California Sparkling Brut

Nutmeg and lime wheel, to garnish

Image and original recipe via liquor.com

 

Method

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.

Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.

Top up with McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic NV California Sparkling Brut

Garnish with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a lime wheel.


Robin and I have loved taking this trip to Barbados with you. From vibrant food to mesmerizing performances and strong traditions this is a country we believe should be on everyone’s bucket list. Now, for our next and final stop… we’re heading to NOLA! 

Xoxo,

 

 

 

 

 

Time Posted: Jun 16, 2021 at 8:30 AM
Robin McBride
 
June 12, 2021 | Robin McBride

Rosé All Ways

Celebrating National Rosé Day!

Just in time for the start of summer, National Rosé Day is upon us. Falling on the second Saturday of June every year since 2014, today we celebrate! It’s time to call all your friends, pull out your favorite summer outfit (something pink to be in theme), and share a bottle (or can!) of Rosé while basking in the warm summer sunshine.

Rosé has been growing in popularity over the years, due to its versatility and ability to be enjoyed dry, sweet, still, or sparkling. It also pairs well with all kinds of foods, from seafood to barbeque to salads, and more, making rosé the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. National Rosé Day is one of our favorite holidays, so we’ve put together a guide to the history of rosé, matching your personality with our rosé range, and some delicious recipes and activities to keep you celebrating, and drinking rosé all day! If you want to learn more about Rosé wine, join us on our McBride Certified Wine 101 for a free Facebook course on all things wine from Andréa & I — hint: head to Module 6 for rosé!


A Little History

While the exact moment that rosé was first made is said to date back thousands of years ago, the sweet elixir is newer to America, being popularized in the late 20th century. National Rosé Day was formally established in 2014, after being proposed by Swedish brand Bodvár - House of Rosés - to raise awareness about rosé wine and give affectionados the opportunity to gather and celebrate. 

Which Rosé Are You?

Trendsetter, sassy, the BFF or the life of the party - so, which one are you? 

Trendsetter

You’re just like our brand new, limited edition range, Black Girl Magic Cans Bubbly Rosé, which provides the quintessential strawberry and tangerine notes of the season, for a memorable experience that everyone will be raving about. Being served in a sleek, smooth black can you’re ahead of your time. Be warned: they are going fast. 

Sassy

Like our McBride Sisters Collection NV Hawke’s Bay New Zealand Sparkling Brut Rosé, you know when the occasion calls for a sudden pop to shake things up. You like to keep things moving and stirring, with all the right ingredients including crisp apple and citrus and floral notes. You sassy thing, you!

The BFF

You’re the warm hug that makes everything better, the one who can fix a makeup disaster at the last minute, the contagious smile that always makes you laugh. Just like our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2020 California Rosé, you are classic, sophisticated, yet fruity - the best friend forever. 

Life of the Party

You know the secret to fire up a party, and you know that variety is the spice of life. Coming in two delicious flavors - Island Citrus and Coastal Berry - SHE CAN Dry Rosé Spritzers Mixed 12 Pack provide the perfect range to suit just about any tastebud and liven up any social scene. 


Rosé Recipes

Did you know that rosé is made from the same grapes as red wine? The only difference being that when red wine is made the skin is left on for longer during the fermentation process, resulting in the darker color. Despite sharing the same grape, rosé has a completely unique flavor, one that is the perfect ingredient for a range of delicious summer cocktails. 

Frozé (Frozen Rosé)

The drink that has taken summer parties by a storm, Frosé, needs no introduction. Equally as simple to make as it is delicious, Frosé is the gift that keeps on giving. 

Ingredients

1 Can of McBride Sisters Collection SHE CAN Rosé

1 tbsp Simple Syrup

6 Strawberries, hulled, quartered

1 Fresh Lemon

Aperol

 

Watch full SHE CAN Frozé recipe video here.

Method

Step 1

Pour 2/3 of the chilled SHE CAN Rosé into a glass and set aside 

Step 2

In a blender or nutribullet cup add the six cut strawberries, simple syrup and the rest of the SHE CAN Rosé that is still in the original can and blend until smooth

Step 3

Strain blended mixture into a pan and place in the freezer for 1-6 hours (If time is of the essence, 30 minutes will work but it will be more like a slushie)

Step 4

Once frozen, scrape mixture back into the blender cup. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 oz Aperol and purée until smooth. You can add additional ice here if you want more. 

Step 5

Once the Frozé is ready pour it into a glass and top it off with the SHE CAN Rosé that was set aside at the beginning. Garnish with a strawberry and enjoy! 


Rosé Lemonade

Everyone’s favorite summer drink is here with a peachy twist. Perfect for entertaining on a hot day, the combination of sweet rosé with tart lemon will delight, refresh, and impress!

Ingredients

1 bottle McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2020 California Rosé

1 oz fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 cup of cold Water

0.75 oz Simple Syrup

Lemon for garnish

Ice

 

Watch full Rosé Lemonade recipe video on our Instagram here.

Method

Step 1

Add ice to your cocktail glass and combine lemon juice, water and simple syrup. 

Step 2

Fill the glass with the chilled McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Rosé, genorously 

Step 3

Mix, garnish and enjoy!


National Rosé Day Activities

You’ve got your beverages sorted, now to plan the activities. Rosé is the ideal summer drink that makes for a fun and light celebration, perfect for any trendsetter, sassy queen, BFF, or life of the party. 

Throw a Pink Soiree 

National Rosé Day is about all things pink, and throwing an all-pink party is a perfect way to celebrate in style. Tell all guests to come dressed all in pink and decorate the space in varying shades of rosy hues. Serve up rosé in pink cups alongside delicious pink desserts such as this rose, raspberry and coconut fool.

Host a Wine Tasting

In the comfort of your own home shop our Rosé All Ways sets and pour them into pitchers, so that they can be served without labels. If they are sparkling or bubbly rosé pour into the sparkling glasses ahead of time and keep it a mystery that way. Place the empty bottles and cans near the pitchers, not in a corresponding order. Leave blank tasting cards next to each pitcher, so that every guest can write down their guesses on which pitcher matches which bottle/can and drop it into a box. At the end of tasting, read out the cards and whoever guesses the closest to all four bottles/packs correctly wins a prize! 

Whatever you decide to do, join us as we celebrate National Rosé Day, and remember to rosé all day!

Xoxo,

Time Posted: Jun 12, 2021 at 8:00 AM
Robin McBride
 
May 20, 2021 | Robin McBride

Picnic Season with Robin & Andréa

Spring has officially sprung and it’s time to spend some time in the sunshine with our favorite wines, snacks and playlists.

Andréa and I love picnic season spent in our favorite parks around the Bay area with our cups filled with chilled rosé, our favorite cheeses and some even better company. This year, we could all use some quality time with our friends and family. What better way than with a sunny picnic! For this picnic season we’re sharing our food & drink must-haves and a sneak peek of what’s in our picnic baskets. 

Get our no-cork screw required Wine Must Haves with our new McBride Sisters Collection & Black Girl Magic Wines Picnic Essentials for the perfect set of wines to have for all your picnic needs! Get outside, stay safe, pack a picnic & forget the corkscrew. 

Best Picnic Food + Wine Pairings

You’ve got your picnic basket ready to go, now to figure out what to put in it! Picnics are meant to be fun and easy, and that means delicious finger foods that can be handled easily and shared around. The best picnic foods can be made ahead of time, are easy to transport, and will still taste incredible the next day without much preparation. Let’s dive in!

The Sandwich: Caprese

A great sandwich can be the highlight of an entire meal, and we are advocates for the perfect picnic sandwich. They are simple to make, are compact and can be eaten with your hands. When it comes to packing, simply wrap in foil or wrap so they stay together until it’s time to eat.

Image via jessicainthekitchen.com
Get the recipe here
 

Great picnic food often contains minimal ingredients that are well put together, and this Caprese sandwich screams ultimate taste with minimal effort. With juicy tomatoes, smooth mozzarella and fresh basil, you be coming back for seconds.

Wine Pairing: Pair this fresh sandwich with our McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc available in the Picnic Essentials six pack here. 

The Salads

Get your picnic going with these delightfully fresh salads. You’ll be celebrating being outside basking in Mother Nature’s energy once again.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Image via jamieoliver.com
Get the recipe here

 

What can be more refreshing that a watermelon salad? Mixed with red onion, sprigs of mint and mouth-melting feta cheese, this is a blend not to be missed.

Wine Pairing: Pair this sweet & salty salad with our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Rosé available in the Picnic Essentials six pack here. 

Creamy Potato Salad with Prawns & Salmon

Image via bbc.co.uk
Get the recipe here

 

A great potato salad is show-stopping. Just when the original has been perfected so many times, here comes this recipe with shrimp and salmon. Treat yourself.

Wine Pairing: Celebrate this light, summery seafood salad recipe with a glass of McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Riesling iavailable in the Picnic Essentials six pack here, The off-dry and high acidity of this wine will compliment that flavors of this salad perfectly! 

The Dip 

Is it even a picnic if you don’t have dips and chips to snack on? We think not. Dips are great because they can be added to almost everything from sandwiches to salads, and can be eaten on their own with cut vegetables or chips.

Beetroot, Yoghurt & Lime Dip

Image via olivemagazine.com
Get the recipe here
 

Beetroot lovers rejoice! This deliciously tangy dip is perfect for warm spring days and will create a burst of flavor in your mouth. Try this with your favorite pita chips or even fry some halloumi ahead of time to dip. 

Wine Pairing: This tangy and delicious dip will pair perfectly with a glass of McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Rosé available in the Picnic Essentials six pack here. The off-dry and high acidity of this wine will compliment that flavors of this salad perfectly! 

The Dessert

After all the tasty savory foods, it’s time to cater to your sweet tooth. Top it off with a celebratory glass of McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic NV California Sparkling Bru available in the Picnic Essentials six pack here for the perfect end-of-meal treat.

Salted Peanut and Honeycomb Rocky Road

Image via olivemagazine.com
Get the recipe here

 

Who can say no to a rocky road? Featuring salted peanut and honeycomb, this is a great twist on the classic and will cater to all tastes.

Other Picnic Essentials

Whenever you have a picnic there are a few items that you should bring to ensure everything goes smoothly for you and the space you inhabit. Remembering to bring the following will make a difference in the long-run and help you picnic happily and sustainably:

  • Always remember to bring a trash bag to clean up after yourself. You want to leave the beautiful spot in nature just the same way as you found it, so many more can enjoy it after you. 
  • For hot days, throw some ice packs into your picnic basket to ensure everything stays cool and fresh.
  • Bring additional water for drinking and cleaning sticky hands. 
  • A first-aid kit can always come in handy when you’re outdoors. You never know what you may stumble across!
  • Remember to bring a picnic blanket.

Lastly, enjoy yourself and never forget the wine! Xoxo,

 

Time Posted: May 20, 2021 at 12:52 PM
Andréa McBride
 
April 27, 2021 | Andréa McBride

Celebrating African Diaspora Cuisine

Food and wine tell a story. They allow us to document and experience culture across generations and help us honor where we came from. We celebrate Black History always (long after February), and want to continue tracing our roots along the African Diaspora, highlighting the powerful influences that these routes of migration have had on culture and society today. Robin and I are drawing from as many sources as we can find (e.g. books, experts in the category, people we know, the inna net) to guide and shape these pieces of the puzzle through the diaspora. If we get it wrong, we’re sure you’ll let us know. But we’re hoping we get this right and can share what we find and what we learn so we can educate, celebrate and cultivate community, one delicious glass of wine at a time!  

From the smallest migration region of Mozambique in Southeast Africa to the largest migration origin of the Republic of Congo and Nigeria in West Central Africa, our African ancestors come from a diverse continent with subregions, each with their own culture, cuisine, languages and more.

Every country in Africa is distinct, with its own traditions, flavors and methods of preparing food. Each of these countries have their own occasion and moods. We will explore through our evolved definition of terroir (eco-system, tradition & culture), starting our journey of tracing our roots along the diaspora in Central Africa, exploring culinary influences and cuisine along the way, and of course pairing our wines to match the food and mood. 

Source: A map of Central Africa | © Peter Fitzgerald / WikiCommons 
 

Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Along the Western coast of Central Africa, bordering each other are the Republic of Congo (also referred to as Congo-Brazzaville) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (also known as Congo-Kinshasa). The Republic of Congo was colonized by the French, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo was colonized by Belgium. Both countries gained independence around 1960, and use French as one of their official languages, but according to The Culture Trip, both still maintain many other subregional languages and cultures throughout. Even in recent history, colonization and wars have made life extremely difficult for the Congolese. Despite these challenging & traumatic times, we want to educate and highlight the beauty and Black Joy that can be found in these countries, regions and cultures. 

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Image Source: Journeys By Design

 

The Food: Saka-Saka

A vibrant, mostly plant-based diet is common here, and consists primarily of vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, and often seafood. Congolese cuisine is grounded in strong roots that date back 80,000 years, mixed with French and Belgian influence following colonization. Saka-saka is the Congolese word for cassava leaf and is the namesake of this simple yet delicious dish that is a staple in the Republic of Congo and the Democatic Republic of the Congo. 

Because we don’t have Cassava leaf available locally (it can be found in the ground-up form in African and Filipino food shops), we substituted for a mixture of kale, collards, turnip greens and spinach, and then we added shrimp and paired with our Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut.

(Side note: This dish tastes even better on Day 2!) 

Shredding the greens up reminded us of cooking with our Aunty Annie May in her kitchen in Camden, Alabama. My mind made the instant connection to her collard greens and ham, passed down to her from our grandpa who loved to cook. I wonder if Saka-Saka had evolved from Africa throughout the Diaspora to the United States in the form of how we prepare Collard Greens today? 

Image & Recipe from @ImmaculatebitesShop the Wine Pairing: Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut

The Mood: The Congolese Birds of Paradise

Source: CNN Photo Courtesy of Daniele Tamagni
 

Le Sape ("Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes" - the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People) also known as the Sapeurs and Sapeuseare are what would be described as Congolese Dandies. According to Condé Nast Traveler, the aristocratic superiority of one’s mind is the symbol of the Congolese Dandy. In Brazzaville and Kinshasa, their appearance is STRIKING in the context of the living conditions of many Congolese. Those conditions were a result of wars that decimated their economy for many years. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around tailored designer clothing in this context, so I had to dig in and learn more. In reading, the topic is very controversial. The French word Saper means to dress up or to undermine. This Congolese Dandy phenomenon can be traced historically to the 1920s when young African men began to combat the racist attitudes of their masters by rejecting the second-hand clothes they were often given instead of wages. Instead, they took the style of the colonial overseers, exaggerated it with beautiful bold colors and prints and made it their own.

"A group of sapeur women strike a pose during a sapeur event in Brazzaville"
Source: OZY - Photographs by Victoire Douniama

Badouin Mouanda, a member of the Congolese Photography Collective shared his insight in a fascinating interview with Marion Nur Gonde in Africultures:

“I realized that S.A.P.E. played a very important role in Brazzaville in 1998-1999, after the civil war. There wasn’t anything left to do in town; everything was shut down. The sapeurs recreated the atmosphere that is part of Congolese day-to-day life. For the traumatized population, the attraction of the sapeurs was to show that you had to have hope. Their message was, “We didn’t get dressed up to stay at home! We have been spared by the hostilities and we are lucky to be alive. There’s no point in fighting; We can talk and take each other by the hand”. The sapeurs often advocate this peaceful message. That’s why I, as a photographer, wanted to follow them. Images travel and spread messages. I want to show that a joyful Africa exists.”

Inspired by the Sapeurs and Sapeuseare, we’ve crafted and paired an after-dinner drink to meet this occasion and here’s why. Our Black Girl Magic Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Red Blend from California is inspired by the great Red Blends, found in the right bank of Bordeaux, France, but remixed by us with our New World expression. We are then going to pair this with Grand Marnier, which is a mix of Cognac (which is a spirit made from wine grapes in France) and Orange liqueur and make a beautiful Sisters Grand Sangria Rouge. We feel like this will complete your after-dinner mood, topped off with a playlist from the artist Fally Ipupa (check out his hits on YouTube)!

The Recipes

Saka-Saka (Cassava Leaf Soup) 

Check out Immaculate Bites for more incredible recipes by Imma here via africanbites.com

Ingredients 

3 lbs cassava greens (or feuilles de manioc), or substitute kale, collards, turnip greens, spinach, or similar, stems removed, cleaned, and cut or torn into pieces
1 pound beef cut in bite size pieces
½ pound smoked chicken, turkey, or fish
½ - 1 pound of shrimp (optional)
3 tbsp red palm oil, Moambé Sauce, or any cooking oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup ground crayfish or dried shrimps
4-5 tablespoon ground groundnuts or peanut butter puree
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
Salt and pepper to taste
 

Steps

  1. In a large saucepan, season meat with salt, chicken bouillon and onions and boil until tender, depending on the choice of meat. You should have at least 1-2 cups of stock. Remove the meat and beef stock, reserve.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions and crayfish and sauté until fragrant for about 1-2 minutes. Add beef and or / smoked meat 
  3. Stir in peanut butter or groundnut paste, then add stock about a cup cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Throw in the drained cassava leaves and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
  5. Finally add shrimp (if using) - cook until shrimp turns pink about 3-5 minutes
  6. Adjust seasonings (chicken bouillon, salt, soup consistency with water and oil) to taste
  7. Serve warm over rice

 

Sisters Grand Sangria Rouge

 

Ingredients
 

Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
1 bottle of our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Zinfandel (or Red Blend - available in store)
2 ripe Oranges
1 bottle lemon-lime Club Soda
Ice

Steps

  1. Fill your glass with ice
  2. Add in 1.5 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
  3. 3 oz Black Girl Magic Zinfandel (Or Red Blend)
  4. 2 oz fresh squeezed Orange Juice 
  5. 2 oz lemon-lime Club Soda
  6. Mix well, serve immediately 

 

 

Xoxo,

 

 

Time Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 8:00 AM
Robin McBride
 
April 27, 2021 | Robin McBride

A McBride Guide to Red Wine

We're Feelin' Bold & Boujie

We'll enjoy a great glass of red wine all year around. From a medium-bodied silky Merlot to a full-bodied, rich Zinfandel, we love pairing a glass with a meal on our Wine Wednesday, or as an end-of-the week wine down. When we have a glass of red wine in hand, we feel bold and boujie — spice up your palate with our all Red Wines set here to taste the differences between the wines & find your favorite red varietal. This wine set with set the mood and it includes our Merlot and Zinfandel - two online exclusive wines that you can only get on the website. Hurry before they're gone!

Apart from being a delicious drink, red wine is said to also has a range of health benefits, with studies finding that the red elixir is not only heart healthy, but it may also help you live longer, and boost your brain function. We’ve also read that red wine can also help you from getting sick. According to a study conducted from the University of Auckland, the antioxidants contained in red wine can reduce the chance of catching a cold. Sign us up!

Aside from all the amazing benefits and taste, how do you decide which red wine is right for you, and what food should you pair it with? We’re here to share the difference between some of the popular red wine varieties, a couple of must-try red wine recipes, and the best food to pair with each. Check out our red wine bible to guide you on the best way to maximize each wine. Salut! 

The Red Wines to Know

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted red grape in the world, and for good reason. The wine is derived from a special kind kind of grape, a hybrid of a red Cabernet Franc grape and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape, which first occured in Bordeaux region of France. The dark red, full-bodied wine is more on the juicy side and typically is drank alongside food, due to its heavier nature. In some regions, this wine is heavily oaked, giving it a coconut, nutty and vanilla profile.

Food pairings: Cab Sauv pairs well with other heavier dishes, such as red meats or pasta dishes with creamy red sauces. For a cheese pairing look to aromatic types such as blue cheese or camembert. 

Try pairing our McBride Sisters Collection 2018 Central Coast California Red Blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a ribeye or sirloin steak or a roast or grilled lamb. For non-meat eaters try pairing with a juicy stuffed portobello mushroom recipe. Available in our Bold & Boujie set here. 

Merlot

Known for its soft, sensual texture, one of the world's close second favorite red wine (after Cab Sauv) is extremely food friendly and produced for a range of price points. The easy-drinking red has an approachable style that makes it great for those new to red wine. With notes of chocolate and plum, this smooth and velvety medium-bodied wine has a versatility that makes it perfect both on its own and in blends.

Food pairings: Merlot matches well with a wide range of foods due to its medium bodied nature. Typically, Merlot pairs well with light meats such as chicken or lightly spiced darker meats.

Try our Chicken Merlot or Red Wine Brownie recipe below that adds Merlot in the recipe! We are all about the Merlot here, our online only McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot is a must try for red wine lovers and can only be ordered online. Our McBride Sisters Collection 2018 Central Coast California Red Blend is also going to be the perfect red blend to try featuring Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. Try both in our red wines bundle here. 

Zinfandel

The late-ripening red Zinfandel wine produces a jammy flavor bursting with fruity aromas of blackberry, cherry, plums, black pepper, and cinnamon with varying levels of oak. A fuller bodied wine that is high in alcohol content, Zinfandel is known for its fruity meets spicy kick with a smoky body. Previously known as California’s grape, it used to be made in a sweeter wine style but is now grown all over the west coast and internationally as well produced in a more dry style.

Food pairings: Due to its unique flavor profile, Zinfandel pairs well with pizza, cheese lasagne, or any other dishes with tart sauces or cheese. It would also pair well with BBQ meat dishes (think juicy ribs) or even a spicy curry. Try any of these dishes with our online exclusive McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Zinfandel. Taste our full red wine selection here. 

Shiraz/Syrah

Shiraz/Syrah (they’re the same!) produce a dark, heavy-bodied wine that can be peppery, spicy and bold. With notes of darker fruits such as blackberries and plums, this dry wine has a high level of tannins, which means it can have a high level of health-benefiting antioxidants.

Food pairings: In addition to pairing well with any bold foods, this is one of the rare wines that can also pair perfectly with spicy foods and will actually help enhance the spices in the dish. Alternatively, try balancing out the heavier taste with a charcuterie board containing a range of cheeses to bring out the subtle nuances in the wine. 

Malbec

Similar in flavor profile to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec is an easy-drinking wine that has its origins in France, but is now primarily produced in Argentina. The fruit-driven wine has plum and cherry flavors that meet hints of vanilla and tobacco.

Food pairings: Malbec pairs well with lean cuts of meat, such as lamb or sirloin. 

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a popular light bodied red wine native to Burgundy, France, that is known for its flower and spice aromas which are complemented by a smooth finish. Despite being notoriously difficult to grow, the internationally producted wine is one of the few fruits that is often made into red, rosé, white, and sparkling wine. Typical flavors of a French Pinot Noir will be mushroom, cherry, potting soil and rose.

Food pairings: Due to its light body and complex structure, Pinot Noir pairs well with most foods. A fruitier Pinot may pair well with a roasted salmon dish or another fatty fish, while a more tannic Pinot can pair well with heavier game such as duck or with a beef stew. 

Have you been enjoying our wine guides? If you're hoping to learn more about the wines you drink, join our McBride Certified Wine 101 community for an wine course to learn all things wine, winemaking and wine tasting to give you the tools to feel comfortable in any situation. 


 Red Wine Recipes 

Sisters Grand Sangria Rouge

Ingredients

1 bottle Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
1 bottle of our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Zinfandel (or Red Blend - available in store)
2 ripe Oranges
1 bottle lemon-lime Club Soda
Ice

Method

  • Fill your glass with ice
  • Add in 1.5 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
  • 3 oz Black Girl Magic Zinfandel (Or Red Blend)
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed Orange Juice 
  • 2 oz lemon-lime Club Soda
  • Mix well, serve immediately 

Chicken Merlot 

Image & recipe via askchefdennis.com

Ingredients

1 whole chicken (3 - 4 lbs)cut up in pieces - skin taken off
1 large onion cut up into chunks
16 ounces of mushrooms cute into slices
3 carrots peeled and sliced into thick pieces 
5 stalks of celery diced into large pieces
1 can cannelini beans drained and rinsed
4 cloves of garlic
6 ounces of tomato paste
8 ounces of McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot
8 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried basil 
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

 

Method

  • Place chopped vegetables and cannellini beans in the bottom of your slow cooker
  • Add chicken pieces on top of the vegetables.
  • In a bowl whisk together tomato paste, wine, stock and spices then pour over chicken and vegetables.
  • Cover and cook on low for approximately 5 hours or high for approximately 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove vegetables and chicken after cooking and cover to keep warm.
  • Pour all liquid from slow cooker into a saucepan and reduce by half until sauce is thick and clingy.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and veggies and serve with rice, potatoes, pasta, or your favorite grain.

Red Wine Brownies 

Ingredients


1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups light or medium brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Image & recipe via bromabakery.com

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8″x8″ baking dish with parchment paper or oil.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat melt the butter. Once melted, add in chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted completely.
  • In a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, add in brown sugar. Slowly pour melted chocolate mixture into brown sugar with the mixer running on medium speed. Add in eggs, one at a time, with the mixer still on. Beat for 30 seconds, until the color of the batter lightens just a bit.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add cocoa powder, flour, salt, vanilla extract, and wine, beating for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for roughly 40 mins, or until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out mostly clean.

Xoxo,

Time Posted: Apr 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Andréa McBride
 
April 22, 2021 | Andréa McBride

The Can Queens

When Robin and I launched SHE CAN Wines, we scoured the canned wine landscape and Archer Roose stood out above the rest. It might have been their logo of a woman riding a moose, or the fact that they also make an imported Southern Hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc (but from Chile) or the bad-ass leadership of CEO & Co-Founder Marian Leitner-Waldman. Not only were we both creating wines from regions that are close to our hearts, we were doing it in a can.

Archer Roose’s tagline is “Worldly Wines for the Curious” and their wines are from vineyards as far-flung as Argentina and Greece. We applaud Marian’s fierce commitment to quality wine in a sustainable package.

We’re chatting with Marian about her perspective on the wine industry and exploring the similarities and differences between her Chilean Sauvingon Blanc and our New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. We’re bringing you bottle quality wines from international regions with the convenience of a can for your next get-together.

Check out our interview and happy hour chat with Marian on Facebook here, featuring both of our Sauvignon Blanc wines in a can & the best moods or foods to pair them with. 

Meet Marian Leitner-Waldman

Andréa: What would you most like to change about the wine industry?

Marian: Customer centricity. So much of what we are told to like and how we are told to enjoy it is driven by a small group of people. But wine, like all foods, is subjective. I want people to feel empowered and WELCOMED into wine, to explore great wines from around the world and describe how they like them. By doing this, we create a more inclusive and fun industry!

Andréa: Spring is here. When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why? 

Marian: My girlfriends. So much has happened to us in this past year that we couldn't celebrate together: babies were born, puppies adopted, master's degrees obtained and new companies launched. I have missed drinking too much wine with them and having the heart-to-hearts that can only happen when you're in the same room, feeling the love and support of people you know have your back. I have missed them so much.

Andréa: Tell us about the mentors and those who inspired you on your path.  

Marian: I am so lucky to stand on the shoulders of many incredible women. My grandmother was a fiercely intelligent woman who taught me the power of imagination. My mother taught me that kindness and thoughtfulness can be a powerful legacy. My aunts are badass working mothers who dominated in their fields but always made time for their "chicks" even when I am sure they were exhausted. And my sisters and blood sisters show me time and time again that success is not about personal achievements, but carrying others as you climb. This is how you can combat the loneliness at the top - and ensure someone else has your back when you get there!

Andrea: What is the story behind the name, Archer Roose?

Marian: A rebel and boundary breaker, Archer Roose travels the world living by her own rules. With boundless curiosity, she explores far flung wine regions. Our portfolio of worldly wines tells the stories of the places she visited on her travels. And our logo - her portrait riding her moose - reminds us that adventures, like wine, should be a little whimsical.

Andréa: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions? 

Marian: The single most important quality to success is grit. Be prepared for the marathon ahead but know that the peaks will be the highest high you've ever known.

Andréa: What are you most excited about in your work right now? 

Marian: The team we are building. I am in such awe of the amazing womxn (and mxn!) that I get to work with every day.

Andréa: Which wine varieties or styles are most often on your table? Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it? 

Marian: I love the SheCan SauvyB! Perfect pairing for wine walks with friends :)


Thanks for joining us as we chat all things Sauvignon Blanc & how we came to have these delicious wines from the Southern Hemisphere. Shop SHE CAN Wines on our website here and Archer Roose Wines here. 

 

Xoxo,

 

Time Posted: Apr 22, 2021 at 5:00 AM
Andréa McBride
 
April 12, 2021 | Andréa McBride

A Trip Through New Zealand Harvest

We’re heading to the Southern Hemisphere on the blog this month. We love to take you to one side of the world for a glass of deliciousness and then bring you back to California from time to time

 

As you likely know, the seasons are flipped, so while we just entered Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s Fall for our winemaking team in New Zealand. Harvesting grapes, or picking the fruit, is the first and most important step of the winemaking process. Whether you’re hand picking or machine harvesting, it takes time, patience and a little bit of intuition. Knowing when to pick the fruit isn’t an exact science — it requires measuring the level of sugar in the grapes (this is called brix) and some degree of gut feeling to know when the grapes are ready, which is usually based on taste.

Our Assistant Winemaker Diana Hawkins is based in New Zealand (you may remember her from our Women’s History Month feature - read it here). We are going to get to see harvest through her eyes. It’s not too often that you get the chance to go behind the scenes with the women at work in the vineyards and winery. But that’s just what we do. Break the rules. Drink the wine.

Winemaking in New Zealand is an art that spans across 10 main wine regions. Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago are areas which all attract a significant amount of wine tourism due to their international reputation for producing excellent wines, and they are where we make our wines at McBride Sisters. 

  

Map Source: Wine Traveler

The McBride Sisters Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc comes from the top of the South Island in Marlborough and the McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé (available in store only) comes from the Hawke's Bay region in the North Island.

Now let’s catch up with Diana as she heads to Hawke’s Bay for harvest of our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé this year. 

Hawke's Bay

Located on the North Island, Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s oldest wine region, with the first plantings of vineyards dating back to the 1850s. It is also the second-largest wine region, with production reaching approximately 41,000 tonnes of fruit in 2018 which is approximately 41 million bottles of wine, according to New Zealand Winegrower’s Annual Report. The temperate climate and excess sunshine, which is moderated by the region's proximity to the sea, make it the perfect area for fruit-growing. 

Source: Audley Travel

The Drive Down

Diana: “The drive down to Hawke’s Bay was stunning, with winding mountain roads and breath-taking views. It’s tucked between the Kaweka and Ruahine ranges and the Pacific Ocean. Like most of New Zealand, the region is geologically active. It borders a geothermal power plant and isn’t far from Lake Taupō, which is, technically speaking, atop a dormant volcano.

When you come down the mountains, the coast finally comes into view. Then, in the blink of an eye, you’re out of the hills and surrounded by vineyards and orchards. Hawke’s Bay is known as the fruit basket of New Zealand. With ample sunshine and warm summer days, fruits and veggies grow abundantly here, including grapevines. Between the farm-fresh produce and award-winning wines, it’s a foodie’s paradise. 

After settling in, I checked out the towns of Hastings and Napier. In 1931, Napier and parts of Hastings were razed to the ground after a 7.8 earthquake. The quake also changed the entire layout of the area, raising some coastal areas by almost 6 feet and turning them into dry land.  When the towns rebuilt, they did so in an Art Deco style. To this day, Napier embraces that era with 1920s themed shops and attractions.” 

We’re Off To The Races

Diana: “The next morning, I joined the team at the winery to get to know some of the vintage (another word for harvest) crew. The first fruit was Pinot Noir from the Twin Rivers vineyard in Te Awanga. The fruit was picked in the vineyard and delivered to us in the winery. We’re working with Pinot Noir grapes first to make our Sparkling Brut Rose. These grapes are picked earlier than other varietals because sparkling wine grapes are picked for flavor and acidity.”

Pinot Noir Vineyards in Hawke's Bay are in blue & pink shown via Google Maps
 

The earlier grapes are picked during harvest, the higher the acidity they will generally have. Acid in sparkling wine gives these crowd pleasers life and vibrancy. 

“The vines themselves were planted on sandy loam soils at a vineyard between the Tukituki and Ngaruroro rivers. The vines were trellised using the Sylvos method, which is pretty unique and something I hadn’t come across before. It’s utilized here because it allows for better airflow and higher quality fruit for sparkling wine.”

From Grapes to Wine

Diana: “When the grapes came in, they are immediately pressed. We press them more gently because we want to get the juice out of the grapes, but not any of the bitter flavors that are present in the seeds. Grape skins are what give red wine its color. Without them, you end up with a pale pink rosé, which is exactly what we’re looking for.

Once the juice was pressed, it was sent to tanks for fermentation. Fermentation occurs when yeast gobble up sugars and produce alcohol and CO2. Because they’re living breathing organisms and essential to the winemaking process, as a winemaker it’s really important to ensure they’ve got everything they need to get the job done. That could mean giving them a bit of nutrition or a cheerleading session by yours truly to keep their spirits up. 

 

Once fermentation starts, the color of the juice gets paler, the sugar level goes way down, and the key flavors you usually find in the wine start to take shape. It is no longer Pinot Noir juice; it’s officially baby Pinot Noir rosé with an electrifying acid backbone and hints of strawberry and raspberry. A wine that will eventually make our delicious McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé!” 


The harvest in New Zealand is something very special. The country is unlike any other region in terms of natural beauty and a pureness of place, the climate is simply perfect for the wine styles we produce. Harvest takes a village and we have Diana leading the charge to make sure we craft the most delicious glass of bubbles you will ever taste.

We can’t wait for you to pick up a few bottles of our next release of McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé that’s being made right now. We hope this look into the winemaking process gives you more of an idea of the work and LOVE that goes into every bottle.

Xoxo,

 

Time Posted: Apr 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Robin McBride
 
March 31, 2021 | Robin McBride

The One & Only Jessica Alba

Thank you for joining us throughout our #WomenCrushingIt campaign. We're so excited to close out March by interviewing a mother, entrepreneur and game changer, Jessica Alba! Jessica founded The Honest Beauty Company in 2012 to provide consumers with mission-driven, clean beauty products that are earth conscious. She’s also developed one of the most successful baby care product lines with the goal of making basic necessities available to all families. 

Jessica was on the cover of Forbes “Self-Made Women” and has been listed in Fortune magazine as one of the 10 Most Powerful Female Entrepreneurs. She’s a bestselling author and icon among women and mothers of today. 

 

Not only has she taken on the beauty industry with the goal of providing clean products for all consumers, she’s done so with sustainability at the heart of her company. The Honest Beauty Company was awarded the Pioneer in Sustainability Award by the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles. 

She cares about other mothers, the planet and using her platform to raise the voices of other women. We’re in awe of her success and drive. She’s crushing it as a woman in business and in every industry she enters.

Meet Jessica Alba

Robin: When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why? 

Jessica: I am most looking forward to raising a glass with my extended family -- grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins...the whole fam. I am excited to be surrounded by all those close to me. I have been in a pod with my immediate family, but I look forward to gathering again with everyone I love.

Robin: How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

Jessica: This year’s theme of #ChooseToChallenge is meaningful for me because it’s important to use my influence for good, to empower women and smash stereotypes. I recently learned that 73% of women experience bias at work which is completely unacceptable. In my personal experience, I have found that when people aren't used to a female leader, and a strong female leader at that, it takes a lot longer for them to absorb direction and feedback. 

As a business owner, I’m determined to continue to support our female workforce at The Honest Company to ensure they feel safe and empowered, both professionally and personally. At Honest, 68% of our workforce are women and 59% of our leadership team are women -- women are at the core of everything we do! This year, I challenge myself and others to call out gender bias and inequity when we see it. 

Robin: Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in business and entertainment?

Jessica: Oprah has always been a huge inspiration for me as a leader not only in entertainment and business, but in life in general. 

Robin: How would you define your tribe or sisterhood that has supported you during your path? 

Jessica: My tribe consists of a few extremely close girlfriends. They are more than friends at this point, they are friends that have become family… they are my sisters. I prefer this over having a bunch of acquaintances. I lean on these girls and we are there for each other through both the good and the bad and we love each other unconditionally, as sisters do. 

Robin: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions?

Jessica: You must know every piece of your business model, from the market opportunity to the creative angle to your competitive edge and how you will win in the landscape. It’s also important to pressure test your idea with friends, family and people that you respect in business prior to going out and raising money. And as always, know your numbers. This is key when you are working to turn your passion into a profitable business. 

Robin: How has the pandemic changed your work, industry and outlook?

Jessica: This past year was challenging to say the least, but it reminded me to prioritize what truly matters most, which is my family and loved ones. As we have all been through a lot this past year, it’s important now more than ever for women to lift each other up and to support each other. As a female entrepreneur, I know firsthand how hard it is to start a business for anyone, especially for women. It’s always been my priority to surround myself with other strong women and to give back and support them however I can. For me, it’s about women supporting women by bringing each other up and giving them an equal opportunity and a seat at the table.

Robin: What are you most excited about in your work right now?

Jessica: I am most energized about continuing to build a company and a workplace that people are excited about. My mission is always to create an environment that supports our employees, not only professionally, but personally as well and recognizes them as a whole person, connecting both the head and the heart. 

Robin: Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it?

Jessica: SHE CAN is my go-to favorite for myself and to gift to others. The packaging makes it super convenient and, of course, the wine itself is amazing. An outdoor, socially distanced walk with a SHE CAN in hand is my jam.

Xoxo,

Time Posted: Mar 31, 2021 at 6:59 AM
Andréa McBride
 
March 29, 2021 | Andréa McBride

Raising A Glass To Rachel & Paige

As we close out March, we’re mixing it up a bit for this #WomenCrushingIt interview (you know we like to break the rules, right?) This time, we’ve got an amazing pairing — actress Rachel Brosnahan and her production partner Paige Simpson. 

Rachel Brosnahan is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, House of Cards), as well as a producer and founder of Scrap Paper Pictures. She’s also a passionate advocate for young people experiencing homelessness and currently sits on the board of Covenant House International. 

Photo by Victoria Stevens
 

Paige Simpson is the Head of Development for Scrap Paper Pictures. Her previous projects have included the Affair, Billions, Black Monday and Masters of Sex, as well as programs for OWN and BET+. Rachel & Paige are actively producing diverse content and providing a platform for artists to tell their stories, their way. 

We’ll admit to being a little obsessed with Rachel’s turn as the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (her character was blazing trails for women back in the 1950s, after all), and it looks like these two are going to give us a lot to look forward to. We toast to this talented team of women crushing it in their industry…  and we can’t wait to see what comes next. 

Meet Rachel Brosnahan & Paige Simpson

Andréa: When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why?

Rachel: “My pod! The four of us have been together through the thick and thin of all of this and I wouldn’t have made it through the last year in one piece without them. Cheers to the end & to new beginnings (and hopefully being able to travel again!)”

Paige: “I will be raising multiple glasses to my college friends who I haven’t seen since Spelman College’s Homecoming 2019. A few of my friends have had babies, and I can’t wait to meet them for the first time, catch up and make great memories.”

Andréa: How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

Paige: “This year has been a continuation of last year’s challenges. The theme to me means that we are all choosing to challenge all things that don’t make sense, are immoral and all injustices. Change is a challenge, so we must continue to fight for the changes we want to see in our world.”

Rachel: “#ChooseToChallenge feels like it’s been my unofficial mantra since I began working in our industry and certainly represents the mission of Scrap Paper Pictures. The goal has always been to challenge myself as well as society’s ideas of how women should move through the world, hold positions of leadership, make art, use our bodies and voices...but it’s not always easy. I, like every other woman I know, have been made to feel small, to question my talent, passion and ambition, to feel the need to apologize for advocating for myself and others. But those challenges make me even more grateful for women who have led by example and courageously carved pathways for us to follow and continue to grow.”

Andréa: Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in your industry?

Rachel: “My first manager Carole Dibo who empowered me to say “No” to people, situations and even opportunities that didn’t feel right from a young age when so many women feel pressure to say yes all the time. But the list is long...Frances McDormand, Viola Davis, Shonda Rimes, Laverne Cox, Greta Thunberg, Amy Sherman Palladino, Michelle Obama, Madge Thomas, AOC, Shakina Nayfack, Carson McCullers, my close girlfriends & so many more.”

Paige: “My mother. She raised me with the belief that I could be and do anything I wanted to. It was very freeing. My mom worked very hard to provide me with experiences and knowledge.” 

Andréa: How would you define your sisterhood that has supported you during your path?  

Paige: “They are my everything … my sounding board, my laugh factory and my heartbeat. They uplift me when I’m down and never drop me.”

Rachel: “Lifeblood. I admire, learn from, grow alongside, love deeply and am ceaselessly grateful for my sisterhood every day.  Would not be here without them.”  

Andréa: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions?

Paige: “Know that you will hear ‘No’ a lot. You might even say no to yourself. But the moment that you truly believe in yourself and your abilities, you can’t be stopped. No weapon formed against you can prosper, and God has your back.”

Andréa: How has the pandemic changed your work, industry and outlook?

Rachel: While it’s been undeniably challenging, it has forced folks to get even more creative and given the space to reflect and re-examine our priorities. I’m excited to see the kind of work that results from this period of introspection (and one thousand zooms). 

Andréa: What are you most excited about in your work right now? 

Rachel: To have any! I’m immensely grateful to be juggling a handful of projects I’m passionate about and to be collaborating with other artists who are inspiring creative powerhouses.

Andréa: Which wine varieties or styles are most often on your table? Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it? 

Rachel: We don’t discriminate when it comes to wine...but we do love a high low moment. One of our favorite pairings lately has been the McBride Sisters Brut Rosé with a good old fashioned New York slice. 

And we’ll leave you with one of our favorite “rants” from Mrs. Maisel herself - 

“Why do women have to pretend to be something that they’re not? Why do we have to pretend to be stupid when we’re not stupid? Why do we have to pretend to be helpless when we’re not helpless? Why do we have to pretend to be sorry when we have nothing to be sorry about? Why do we have to pretend we’re not hungry when we’re hungry?” – Midge Maisel

Xoxo,

Time Posted: Mar 29, 2021 at 2:03 PM
Andrea McBride
 
March 24, 2021 | Andrea McBride

The Art of New Traditions

For our next #WomenCrushingIt we’re introducing an icon in the kitchen and winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for ‘Best Chef: South.’ Nina Compton is one of the most impressive chefs in the country, and she’s been uniting cuisines and cultures throughout her career. Originally from St. Lucia, she started her journey in the kitchens of many notable restaurants in Miami, and earned accolades at every stop. 

Nina then opened her first solo restaurant in New Orleans, Compère Lapin. There she made an art out of intertwining St. Lucia, her love of French and Italian cuisine and the indigenious ingredients found throughout Louisiana. 

Nina is a visionary and a woman who focuses on the epicurean experience of food. She’s crushing the food and restaurant industry, creating successful and rave worthy restaurants, while also serving as a Culinary Ambassador for St. Lucia. Her most recent venture, Bywater American Bistro, is shaping the way chefs explore their culinary curiosities and continue to challenge themselves with bold cuisine and bigger dreams.

Meet Nina Compton

 

Andréa: When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why?

Nina: ​My Mum. She's in St. Lucia and we haven't been able to see each other this whole time. I can't wait!

 

Andréa: How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman of color in a male-dominated industry?

Nina: Looking back, there were never a lot of me in the kitchen. I'm encouraged today that this is changing and the young women of color have that encouragement to challenge for any job they want.

 

Andréa: Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in your industries?

Nina: ​Leah Chase (known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine) told me I have to make it as a chef and restaurateur to set the stage for the next generation like she has for me and my peers.

 

Andréa: How would you define your tribe or sisterhood that has supported you during your path?  

Nina: ​I think the combination of being around successful friends as well as those working hard and coming up creates a nice balance. 

 

Andréa: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions? 

Nina: Do what makes you happy with realistic expectations of what the future could hold. I went to the best culinary school in the states, but there was still years of learning and refining my craft until I was ready to own my own restaurant.

 

Andréa: How has the pandemic changed your work, industry and outlook?

Nina: It turned the restaurant industry upside down. However, while we were shut down, I was able to slow down and work through things that required that time. When we reopened, we were able to reset some systems in the restaurants which made for a more equitable environment. The outlook I i think is very bright once we get past the pandemic.

 

Andréa: What are you most excited about in your work right now? 

Nina: The changing of the seasons is always fun because I get to change the menu!

 

Andréa: Which wine varieties or styles are most often on your table? Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it? 

Nina: We have 9 months of warm weather here, so most often it’s the McBride Sisters Sparkling Rosé. It’s great with fresh warm weather foods like crabmeat salad and also stands up to a spicy ceviche.

 

Andréa: One of our initiatives this year is content and education on the African Diaspora. Where are your family’s roots and how has that influenced your cooking? ​

Nina: My father was from Canouan and my mother St. Lucia so Caribbean has had the greatest influence on my cooking. St. Lucia particularly with African and Indian influences

Xoxo,

 

Time Posted: Mar 24, 2021 at 8:00 AM
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