This holiday season, we're inviting you to serve up the good stuff. If you’re hosting for the holidays this year, it's time to remix your friendsgiving cocktails. From a Ginger Bells Spiced Zin to our Apple Pie Magic Mimosa, let us make hosting easier. Make the perfect playlist, decorate your home & send out the invites for your best friendsgiving yet!
12 Days of Cocktails Wine Set
With this six bottle wine set, we’re sending you home with the best holiday cocktail recipes hand crafted by some amazing mixologists and our winemakers that we’ve teamed up with!
Includes an exclusive friendsgiving drink recipes for 12 holiday cocktails using this set of six wines. Recipes will be accessible on the luxe insert included in your wine set.
How To Remix Your Hosting
The Perfect Friendsgiving Drinks Table
Make the cocktails the center of attention for your holiday events. Decorate and set up the perfect drink station for your guests. Include the written recipes, glassware and ingredients for each guest to create the holiday drink of their dreams. Add some extra decorations to this table and make sure you can hear the music from this spot in the room. Don’t forget to have an area to add a spiced rim to each of the cocktail glasses depending on the recipes!
Make Great Memories
Grab about 5-10 polaroid cameras and have them by the entrance of the holiday party. Put up a sign to encourage each guest to grab a camera and shoot photos of the party as they sip, sing and enjoy the event! Make sure to let them know to leave the cameras after the event ends so you can get them developed and then send the digital prints to each attendee afterwards.
Extra: Build A Letter Balloon Background
A night to remember is better when your guests are encouraged to take photos! Set up a balloon background that spells out the name of your event, such as, Friendsgiving, New Year’s Eve, Tis’ the season, etc. It will give your guests a reason to take photos in front of the sign but also add some unique festive decorations to the event.
A Potluck To Remember
Ask guests to bring their favorite holiday dishes. Before the event, create a full list of dishes being brought so you know what’s still needed! During the event at the dinner table, ask everyone to explain why the specific dish they brought is their favorite and what memories it brings up. Close out these special stories with a Friendsgiving toast!
For far too long, the “rules” have overshadowed the experience when it comes to wine. With the McBride Sisters Collection, modern epicureans (aka Foodies) finally have a home that matches the fearless way they want to live. The only rule of McBride Sisters Collection is that … there aren’t any. This pairing guide is for those who love to cook, experiment and expand their palate when it comes to wine and food. With recipes created by Alex and beautifully paired with our McBride Sisters Feelin’ Myself set of wines, download the e-cookbook to start cooking these incredible, exclusive recipes!
Alex Hill is a former Brooklyn girl now Washington, D.C. based, self-taught cook with a passion for making food that’s filled with flavor, functional and affordable. Her affinity for cooking developed at an early age watching her mother, Evelyn, create mouthwatering dishes for their family combining both her Puerto Rican and African-American heritages.
In 2017, she created Just Add Hot Sauce as an outlet to show an expression of love to the people you care about the most … through their stomachs. From dinner parties and blogging recipes to teaching cooking classes and trying new techniques, cooking is what brings her joy. Whether you want to add a little flavor in your recipe or a boost in your day, you can always get a kick when you ‘Just Add Hot Sauce’!
Get To Know Alex Hill
As a food expert, how does wine play a role in the dining experience?
Alex: Everyone loves a good glass of wine and as I’ve gotten older I appreciate it even more with good food. Wine should always be a compliment to a dish and vice versa. One shouldn’t outshine the other, you know? Some wines bring out more flavors in a dish while other wines almost act as a palette cleanser to others.
How do you create a dish from scratch that’s designed to pair with a specific wine?
Alex: I always think about the notes of a dish and what feeling am I trying to portray through a dish. Is it cozy with notes of cinnamon so I think about how a specific wine will compliment that dish? OH, and whenever I’m using a certain wine in a dish I always, always drink a glass (or two) first and think “Do I want to drink this?” then of course it is going to be amazing in a dish.
What’s your favorite food & wine pairing?
Alex: Ugh, a good hearty pasta with red wine! FAVE PAIRING EVER! Especially if the wine is used in the sauce.
Family is the foundation to the McBride Sisters Collection, how does family play a role in your brand, Just Add Hot Sauce?
Alex: Family is my foundation as well. My whole brand started because of my Mom. She taught me how to cook and more importantly she taught herself how to cook when she was in the midst of a divorce from my Dad. She was always a good cook but she wanted to become better being that now she was a single mom. So whenever we were at my Dad’s house on the weekends she used that time to try new recipes then she would test it out on us. I loveeeeee being in the kitchen with my Mom, plus I feel like Mom’s cooking is ALWAYS better.
Your Mother’s cooking has played such a pivotal role in your life and the career you’ve built. You’ve mentioned how no matter what, she made sure to have a sit down family dinner every night with you and your family. How has that shaped the way you enjoy food and the meaning of a family meal?
Alex: It’s so, so important to me. When I was younger we would have such great convos over dinner and my brother being the class clown, we would be cracking up laughing at dinner - so bellies full and heart full. For me food is community and an expression of love so my favorite part is not just the cooking process but enjoying the food with my friends & family - and a good glass of wine.
Can you tell us about one of your favorite 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.
Alex: OMG, definitely when me and my partner went to this amazing vineyard in Cape Town, South Africa. It changed my life! We went to multiple vineyards via a tram and it was so beautiful and this may sound dramatic but I feel like every note they were describing, I tasted it every single note and it paired so well with what we were eating. I distinctly remember having this amazing sauvignon blanc with notes of pears and they served a cheese board with this thinly sliced prosciutto, I swear my mouth exploded with flavor. The fattiness & saltiness of the prosciutto with the wine wine was a match made in heaven!
What role has your cultural background played in your cooking and how does it influence how you envision the future of the food and wine industry?
My background is so important to me, I’m Black and Puerto Rican and I honor both sides of my culture through the cuisine I cook. It’s both soul food and hispanic with a mix of caribbean culture. I tell stories through my food and I hope there are more multi-cultural women in these spaces of food media represented. There’s so many white women in food getting these opportunities like book deals, TV shows,etc. so it always feels good when you see someone that looks like me and talking about the food I grew up on - and also, I’m a millennial! Where are the spaces for us?! I love to cook and also enjoy a really great glass of wine or cocktail!
How does the Sister’s story resonate with you?
I’ve known about the sisters for a while but listening to their NPR’s “How I Built This” interview really resonated with me, I cried listening to it and often refer back to it when I doubt myself in this new entrepreneurial world or having imposter syndrome. What really resonated with me was their ‘dream drives’, I do something similar on my morning walks where I dream and manifest about my life. The sisters really went for it, beyond their wildest dreams and look where they are now! It’s truly beyond inspiring.
What was your favorite part about creating this e-cookbook Pairing Guide and how can the audience use it this holiday season?
Oh my gosh, what was really great was serving my friends after! I made all this food and called them like do you want to come over and eat! I loved creating these recipes and loved photographing them even more! My aesthetic is comfort and really showcasing the food and I really think that came across.
What’s next for you in your career? We know you love manifesting, what’s something you’re manifesting for yourself right now?
I’m getting intro products right now which is really fun! I recently released a kitchen candle which sold out twice and I’m releasing another product for the kitchen soon! I’m manifesting a published NY Times Best Selling Cookbook & a cooking show on a streaming platform - If I was in the car with the sisters on their dream drive, I would definitely say this!
Here in the Golden State, we’re joined by Head Winemaker, Amy Butler, on the blog to take us through the exciting California grape harvest this year. For Amy, harvest started on August 28th with the fruit for our sparkling wine. Now, we’re in October and this week is going to be the last week we have fruit scheduled to arrive at the winery. At the tail end of this year’s harvest season, we wanted to take a look into what this year brought and what made it special! Learn more about how Amy joined our winemaking team here.
The fruit we’re bringing in this year is primarily from the Central Coast of California. From as far south as the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County to as far north as the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County and everywhere in between.
“The growing season was long and varied, with low temperatures during flowering and fruit set leading to fairly light yields. The long hang time, provided by a relatively mild summer, meant that the fruit had plenty of time to develop full flavors without the quick accumulation of sugar. In Monterey County especially, morning fog lingered in the vineyards, delaying ripening even more. What we’ve seen so far is exceptional quality with only slightly diminished yields, and a very long, protracted harvest season.” - Amy Butler
One of the most important aspects of sourcing grapes and making wine is building relationships throughout the process. This year, Amy had the pleasure of meeting Kirk, a farmer she met sourcing grapes for our sparkling wines. Everyone plays an important role in the bottles of wine you know and love. “From the tractor operators, to the barrel coopers, to the harvest schedulers, the sugar samplers, and the press operators. It’s crucial to create fruitful partnerships with our grower and production colleagues, the people who work side by side with us every day to make what we do a success.”
Kirk is a grape-grower who also has avocados and pigs too. For Amy, the grape farmers are some of her favorite people. Without our viticultural (grape-growing) partners, it would be impossible to do what we do.
Harvest With Amy Butler
“As soon as I began tasting the fruit Kirk had grown, I knew it was exactly what I wanted for the sparkling base wine for this vintage. My first visit to his vineyard I knew I needed to measure the sugar content, pH, and acidity as soon as possible. I could already feel the wine that was inside those tiny, seedy little pockets of juice we call grapes.
I was not expecting the grapes to be so ripe yet that I’d forgotten my gear. I had my clippers, but no buckets, and two blocks of Chardonnay that needed sampling!
Lucky for me, Kirk also raises pigs. That’s when he handed me a large, transparent, blue plastic sock, with an elasticized top, meant for pulling on over one’s boots while mucking around pigsties. This would be the perfect container for 10-15 pounds of Chardonnay grapes.
How I wish I had a photo of these blue booties filled with grapes, like a neon gift from Santa. My team at the winery were also amused with my new containers for picking. We crushed the grapes from Kirk’s vineyard, tested them and scheduled the harvest for that Saturday.
After I left the winery that day, I got a text from Kirk: “Do you need more pig booties for your other vineyards?” Humor is part of what builds a long-term winery/grower relationship. Along with impeccable fruit quality. We’ll be back for more next year.”
and the Winemaking Team
Family Day with the McBride Sisters
Andréa and I celebrated National Family Day the best way we know how, with each other, a great bottle of wine and a charcuterie board.
For this event we talked about the power of family and how that’s contributed to the success of our business. For us, family is everything. We wanted to build a brand that continued to share the sisterhood we found with wine lovers everywhere.
Make sure to join our mailing list here to reserve your spot for our next virtual event. Find our How To: Build A Perfect Charcuterie Board blog here to make the best grazing board this season.
We love a great glass of McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Zinfandel. Right now it can only be purchased online and is not available in stores! Produced in California, this wine can welcome you into the world of complex reds. From a fruit forward beginning to a hint of spice at the end, this grape is best paired with food (see our pairings below) and can be a great wine to expand your palate! Scientists predict that Zinfandel is one of the oldest grape varietals still being produced today. According to Zinfandel.org, it’s been traced back to 6000 BC. Zinfandel dates back to the 1700’s in the United States, being brought over from Austria into the Boston Harbor.
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.
Zinfandel is a grape that can be largely misunderstood due to the ways in which it was produced in the New World (United States). With grape origin being somewhat of a mystery, scientists are now linking its roots to Croatia. Zinfandel, in Italy, is called Primitivo but while they have different names, they are the same grape.
Zinfandel Tasting Notes
The taste of a Zinfandel wine can vary greatly, depending on the producer, region and winemaking. The style of the wine can be altered with winemaking techniques, making it important to try multiple producers to find your favorite style. Our Zinfandel is a red wine is a lovely purple-tinged ruby red wine with intensely aromatic fresh plum, dried cherry and delicate crushed black pepper followed by soft oak notes and a hint of spicy Madagascar vanilla. This wine has a generously fruit forward palate with bold flavors, berry jam and dried fig with a grand finale of dried cherry and subtle peppercorns.
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 Black Girl Magic California Zinfandel.
Zinfandel Vs Other Red Wines
A popular red wine comparison can be found in Zinfandel vs Merlot. Merlot is known for its soft, sensual texture, and one of the world's second favorite red wines (after Cab Sauv). It 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 red wine has a versatility that makes it perfect both on its own and in blends. Zinfandel is typically more jammy than Merlot but both can be made in medium-bodied styles. Zinfandel is usually a more heavy-bodied red wine than your typical Merlot.
Another comparison we hear about often is Zinfandel vs 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 produced 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. Pinot is a lighter-bodied red wine. There are less intense ripe fruit notes than on Zinfandel.
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 a wine course to learn all things wine, winemaking and wine tasting to give you the tools to feel comfortable in any situation.
Hello Fall! We’re passing up the Pumpkin Spice this year and diving right into our go-to wine cocktails. Hand crafted by our Head Winemaker, Amy Butler, we’re giving you our McBride Sisters twist on your favorite classics with recipes, an easy way to order the wines & storing tips if you don’t finish the whole bottle.
The Oakland 75
Oakland is where it’s at! That’s why we're giving you our take on the classic French 75, with our very own twist. You can enjoy a French 75 to replace your go-to mimosa or enjoy it after your meal, as a dessert of sorts. That’s how we like it. According to Liquor.com, “The French 75 is named for the fast-firing 75 millimeter field gun that was utilized by the French during World War One.”
Grab our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé to add some fruity, creaminess to the cocktail — conveniently available with our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Zinfandel for your Red Wine Margarita below. One stop shop for the wines to mix up these special drinks! Get the wines here.
Red Wine Margarita
Margarita’s may be our drink of choice all year around, but pour over some full-bodied Zinfandel to give your classic Marg a bit of spice and ripe fruit. You may not ever go back to your classic. Salt on the rim is optional, we used our favorite coup glasses to make it fancy but any glass will do! Developed by Amy, we are just now realizing how well this woman can make a wine cocktail. Recipes that use red wine are our Fall favorites.
Grab our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Zinfandel to spice up your Red Wine Margarita here — available in the perfect four bottle bundle with our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé for all of your fall cocktail needs! Shop now.
Opened Wine: How To Store It?
For some people (not always us!), you can end up with a pretty full opened bottle of wine after mixing up cocktails. Below are our top 5 storing tips for your open bottles so they don’t go to waste and are fresh to drink the next day.
- Make sure to keep the cork of screw off cap just in case you don’t have a wine storage cork. We’d recommend having these affordable, Repour rubber wine stoppers on hand for your still wines.
- For your bubbles, you’ll have a very hard time getting the original cork back in. Make sure to stock up on these sparkling wine stoppers from Cuisinart, before the holiday season.
- Put all re-corked or wines with a stopper into the fridge after opening. For red wine, you can pull it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before drinking to let it warm back up.
How long to wait before you drink your opened wine?
- Red Wine can be stored in the fridge for up 5 days or so. We’d highly recommend drinking within 1-3 because the longer the wine is in the fridge you’ll lose some of the delicious fruit notes and rich flavors.
- We’d recommend storing White Wine in the fridge for up to 3 days but drinking within 1-2 as it will lose the aromas fairly quickly.
- For Sparkling Wine, it can really only last in the fridge for 1-2 days max before losing all of the delicious carbonation. We’d recommend always drinking the next day to keep the quality high.
Getting into the holiday season already? Find our favorite festive cocktails for the holiday season here. For all of you who love to host a holiday party, find our Holiday Table Presentations Do's And Don'ts here.
Black Girl Magic: Bold on purpose, sweet by design, refreshingly complex.
It was at ESSENCE Fest 2018 where we first launched our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic label. The incredible event is a “Party with a Purpose,” put on by ESSENCE Magazine, which has grown over 27 years to be one of the premiere gatherings for Black music, entertainment and culture — drawing averages of 500,000 attendees annually. It was a festival where thousands of Black women came together in one place to empower, educate and elevate during the day and party(with a purpose)at the music festival at night. Headlining with TRUE icons - we’re talkin’ Beyoncé, Barack & Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott, Diana Ross, and many more.
“ESSENCE is where Black Women Come First for news, entertainment, and motivation.”
When we launched the label in 2018, it also happened to be the first time New Orleans had a Black woman mayor, LaToya Cantrell. Since ESSENCE Fest is such a huge contributor to the city, the mayor hosted the opening party and we knew that’s where we wanted to introduce McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic to the world.
We only launched one wine in 2018. Riesling, a noble grape that originated from the Alsace region of France, was one of our favorites. It’s beautifully floral, with jasmine, honey and punch-you-in-your nose aromatics. Our style of Riesling remixed the traditions; you know the way that we do it! We wanted gorgeous acidity balanced with residual sugar. It was at the Essence Fest opening party where we announced our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Riesling. And let me say we have NEVER in our lives had people respond to a label and to a bottle of wine the way that they did that weekend. We ran out of this inaugural Riesling so quickly, that we knew right away we needed to give this label the attention it deserved. Robin & I tapped into something really special, something rare.
Since the incredible launch of our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Riesling, we’ve added a Red Blend, Rosé, Sparkling Burt, Merlot and Zinfandel to our the Black Girl Magic collection. These wines and this label have received so much love from you all! We see your amazing Instagram posts showcasing your Black Girl Magic and that’s the reason we made this brand.
McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic was cultivated at a time when we were seeing Black women breaking barriers as judges, scientists and in sports and entertainment. Black women were a huge part of the wine industry consumer demographic but were being underserved. If we were to honor the direct women in our family and the women within our community with a wine to celebrate their beauty and their resilience, what would that label look like?
Black women have been at the forefront of beauty, culture and style since the dawn of time -- yet are always last when it comes to products and services designed with them in mind. If our mission has always been to shake up the industry, how can you really drive innovation and serve people from diverse backgrounds in different countries and cultures if you have a small exclusive demographic of people making all of the decisions? It was time for Black women and everyone who supports Black culture to have a wine that was made with Her in mind. Black Girl Magic is more than a phrase. It’s a feeling. A look. A mood. A taste. Our wines are a celebration for us, by us, of all the things passed down from our ancestors to today. Our features, our skin, our beauty, our magic … and the wine inspired by it all.
These wines were made to celebrate the groundbreaking accomplishments of Black women including the small victories. Whether you’re sipping on them after work or for your wedding, there’s an indescribable joy in turning lowkey moments into unforgettable celebrations. That’s the power of these wines, we can turn ANY vibe into a celebration.
She is fun, fresh and fly. Sun-kissed and ripe. Full-bodied and luscious. She is one of a kind, she is McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wines.
It’s time to elevate your charcuterie board prep skills & have the wine pairings ready to go - we’re ready to entertain!
How To: Build Your Board
Our Go-To Wine Pairings:
Crisp, dry white wines
Crisp, lighter-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or a bubbly Sparkling Brut pair well with fresh, unripened cheeses such as mozzarella, feta and burrata. Fresh, young and soft cheeses are perfect with our crisp McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc, our new McBride Sisters Collection Pinot Gris or the McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé — turn any vibe into a celebration!
Fruit forward, medium bodied white wines
White wines that are more fruit forward and medium bodied with subtle oak pair well with creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert or with your salty charcuterie, like salami or prosciutto. We highly recommend our McBride Sisters Collection Chardonnay from Central Coast, California to pair with your soft, buttery cheeses + aged, cured meats.
Medium-heavy bodied, fruit forward red wines
Aged cheeses pair perfectly with the medium to heavy bodied red wines with complex tannins. Wines with ripe fruit profiles such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. These cheeses include Cheddar, Manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano, with a bite of berry jam or chutney. Reach for our McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend, a balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Sip on this with one of these hard cheeses and jam, thank us later!
Thank you to everyone for your kind & thoughtful birthday wishes this year. This one is really special to me. For my birthday, I’ve wished for all women to feel empowered. Not a small feat, but we’re asking you to contribute to a cause that’s close to our hearts. A contribution can be a pledge to raise women up at your company, encourage your best friends to apply for that dream job or if possible, donate to our professional development scholarship program. But before that, I want to tell you a little more about where our drive to shake up the industry and empower women throughout business originates from. I’m hoping to give this amazing community a look into who I am and this company I’ve built with my sister, Andréa. I think the story of my life as a woman becoming an entrepreneur, in a male dominated industry, leads perfectly into the purpose and drive we have to empower other women with our McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund.
As you know, I’m Robin McBride — the other half of this sister run company. I am currently the head of winemaking operations, human resources, finance and our direct to consumer program. My role taps into the things that I care about the most, the science of grape growing and winemaking, my interest in people and my drive to run my own business.In a speed round of “get to know me”, here are some of my favorite things!
- The cocktail I’m always reaching for is a French 75, that’s why we made our own twist on the classic. Mix up our Oakland 75 using our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé for your new favorite drink!
- I love farm life. Cultivating from the earth and living on land that has a purpose. I eventually hope to make my own cheese and raise my own goats
- I love music, Bossanova is close to my heart as my grandma used to listen to when I was younger. My eclectic taste is rooted in memories and moments that a song can take me back to and Lizzo just makes me feel amazing. Here is my birthday spotify playlist, turn the music up!
- My favorite wine ever is Chateau Y’quem, a Sauterne from France where I ended up working a harvest!
Why Wine? Becoming An Entrepreneur
I get asked often who my role models in wine or business were and truthfully I really didn’t have any. When I was growing up I wanted to be so many things, from a flower farmer, a volcanologist, and a particle physicist. I always loved science and I knew my dream job needed to include science. Wine was always in my life growing up in Monterey, California. As one of the main industries in that area, I was surrounded by vineyards and wine professionals.
The reason I started to thoughtfully pursue a career in wine was because I felt that wine, as a product and process, ties in with agriculture and a social experience. It’s not only an incredibly complex product that taps into my childhood dreams of wanting to do things in science and chemistry, but it also is something made for people to enjoy. They can laugh, cry, give a toast, share stories and connect with others over a simple, yet tasty, glass of wine. Wine is science, wine is agriculture and wine is an experience.
As an adult, I was having dinner with friends for our weekly Sopranos night, we’d watch an episode and my friend would chef up an italian dish from the show. One night, we had finished a bottle of Merlot and brought out another bottle of Merlot from the same place, with the same terroir. The wine was completely different. It caught my attention and I couldn’t shake my interest. What are these winemakers doing to make these products so different? I felt all of my interests in the chemistry and biological processes ignited as I continued to think about how much went into a bottle of wine and the power you had to alter the experience. Wine, for me, was never the same. I was hooked.
When I first met Andréa, the bond and relationship truly solidified so many things for me. First off, Andréa’s uncle in New Zealand was a grapegrower and she had also grown up in wine country. Further reinforcing that I needed to explore this industry and now I had her by my side. At the time, I was living in Atlanta. I had moved there after one visit because I was so amazed to see Black Excellence and professionals and universities in the 90s. I saw so much success in the Black community and such incredible culture. It was a really cool melting pot and I saw so much opportunity.
We get asked a lot why we eventually chose to build our business out of Oakland. And we like to tell em’ loud and proud that Oakland is where it's at! When we started making our own wines, I was commuting from the Central Coast, where I chose to raise my twins. Being close to San Francisco was key as it is a business hub and brought us closer to Northern wine country. But in the end, we chose Oakland because we wanted to find a place that had heart. Culturally, Oakland was a better fit and at the time a resurgence in the culinary and wine scene had begun. The city felt diverse and creative.
Empowering Women Along The Way
We wanted to break the rules of the wine industry but more importantly break the unwritten rules of women being pushed to the side. I grew up around only strong, independent women and am still under the impression that you don’t need men to make something successful. It was appalling to see the inequity in the business. Not only what Andréa and I experienced, but also witnessed across industries. Luckily, we're tough and were not going to be pushed off our path. But some women are not so lucky. It was painful to see the talent of the women in the industry being held back by the archaic nature of the business. The second we had a penny or a minute, we wanted to make sure we did something to help change that. That’s why we started our McBride Sisters SHE CAN FUND.
Our Impact To Date
The McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund stems from the mission Andréa and I focused on from the beginning — We want to transform the industry, lead by example, and cultivate community, one delicious glass of wine, at a time. As our company grew, so did our goals to help empower, educate and support women in their careers. We need more women in leadership positions, that’s why the SHE CAN Fund is investing in women. We’re helping build the next generation of women leaders by supporting the continued education, coaching and professional certifications for women working in traditionally male-dominated fields through our non-profit. You can now donate directly to the fund and learn more about the 42 women that have been awarded professional grants & scholarships so far on our website here.
Are you able to Donate? Find direct access to donate to our McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund here.
This year for my birthday, I want women to be empowered. I want to do my part in raising up the next generation of women leaders and create pathways for them to work their way to the top, where they belong. The moment Andréa and I had a penny or a minute to spare, we wanted to make sure we did something to help change these gender inequalities in business — and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon. Celebrate with me and wherever you can, raise up the women in your life. SHE CAN do anything.
White and rosé wines are popular during the summer months because they're usually served chilled, making them so crisp & refreshing. They are placed in ice buckets at your table while dining out and pulled out of the fridge on warm Saturday afternoons to drink on a sun-drenched patio. We've been told that white and rosé wine varietals belong in the fridge and red wine belongs on the wine rack, served only at room temperature. We don't know who wrote these rules on wine drinking, but we’re here to break them once and for all! This summer, let your red wines have the limelight and serve them chilled. We promise, you’ll never want to go back.
The beauty of a chilled red wine is that as you sip, it will slowly warm up in the glass, making every sip a little bit different from the last — giving you the full expression of the wine. When red wine is chilled, the warm fruit and hot alcohol will be slightly muted, resulting in a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel while maintaining the tannic structure and boldness of the wine. As it warms in your glass back to room temperature, you are slowly introduced to the flavor characteristics and the influence of the alcohol and tannin.
Since you’re still reading, we know you’re interested! Read on to find out:
- The best red wine varietals to serve chilled
- How to successfully chill your wine to the perfect temperature
- Our favorite chilled red wine cocktail recipe and food pairing
Make chilled reds your new summer crush!
Which Wines To Chill?
Truth be told, sometimes we chill all of our red wines! Why? Because we love the flavor expression and evolution of the wine in the glass. Also, in the warm summer months our red wines get too warm and it can ruin the complexity and depth of the wine when they’ve warmed above room temperature.
But as a rule of thumb, the best reds to enjoy chilled are usually light to medium bodied with a lower alcohol volume. It’s best to avoid heavy reds with heavy tannin and oak influence. We’d recommend focusing on lighter, fruitier red wines. Young bright Pinot Noirs, Beaujolais from the juicy Gamay grape, or Cabernet Francs from cooler climate regions are ideal for chilling.
- Try chilling our vibrant and opulent Reserve Pinot Noir, which has succulent aromas of crushed raspberry, rhubarb and candied cherry. We’re always reaching for a Pinot Noir when we want a nicely chilled red wine. Pair with a warm summer evening, grilled salmon and vegetable kabobs.
- For a wine that’s more full-bodied, chill our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2019 California Red Blend about 20 minutes before you’re ready to sip. Enticing black cherry and warm cocoa aromas are mixed with fresh raspberry and plum on the nose. As the wine warms up, the nose evolves into toasty oak, vanilla and black tea leaves. Chocolate and cherry follow you into the palate with luscious and silky tannins. It’s a great wine to pair with seared tuna or a filet mignon. Get the wine in our Bold & Boujie red wine six pack here.
- A wine you always want to chill, no matter what, is our smooth, bold and bright McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Bubbly Red. Every sip is full of juicy pomegranate and strawberry with ripe blackberry and just a hint of peppery spice. Whenever you’re serving a sparkling wine, make sure it’s been in the fridge for a few hours. Make it a moment and sip this wine in a can with BBQ Ribs or your favorite bag of chips.
Even though some reds may be more suitable for chilling, we suggest you try chilling any red varieties you want and see what works best for your taste and palate!
Be mindful of approaching chilling red wine with care, as overchilling can alter the flavor profile. The key is to make sure the wine is chilled but not cold. According to Vinepair, if a red wine is too cold, below 55 degrees, the flavors will almost be completely muted making the astringency a bit overwhelming. Here’s a few tips to maximize your cool red wine experience:
- Chill your wine in the fridge for approximately 30-40 minutes before drinking
- Use a metal or plastic wine cooler (or ice bucket) to help keep the temperature low once the wine is out of the fridge
- Avoid adding ice cubes to your glass as it will water down the wine
- For those in a hurry, pop the bottle in a freezer for 8-10 minutes
Food and Wine Pairings
Pinot Noir + BLT Salad
Image and recipe via Urban Bliss Life
Pair our Reserve Pinot Noir with light, creamy salads, such as this BLT salad, which is a perfect summer cookout dish. A delicious, crunchy combination that features bacon, tomatoes, soft pasta and more, this is an ideal comfort food for any time. For those who are not a fan of dairy, there’s also a vegan option to make this dish!
New York Sour + Cheese Board
Image and recipe via A Couple Cooks
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) bourbon whiskey
- 1 ounce ( 2 tablespoons) lemon juice
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) maple syrup or simple syrup
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot (available in our Bold & Boujie red wine six pack)
- Add the bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup to a cocktail shaker and fill it with a handful of ice. Shake until very cold.
- Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball or Old Fashioned glass.
- Carefully pour the red wine over the back of a spoon just above the surface of the drink, creating a layer on top. Serve with a lemon twist if desired.
Pair this delicious cocktail with a cheese board featuring cheeses such as Roquefort, brie, and cheddar. Chilling red wines is no myth. Try experimenting with a few different chilled varieties this summer and find what works best for you. Break the rules. Chill your red wines.