46th Presidential Inauguration DayImage from the LA Times
Powerful women are all around us. Today we celebrate the ones making history! It is with grace and poise that for the first time, a woman will be the Vice President of the United States. The barriers breakers of our time, Ruther Bader Ginsberg, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Kamala Harris, Ilhan Omar and more are paving the way for the women in this country while also carrying the immense weight of hope for all of womankind. Today, we raise our glass to them. Tomorrow will be a new day for the country and throughout the next four years, we will be able to watch with hopeful eyes, how a woman shapes our nation, our policies and our livelihoods. It is their hardwork and dedication that gives so many of us women, members of the BIPOC community, and our allies; more reason to pop a bottle of Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut today, in celebration of the 46th Presidential Inauguration. Cheers to 2021: the year of the woman.
It feels like only yesterday that Hillary Clinton opened our eyes to the possibility of having a woman in the White House, when she announced her first presidential campaign aspirations. Her strength, confidence and ambition is exactly what drove six women including Harris, to take on what may be their most important roles in government yet. With our glasses full of bubbles and our hearts full we will see the first Woman, Mixed Race Black and South Asian Vice President be sworn into office.
Women are in such domination of 2021, that we can’t fit them all into one blog (as much as we would like to!); so we’ve compiled a list of some especially remarkable women in politics to watch in the 117th Congress, and 46th Presidential administration.
Women to Watch
Image from PBS News Hour
- Deb Haaland: Otherwise known as Debra Haaland of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe. Deb will be the first ever Indigenous person and Indigenous woman to hold office as a cabinet secretary. Her appointment as head of the Department of the Interior will see a return of authority to Native Americans who were once solely responsible for U.S lands and natural resources. In her acceptance speech for this position she promised, “I’ll be fierce for all of us, for our planet, and all of our protected land” (and we can all cheers to that!).
- Maryland Strickland (D-WA, 10th District): Like Kamala Harris, Strickland is a Mixed Race woman of Black and Asian descent. She is one of the three first Korean American women in congress, this year. Like some of her female colleagues before her, Strickland is using fashion as a powerful means of expression and politics. For her swearing in ceremony Strickland chose to wear a traditional Korean dress referred to as a hanbok, which was meant to both honor her Korean mother and be a positive reinforcement for representation.
- Nikema Williams (D-GA, 5th District): Williams is not only the first Black woman to chair the Georgia Democratic Party but she will also be the first woman to represent her district. She is following in the footsteps of the late representative John Lewis.
In 2021, we are seeing the most women ever in the House of Representatives. See the full list of Women to Watch from Politico here.
The roster of impressive women across Congress and the White House could go on, and on...as it should! 104 years after Jeanette Rankin became the first woman to be sworn into Congress, there are 26 women in the Senate, and 118 women in the House of Representatives. As if a historic 144 women in the Capitol aren’t reason enough for 2021 to be the year of the woman, President Biden has surrounded himself in the sound advice of over 2 dozen powerful female minds, not including our Madame Vice President Kamala Harris! Regardless of our political values, American women have come together to let the world know: #SHECAN canned wine and she will. As she has said before, she may be the first but she certainly will not be the last.
So today it feels even better to raise a glass of wine from a Black-women-owned business. A toast to women, trail blazers like Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Deb Haaland, and ourselves! With no glass-ceiling to hold us back, the sky's the limit.
5 Black-Owned Retailers To Know
A beacon among the lively communities across the country, these hard working entrepreneurs are making their mark. These wine shops, convenience stores, liquor stores and other businesses are the building blocks within their communities. The local pit stops to grab your favorite bottle of wine or even an oasis to hang out with the dedicated team behind the counter. You’ll also find all three of our McBride Sisters Collection brands on their shelves, keeping our wines readily available across the country!
These businesses have also made a point to carry, highlight and grow other Black-owned wine and liquor brands in order to share their successes. When they rise, they raise others. Across the country, these shops are all intertwining a love for wine, community and a work hard mentality to truly set their businesses apart. We raise our glass to these 5 trailblazers and the many others out there, we will support your endeavors always. Shop small, buy Black and always support local!
7/11: Arlington, Texas - Alyson Rae Lawson
At just 32 years old, Alyson Rae Lawson is already her own boss. The CEO and franchisee owns and operates two convenience stores and gas stations, challenging the corporate structure by doing things her own way through franchising. “It wasn’t easy, but it is definitely less difficult than starting a business from the ground up. It had its challenges, but I had no plan B so I was forced to work through them,” Lawson said to Shoutout DFW.
With a background in government administration, Lawson earned her MBA and Master of Accounting, however did not feel properly respected in corporate America. Lawson has since realized the importance of staying true to herself. “I did not get to where I am today by being what other people wanted me to be. I got here by being 100% unapologetically me!” She is a force to be reckoned with and has continued to grow and expand her franchise by bringing others along her journey to success. Her shelves are stocked with other Black-owned businesses and great wines to provide you with a 711 shopping experience like you’ve never seen before. She continues to bring her great taste to her community and inspires others to think outside the box in order to find success.
Kimbark Beverage Shoppe: Chicago, IL - Jonathan Swain
On Chicago’s South Side, Kimbark Beverage Shoppe is a community pillar. A family run business that has been in operation since 1974, when John W. Swain Sr. purchased the store that was initially part of a Hyde Park urban renewal project, and his son Jonathan Swain took over the shop 12 years ago. “What brought me back to this business was my commitment to my community,” Swain told Beverage Dynamics.
At Kimbark Bev’s roots, the retailer continues to focus on giving back to the community, employing 19 people, with a focus on those in need. “We hired people who had spent time in prison even before that was a tax credit...we believe that people deserve a second chance.”
Beyond its community of Chicago, Kimbark Bev focuses on supporting Black businesses nationwide, stocking a range of Black-owned alcohol brands. Swain acknowledges the importance of distribution, while discussing the deeper issues of American policy that have exempted Black people economically. “We support black-owned brands because they’re part of our ecosystem,” Swain said.
SIP Wine & Beer: Escondido, California - Cassandra Schaeg
Nestled in Downtown Escondido is a wine tasting room and retail store called SIP that was founded on the mantra of “SIP, BUY, SHARE”. “SIP our unique selection of wine and beer, BUY a bottle to take home, SHARE wine knowledge through themed events and educational classes,” founder Cassandra Schaeg told SD Voyager.
After settling into Escondido for a few years Schaeg noticed that she wasn’t spending any time or money in the actual area, so she decided to focus her efforts on the community by opening up a wine bar. “Community development and involvement, my love of quality wine, and the desire to share wine knowledge became the building blocks of Sip Wine and Beer LLC.”
Happy Cork: Brooklyn, NY - Sunshine Foss
Happy Cork in Brooklyn is much more than just a wine shop, it is an oasis. Owner Sunshine Foss put her background in fashion design and textiles to use, creating a wonderland with floral arrangements, decorative antique pieces and accent walls. “People come in here and don’t want to leave; they spend hours talking to staff about their whole lives,” Foss told Black Owned Brooklyn.
The former designer bought the space in 2016 with her husband, but after having difficulty finding tenants they decided to turn the space into their own wine and spirit shop. Despite facing various hardships when trying to open up shop, the store officially opened its doors in March of 2019, to the support and love of the surrounding community.
As a minority business owner, Foss shares the importance of stocking minority-owned products, despite often running into roadblocks. “There have been times that I have requested minority brands from certain distributors, and they tell me they don’t carry any. Not even one,” Foss told Travel Noire. Happy Cork currently stocks around 35 Black-owned wine varieties and approximately 15 Black-owned spirits.
3 Parks Wine: Atlanta, GA - Sarah Pierre
A veteran in the hospitality industry, Sarah Pierre was feeling the burnout of spending too many years managing restaurants. “I couldn’t handle the late nights anymore, reckless behavior, long crazy work hours, and missing important events and milestones for myself, family and friends,” Pierre told Voyage Atlanta, who took some time off before deciding to open wine retailer 3 Parks Wine.
Located in close proximity to three Atlanta park neighborhoods, 3 Parks Wine offers an all-inclusive experience that provides wines for everyone. “I wouldn't say I only go organic or bio-dynamic, but smaller production is what I'm looking for when picking wines for the shop. I'm also thinking of my customers and what they are looking for when they come into the shop,” Pierre told Eater. Offering a casual, fun and friendly neighborhood environment is also what sets 3 Parks apart, and keeps customers coming back.
To find our McBride Sisters Collection Wines near you check out the store locator here. Join the McBride Sisters Wine Club to have a hand curated wine selection delivered directly to your door every quarter, read more about our wine club here.
An Origin Story
A wine that represents the heritage and beauty of New Zealand, where Andréa was raised. The McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc (or Sauv Blanc if you're feeling friendly!) is an ode to one of the most breathtaking wine regions of the world, Marlborough. Located on the northeastern side of the South Island, this dry cooler climate has earned it's spot on the map by producing some of the most delicious Sauvignon Blancs. Notable of crisp acidity, gorgeous green notes and soft tropical fruits. A versatile white wine that pairs with our favorite dishes and represents a piece of the incredible story that brought Andréa into the wine world!
The Sauvignon Blanc Grape
Sauvignon Blanc, a green-skinned grape variety, originates from the Bordeaux region of France and produces a dry, crisp white wine. In the 1880s, the first Sauvignon Blanc cuttings were brought to California, the location of McBride Sisters Collection headquarters. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the grape was first introduced to New Zealand, where the McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc is grown and made. In 1979, Sauvignon Blanc wine was first commercially produced on New Zealand shores and is now the country’s most widely planted variety. Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is one of our favorite types of sauvignon blanc. In terms of Sauvignon Blanc aging, this type of white wine can be enjoyed young or for up to 5 years or so depending on the producer.
Besides California and New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc is also cultivated in France, Chile, Romania, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Washington state. We love a world traveler!
This varietal can grow in many different regions varying in climate. These temperature differences influence the wine significantly. Cooler climates produce wine with high acidity and flavors of grass, green bell peppers, passion fruit, and floral notes. Sauvignon Blanc taste and primary flavors are lime, green apple, tropical fruit, and white peach. The flavor palate ranges from zippy lime to flowery peach.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape is unique due to its aromatic organic compounds called “pyrazines” give the wine its herbaceous flavors of bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry, and grass. Sauvignon Blanc’s acidity level is medium to medium-high.
Similar varieties include: Verdejo, Albariño, Colombard, Grüner Veltliner, Verdicchio, Vermentino, Tocai Friulano, Savignan (rare), Traminer, and Sauvignon Vert (rare).
The Perfect Pairing
Sauvignon Blanc does not particularly benefit from aging, so there’s no need to wait to open a bottle. We'd suggest serving Sauvignon Blanc at “cellar temp” (about 50 to 60 degrees). When it comes to chilling white wine, there are two options. You can either leave it in the fridge for several hours, or you can put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. If the girls are on their way, pop that bottle in the freezer and you’re good to go.
What to pair with Sauvignon Blanc? Luckily for us, Sauvignon Blanc has a variety of foods that mutually complement each other.
- Seafood lovers, this one’s for you! Sauvignon Blanc’s zing enhances the citrus and garlic-based sauces used for seafood, shellfish, and white fish. It is also one of the only wines that works well with sushi. One of our favorite sauvignon blanc food pairing is with fresh seafood.
- By now you know that the Sauvignon Blanc flavor profile has herbaceous notes. These pair well with similar green herbs like parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro, mint, tarragon, thyme, fennel, dill, and chives. Other “non-green” spices include white pepper, coriander, turmeric, and saffron.
- Meat lovers, unite! Perfect white meat pairings are chicken and turkey.
- What to eat with Sauvignon Blanc? We love a delectable cheese board. Try Sauvignon Blanc with softer, briny, and sour cheeses like goat’s milk cheese.
- Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the veggies! Pair these vegetarian dishes with Sauvignon Blanc: asparagus quiche, cucumber dill yogurt salad, white bean casserole with zucchini, and green hummus.
- Now that you’re a Sauvignon Blanc expert, put your knowledge to the test and describe sauvignon blanc to your friends at the next happy hour. Kick back with a bottle (or two) of crisp, clean Sauvignon Blanc! Visit our Wine Shop to explore our wines.
This is more than just a wine, it's an origin story. Order a bottle of the McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc in the store here or find our wines near you on the store locator here. If you want to taste through the Collections, check out our Wine Club to recieve hand curated wines sent directly to you quarterly.
Own Your Year
We are coming to the end of what has been quite a year. At the close of 2020 we are taking in some self care and appreciation for the good things that came from this year; like our interview with NPR’s Guy Raz on “How I built this''. Thank you to everyone who listened, shared, and responded to both episodes! We’re so grateful for the love & support we’ve had on our journey; which is why we want to celebrate you, your strength, and the lessons we’ve all learned going into 2021. So as we start reflecting and manifesting the year to come with a bottle of our favorite Sparkling Brut, (or two, maybe three, ...) let us cheers to closing 2020 with style!
Our 2021 vision boards both personally and professionally act as affirmations that remind us to live our best lives, every day. Creating visual reminders of our daily mantras has helped us turn our wildest dreams and innermost desires into reality; and can help you do the same! Whether you’re a vision board goddess or a first timer, we've created a vision board guide to help organize your goals and dreams while leading you through the creative process, every step of the way. Now it’s time to manifest your best year to date!
What You’ll Need:
Your very own McBride Sisters Vision Boarding Template 2021 - download here!
- A physical Vision Board — we’ve ordered this set in the past
- Magazines & Prints (we love a good vintage)
- A bottle of Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut
Step One: Center the Future with Past & PresentFirst off, make sure you have a full glass of wine!
- Then take some time to deeply reflect on your accomplishments, milestones and events from this past year. It’s also important to think of any areas where you see room for improvement in your life. Reflection can be done alone, but also presents a sweet opportunity to check in with friends and family at the start of the New Year.
- Next, focus on building the future of your dreams. Start to envision your life a year from now: dream up what you hope to accomplish and any changes or steps that might be necessary to make those accomplishments happen.
- When conceptualizing your board, think deeply about what you want to invite into your life on a daily basis.
- If it helps, write it all down! Think of your vision board as a kind of photo journal, that will make a habit of actually journaling your past, present and future. This will continue to help you map out your ideas and track your progress.
Step Two: Attract Positive Energy
- Decide on one or several related themes to set the mood for your board.
- We like to center our content around values such as quality, creativity, gratitude, etc. (but you can also get specific: professional, health & wellness, relationships… ).
- Find messages and symbols that you make you feel inspired, excited, and alive. You want this vision board to carry you through the entire year, so it has to be amazing.
- Pull a mix of imagery, art work, words, and quotes from anywhere that you can cut and paste.
- We like to use blogs and magazines to get us started.
- Our go tos for this year are: Essence, Forbes, Refinery29, Wine Enthusiast, Well+Good, The Every Girl, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, and so many more!
- We like to use blogs and magazines to get us started.
Tip: Pinterest is a great start for inspo; in fact, the whole site is kind of like a huge, digital vision board. This is the perfect platform to keep up your vision boarding throughout the year. But for now, print out your favorite pins and focus on a physical vision board that you can hang on your wall. It’s important that you are reminded every day of your hopes, dreams and inspiration.
- After you’ve exhausted the internet and your magazines/articles/etc., print out, cut out, and gather all of the content that you’ve collected.
- Content can be any and everything that you want to manifest for this upcoming year: magazine cut outs, printouts from your favorite blogs, postcards you’ve collected from traveling, the business card from your favorite restaurant…
Step Three: Design the Reality of Your DreamsStart the crafting process and pour more wine! (Check out our wine club for more!)
- It's a great idea to share your research and goals with friends and communicating your ideas is a rewarding way to start your relationship with your vision board and your future.
- Take your vision board, content, glue or thumbtacks, and begin turning your dreams into an expression of your best year yet!
- Your board can be minimal and focused or sprawling and energetic, it’s about whatever works best for you and your goals. This is your vision for 2021 and you have the full freedom to manifest it however you please.
- Placement is where your imagination and creativity can run free. The design of the vision board is completely up to you. It can mirror the ebb and flow of your life or have no pattern at all; just be sure that it does reflect the inspiring theme(s) you chose to keep yourself motivated and on task!
Step Four: Start Manifesting(Did we say pour more wine yet? Crafts should never be done on an empty glass!)
- Place or hang your vision board somewhere that you can visually access on a daily basis. Where and when, is your vision board able to best reach you? Are you a morning person that does your best thinking while getting ready in the bathroom mirror, or while warming up your coffee? Maybe you’re a night owl that does your finest work late in the gym, or at the end of the day with a tall glass of Black Girl Magic Rosé. Either/or, give your vision board a home in a place where you elevate: in the bathroom by the mirror, in the kitchen on the fridge, at the office over your desk, etc..
- Thinking about your ambitions daily will make a habit of them. So make sure you pass by your vision board at least 3 times a day!
- Take a deep breath (and a big sip) to get ready for a new year. Embrace an attitude of gratitude for yourself, your ambition, and the friends and family that will help build you, and your dreams for 2021.
- You couldn’t have envisioned a brilliant future without loved ones you’d like to share it with, so double-check to make sure they’re somehow included in the messages on your board.
Now Get Ready For An Amazing New Year + Download our Vision Board Prints Here!
We can’t stress the importance of quality time with your dreams and aspirations. Above all else, we hope this vision board inspires you to live this next year to the fullest; and to celebrate every accomplishment, moment of happiness, and hardship. We are all strong enough to get through anything, especially as a community! When we were vision boarding for 2020, we never could have anticipated the highs and lows of this year. Not even in our wildest dreams could we have imagined being supported by your strength, style, and grace through it all. You are at the center of our vision board for 2021; because we would not be where we are today without you. Your encouragement inspires us to cultivate a better world for women, and to shine an especial light on beautiful examples of Black women being loved and uplifted. Thank you for helping us grow our Black Girl Magic Wines collection throughout this past year. This brand has been welcomed by an exceptional amount of excitement by this community. You have all showered these brands with so much love and enthusiasm, that the passion for these wines and the message that they serve, is the true magic of 2020.
Thank you again for one of our best years yet. It is our wish to bring quality, love, and celebration into your life for many more years to come! Cheers to the New Year!
Holiday Celebrations Across The Northern & Southern Hemisphere
Fuzzy seasonal sweaters, hot cider by a warm fire, scarves, Christmas markets, and even snow playgrounds. Comforting festive visuals are what some of us know Christmas to be all about. For those of us who grew up in the Northern Hemisphere this warming visual may be spot on, however, for those residing in the Southern Hemisphere, a very different picture is likely to come to mind. So many of the Christmas traditions in the Northern Hemisphere revolve around the cold season, so a change in climate is sure to be reflected in the way the holidays are celebrated.
One of the things that make the McBride Sisters Collection unique is the story of how we came together as sisters from opposite sides of the world. With Andrea growing up in New Zealand, and Robin coming from Monterey, we were connected after years of not knowing the other existed following a family event that brought us together. As a result, both hemispheres are very important to us and hold a special place in our hearts.
The holiday season is a time for celebration. No matter where in the world you are located you’re bound to have certain traditions that you follow and take part in when the holidays come around. To celebrate diversity and unity of the two hemispheres, we have put together a guide highlighting how both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres celebrate the holidays in their own unique ways.
What Do The Decorations Look Like in Different Hemispheres?
Traditionally, certain countries that experience colder climates during the holiday season, such as America and Europe, tend to decorate grand trees with lavish ornaments typically in gold, white and red colors. These colors are associated with warmth during a season when most of the Northern Hemisphere wants to be rugged up somewhere cozy, escaping the harsh winter cold. In Japan, the customary Christmas tree is adorned with handcrafted decorations such as paper lanterns and origami, with the origami swan being one of the most popular Christmas ornaments.
In a majority of countries in the Southern Hemisphere, the holiday decorations typically reflect the traditions of their Northern Hemisphere counterparts, with large Christmas trees and opulent ornaments lining the trees. This could be because of the way in which Hollywood’s perception of an American Christmas has shaped many other countries worldwide. Australia and New Zealand are two countries who follow such traditions, albeit, occasionally with a twist. In either of these countries you might find decorations that reflect the island life, such as seashells, native plants and flowers, and more. New Zealanders actually have their own version of a “Christmas tree”, the Pōhutukawa, which is a native tree that grows vibrant red bauble-like flowers during the holiday season.
In many parts of South America it is common to find a nativity scene, or pesebre, accompanying the traditional Christmas tree, while in Mexico, piñatas decorations are filled with toys and candy to be a fun and interactive treat for the children.
Every individual country does have its own unique customs and traditions, however, there are some similarities that connect each region. Meals in the Northern Hemisphere winter months are typically based around hearty, warming dishes. In the United States, a holiday spread is likely to consist of a variety of roast meats, accompanied by gravy, stuffing, and lots of delicious sides, with hot apple pies and Christmas puddings following for dessert. In parts of Europe soups and stews are traditionally served to keep the winter chills away. In Poland, a homely soup called Bigos (“Hunters Stew”) is enjoyed around Christmas, while in Slovakia they serve one of their most celebrated dishes, a cabbage stew.
Holiday dishes in the Southern Hemisphere countries typically reflect the warmer climate, however, there can still be somewhat of a British influence seen in certain holiday spreads. In Australia and New Zealand, hot summer Christmas days are celebrated with spreads of fresh local seafood, salads, and often barbeques are cooked outside, typically accompanied by fresh fruit and a dessert called pavlova. In South Africa, it is also common to celebrate the holidays with a braai (barbeque), while in Argentina they serve their own version of pigs in a blanket, called niños envueltos, which is typically stuffed with cabbage and meat.
No matter where in the world you are, wine is a universal beverage that unites us all. At our Christmas table you’re bound to find bottles of our McBride Sisters Wine. For celebrations and holidays, we always like to have a bottle of McBride Sisters Collection NV Hawke's Bay Sparkling Brut Rosé readily available. Grown sustainably in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand and enjoyed by us in California, we’re merging the two hemispheres with every sip! Check out our store locator to find a bottle of these bubbles near you for last minute shopping.
Our favorite holiday wines from our wine club? Reds of course. There is nothing cozier than a warm fire and a delicious bottle of red wine. This holiday season we'd recommend opening up a bottle of the McBride Sisters Collection Red Blend. The Red Blend will pair perfectly with your Northern Hemisphere holiday feast and it makes a delicious mulled wine using one of the recipes here or paired with your favorite pie.
Champagne and wine are festive staples in both hemispheres, with delicious wine-based recipes, such as mulled wine, being enjoyed in the colder climates. Other traditional holiday beverages served include cola de mono, a Chilean alternative to Eggnog that is served cold, while Italy’s own Eggnog alternative is the festive favorite Bombardino.
Festive activities in the Northern Hemisphere tend to revolve around winter sports, such as ice-skating, skiing, or snowboarding, or attending traditional Christmas markets where hot beverages and artisanal items are sold. Visiting tree lighting ceremonies and Christmas lights displays are other popular activities among those looking to be dazzled by impressive festive decorations.
Many Southern Hemisphere folk like to spend their time outside over Christmas, making the most of the hot weather and taking advantage of one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most frequented summer locations: the beach. Spending Christmas Day at the beach is a tradition for many, and you’re likely to find a majority of the popular beaches, such as Bondi Beach, packed with families, friends and tourists.
Old world style, new world finesse. Taste through our collections and new wine releases with our McBride Sisters Wine Club! Find out more here about our hand curated wine shipments, delivered to you quarterly.
Robin & Andréa
The Do's and Don'ts of Holiday Table Presentations
‘Tis the season to be festive (and creative!). With all the planning that goes into organizing food and presents during the holiday season it can often be very easy to forget about one important part - your feast table presentation. A standout holiday dining table can not only alter the aesthetics of the space, but it can also improve the vibes of the event, even if it’s a small gathering this season. This is your time to really shine and create a feast to remember!
The ideal holiday table presentation ultimately comes down to personal style and taste. You can co-ordinate your holiday menu to aesthetically match your table presentation, or you can even get your family involved with DIY holiday decoration craft sessions. The choice is up to you. There are, however, a few starting points or guidelines to follow to help things run smoothly, so we have provided 5 do’s and don’ts to help take your holiday table presentation to the next level.
DO: Get festive
What your holiday season looks like can depend a lot on where in the world you live. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, holidays may be reminiscent of snow, pine trees and hot cocoa. Get festive by embracing snow days, through crafting paper snowflakes that can drape down from the ceilings, or using miniature personalized snow globes that could act as a place setting for each guest. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, holidays may mean warm days at the beach and ice-cold drinks. You may opt to use brighter colours, or focus on a theme that explores tropical locations.
DO: Focus on color palettes
When you think of the holiday season what color palettes come to mind? Golds, reds, greens and whites are typical color palettes, but there are many different color schemes that you can play around with depending on your own personal taste. Stepping outside of the traditional red/green colors can mix things up a bit and create unexpected pops of color. Think of pastels, citruses, LED-inspired colors, neutral warm tones, and more. Tip: Choose glasses that match your color palette from Estelle’s stunning colored glassware range. These hand-blown colored glasses will be an incredible addition to any holiday table, and will take your chosen color palette to the next level.
DO: Create unique, eye-catching accents
Accents are what tie everything together and can make your holiday table feel complete. Without carefully chosen accents a centerpiece can feel too imposing or asymmetrical. Choose accents that contrast with the color palettes of your centerpiece, while complementing them at the same time. If you have a holly and pinecone centerpiece, you may want to have silver and gold accent colors to really make the centerpiece pop. Another great centerpiece? Wine bottles. Create a visual wine list on your table and the bottles will double as decor! Get one of everything with our Winter Vibes 12-pack to taste through the wines and to use on your feast table.
DO: Get Fragrant
Now it’s time to embrace your senses of sight, touch and smell by picking flora that will have guests in a sensory overdrive. For a personalized fragrant experience try attaching individually tied bunches of flora to guest’s chairs, try using pine, thyme, rosemary, lavender or eucalyptus. For an added festive touch use ribbon or twine that matches your color palette, and place loose items from your chosen plants in the centrepiece to tie everything together.
DO: Get hands-on
Get crafty and add a homemade touch to your decorations by workshopping some artistic pieces that will delight your guests. Create custom-colored bottlebrush trees by using fabric dyes or diluted stamp ink. Alternatively, you can also experiment with brightly colored crepe paper to make your own unique bottlebrush trees. Another simple, yet effective idea to spruce up your table is to cut and fold holiday-themed paper to create cone “trees” of varying sizes.
DON’T: Be afraid to experiment
If you’re new to holiday table decorating, don’t stress! This is the time to have fun and try new things. Holiday table decorating all comes down to personal taste. However, if you don’t know where to start — the best thing you can do for inspiration (other than following this guide) is look at decoration pictures that excite you and use those as a starting point.
DON’T: Forget to create a centerpiece
The centerpiece is the statement creation that everything else on the table will be set around. This striking piece is typically a decoration of some form, but it could also be designed out of food and/or drinks. Design tip: Build a dazzling gold centrepiece complete with gold-leafed candlestick holders encompassed with a fabric flower, ribbon and dried flora creation that has green, white and gold accents. Add two bottles of our McBride Sisters Collection NV Hawke's Bay Sparkling Brut Rosé on either side to complete the stunning masterpiece.
DON’T: Limit your decorations to the table
Create a festive wonderland by expanding your decorations from the table to other parts of your space. Use light fittings and wall hangings that connect different elements and themes present on the table to your living room, kitchen and dining room. If you’re hosting at a location with an entry hallway, decorate the walls and hang pieces from the ceiling to create a magical experience for guests from the moment they step through the door.
DON’T: Forget to play music
Set the mood and keep awkward silences to a minimum by having background music playing. You may have a quirky Christmas playlist that you want to show off and use as a conversation starter.
DON’T: Obsess over everything being perfect
Remember, this is a party and the point is to have fun! It’s very easy to get wrapped up in running a party that you can often forget to slow down and actually enjoy yourself. Take time to talk to your guests, enjoy the food, and have a drink. You deserve it.
After checking all Do's & Don'ts, don't forget to check our wine club for more favorites! Happy holiday & Cheers!
The perfect cheese board, it’s gorgeous and filled to the edges with different soft and hard cheeses, fruits and charcuterie. What's the secret? It's time for you to show up to the holidays, friendsgiving or even for a Friday night in with your very own Instagrammable wine + cheese board pairings. It's your time to shine with our wine and cheese pairings for beginners!
Here's the secret: it's all about the cheese pairings with wine. The board will look beautiful if you follow our step by step cheese board + wine pairing guide, but make sure the cheese you're buying is as delicious as the spread looks. Good cheese comes in all shapes and sizes, and pairs perfectly with all of our wines. Be sure to tag us in your cheese board posts, we want to see your spreads!
"How To Build The Ultimate Cheese Board" from William Sonoma
Each individual cheese board is unique and comes down to personal taste, dietary restrictions and choice. There are, however, general guidelines of items you can get to make your cheese board pop!
The Cheese: To start, you want to make sure you have three to four cheeses that have distinct flavor profiles. These could include sharp, creamy, nutty, or unique profiles. Sharp cheeses could include parmesan, cheddar, havarti or a sharp swiss. Some of our favorite creamy cheeses are brie, camembert and feta. Nutty cheeses include smoked aged gouda, gruyere or manchego. A more exciting flavor profile could be this BellaVitano cheese that has been rubbed and infused with freshly roasted espresso.
Once you have your cheeses you’re halfway there! This is a cheese board after all, and you have just selected the key contenders. The best cheeses are crafted from fresh, original ingredients and are made to suit a range of unique palates, so whatever you decide to pick will work perfectly.
The Cured Meats: To accompany the cheese you can choose a range of cured meats such as prosciutto, pancetta or Italian dry salami. If anybody at the party is vegetarian you can just as easily substitute any vegetarian option, such as Tofurky deli slices.
The Cheese Vehicle: Next, you need to pick the ingredients that the cheese will be served on. Pick a range of your favorite crackers, biscuits, or types of bread - it’s great to have a variety of serving options as everyone likes to have their cheeses served on something different.
Fruits, Nuts and Anything Extra: Now here’s where you pick the items that will accompany the cheese to bring some fun and variety to your plate. Honey walnuts, pistachios, grapes, strawberries, dates and a range of dried fruits are some of our favorites.Additional condiments could include toppings or vegetables that could bring some extra flavor to the board. These could include delicacies such as honey, sun-dried tomatoes, quince paste, marinated olives or artichokes. Think of these also as the decorative and exciting items that will bring your cheese board to life, making it look like an artist’s creation in the middle of your living room.
The Wine Pairings
Wine and cheese were made to be paired. The ideal cheese board wine pairing experience pairs with red wine, white wine and sparkling! Depending on the size of your tasting group, we suggest opening all three bottles of wine to taste them side by side to find your favorite pairing!
Crisp, dry white wines
Crisp, lighter-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Sparkling pair well with fresh, unripened cheeses such as mozzarella, feta and burrata. Fresh, young and soft cheeses are best paired with our McBride Sisters Collection 2019 Sauvignon Blanc produced in Marlborough, New Zealand or the Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
Wine Buying Tip: Wines from New Zealand are produced in a cooler climate, this is one of the Southernmost wine regions in the world. The cooler climate contributes to a higher acid structure and lighter bodied wines.
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. We’d highly recommend our McBride Sisters Collection 2018 Chardonnay from Central Coast, California to pair with your soft, buttery cheeses.
Wine Buying Tip: The key to these wine + cheese pairings is to find moderately oaked Chardonnay. Our McBride Sisters Collection Chardonnay is produced in a winemaking style that involves subtle oak, but not enough to overpower the varietal aromas and flavors from the Chardonnay. If you are buying a heavily oaked Chardonnay, we recommend a harder/less creamy cheese.
Medium-heavy bodied, fruit forward red wines
Aged cheeses pair perfectly with the medium-heavy bodied, complex tannin structure and gorgeous fruit profile on a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. These cheeses include Cheddar, Manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano. The perfect pairing would be our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot (a new release!) with one of these hard cheeses.
Building + Beautifying The Board
Since cheese is the main event here, we like to place our cheese down first. But if you like, you can start by laying down some flat greens (such as baby spinach) to give your cheese board additional presentation points. After the cheeses are placed in distinct areas of the board place the cured meats in between the cheeses for a clear visual contrast. Next, add the crackers and/or bread in the gaps, and then spread all the remaining ingredients out to artistically fill in all the spaces. The goal here is to make the board look abundant and beautiful while appearing visually balanced and decadent.
Other Tips & Tricks
- Taking your cheese board on a picnic? Try our SHE CAN Wines, they are easy to bring just about anywhere. They are our bottle quality wines with can convenience. We'd reccommend the SHE CAN New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or SHE CAN Island Citrus Dry Rosé Spritzer with the cheeses & meats above!
- Be sure to take your cheeses out of the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before serving, so that the cheese is just below room temperature.
- When it comes to pairing wine with cheese keep in mind that opposite flavor profiles can attract. An off-dry Riesling can pair perfectly with an Italian Parmesan, while a tart Sauvignon Blanc can be deliciously complemented by a buttery Gorgonzola.
- Taste test the wine and a slice of cheese yourself prior to serving. Your taste buds will be able to tell you if the pairing works or not.
- Keep in mind that not all wines pair well with cheese. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what works!
Join our Wine Club and build cheese board pairings with your shipments every quarter! Learn more about our Wine Club here.
A Gift Guide for Black-Owned Businesses
2020 has been a difficult year for small businesses, with the effects of the pandemic especially hitting hard on Black-owned businesses. A report revealed that Black-owned businesses have been closing at almost twice the rate of other small businesses due to a range of economic and social issues only made worse by COVID-19.
This year we are redefining Black Friday by encouraging our customers to focus their efforts on celebrating and supporting Black-owned brands during one of the biggest retail days of the year. As a Black-owned business, uplifting other Black women-owned small businesses is a cause that is very close to our heart, so help us spread “Black Girl Magic” (and Black magic in general) in the gifts you choose to buy this holiday season and beyond.
We know that as the holidays inch closer your emails and social media will be flooded with deals, promotions and sales, so to help you shop consciously we have put together a full McBride Sisters Collection Gift Guide for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday, so stay tuned!
Who’s ready to spread some magic?
Black Girl Sunscreen: Natural ingredients that help to rejuvenate your face and body while providing protection and moisturising.
Pear Nova Nail Laquer: Vegan, cruelty-free nail brand that celebrates all skin tones. Pear Nova is currently offering 20% off for the holidays.
The Lip Bar: Vegan, cruelty-free lip colors that are beautiful on every complexion.
Beneath Your Mask: Micro-batched by hand in Southern California, BYM uses all-natural products to counteract physical, environmental and personal stresses on your skin. The founder, Dana, also has an incredibly inspiring story about her journey to creating BYM after being diagnosed with Lupus.
Mented Cosmetics: Provides make-up to suit light to tan to dark skin tones with a shade finder to help perfectly customize your make-up to your skin. Mented is also offering a buy one, get one 50% off sale sitewide now through to Black Friday.
Juvia’s Place: Beauty brand offering a range of vibrantly-pigmented essentials for face, eyes and lips for all people and all skin tones.
Eden Bodyworks: Hair and body products created from natural, cruelty-free ingredients created for all curly hair types from 2A to 4C.
Oyin Handmade: Named after the Yoruba word for “Honey”, Oyin Handmade provides moisture solutions for highly textured hair.
The 125 Collection: Urban luxury candle brand based in Harlem, NY, that features a range of sweet, spicy, spirit and boss quotes on their vegan candles.
The Black Home: Minimalist design hub that features candle, tableware, ebooks, wallpaper and more.
Estelle Colored Glass: Luxury hand-blown colored glassware including glassware and cake stands that are made by glass artisans in Poland.
The Jungalow: Lifestyle brand that features design goods and inspiration. Check out this beautiful Ayo Hook pillow by Justina Blakeney. Also, sign up to their newsletter for exclusive Black Friday deals.
Karibe Cookware: Cookware company based in New Jersey that features cookware, kitchen tools and cutlery.
Bolé Road Textiles: Elegant pieces handwoven in Ethiopia that can suit a range of household needs including table linens, pillows, rugs and bath accessories.
Eva Sonaike: Luxury home textiles and soft furnishings including rugs, cushions and fabrics that have a stunning West-African aesthetic.
Food & Beverages
Phillip Ashley Chocolates: Luxury, designer chocolates made out of the finest ingredients to create a unique chocolate experience.
Sweet Hot Mambo Sauce: Capital City’s signature sauce is infused with cayenne and habanero pepper to create the perfect sweet and tangy blend that you will win you over immediately.
Baked Cravings: For those with nut allergies this delicious baked-goods company provides 100% nut free, peanut-free, tree-free & kosher sweets.
Red Bay Coffee: Made in Oakland, California, this Black-owned coffee brand focuses on diversifying the coffee industry by focusing on creating opportunities for POC, people who were incarcerated, women and people with disabilities.
Brooklyn Tea Company: Tea lovers rejoice, Brooklyn Tea Company is offering a range of high-quality, organic teas that are fair trade wherever possible.
Zac & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm Honey: Family-owned business from rural New Jersey that uses all-natural processes to explore the benefits of home-grown, raw honey.
InBooze DIY Cocktail Kit: Handmade packets with dehydrated fruit, spices and herb that make it easy for you shortcut the classics at home, just add alcohol!
Telfar: Unisex fashion line established in 2005 by Telfar Clements.
Taylor Jay Collection: Ethically sourced and environmentally safe pieces from designer Taylor Jay that are made in a fair labor factory in Oakland.
Peryton: Luxury leather handbags that are created by Jamaican and American designer Gina Love.
Bruce Glen: Vibrant leather accessories, bags and a range of unique statement streetwear pieces.
Rochelle Porter Design: Bold prints created for the gym and beyond.
DIARRABLU: A San-Francisco based company that focuses on producing conscious contemporary womenswear through sustainable practices, while highlighting the unique patterns and colors of the African continent.
Nubian Skin: Nude lingeries that caters to a wide range of brown skin tones.
Toys & Other Gifts
Fresh Dolls: Award-winning dolls that honor the beauty and intelligence of multicultural children, with currently over 65 dolls representing Black, brown, mixed and blended children.
Kid’s Gardening Kit from Hortiki: Encourage kids to get excited about plants, nature and gardening from a young age. This kit allows them to explore the world of agriculture through puzzles, games, reading and more, and has an all-inclusive organic & eco-friendly gardening kit to make gardening safe and fun!
Entrepreneurs Color Too: For creatives and intellectuals alike, this is an inspiring adult coloring book that highlights the beauty and successes of Black women.
Culture Greetings: Greeting cards designed for consumers of color that let customers create a personalized message using handwriting fonts.
Darlyng & Co: “Everyday essentials for everyday parenting” that includes a range of kids products and apparel.
Puzzle Huddle: Inspiring and diverse children’s jigsaw puzzles that feature a range of characters.
Brilliant or BS Card Game: As said on the box, this is a card game designed for “know-it-alls and big fat liars”. Interested? We sure are.
Black-Owned Wine Shops To Visit Across The Country
Give the gift of wine this season. This Small Business Saturday we've created an ever growing list of Black-owned wine shops across the country for your last minute Feast shopping, holiday gifting or just for when you need a good bottle of wine. Black-owned businesses have been disproportionally impacted this year and we want to make sure these businesses can not only stay in business but thrive in 2021.
Enjoy the instant gratification of having a bottle of wine without waiting for shipping! We will continue adding to this list so please let us know if we've forgotten any wine shops to include in the comments. Shop local, shop small and spend your money with a purpose this holiday season and beyond.
SIP Wine and Beer | Escondido, CA
Boutique Vino | San Diego, CA
Stapleton Wines & Spirits | Denver, CO
District of Columbia
3 Parks Wine Shop | Atlanta, GA
Cynthia Bailey's Wine Room | Atlanta, GA
Corks and Cuvee Wine and Gift Shoppe | Conyers, GA
Kimbark Beverage | Chicago, IL
1340 Beer Wine Spirits | Chicago, IL
Second Vine | New Orleans, LA
Urban Grape | Boston, MA
House of Pure Vin | Detroit, MI
Bed-Vyne Wine & Spirits | Brooklyn, NY
Good Wine NYC | Brooklyn, NY
3rd Ave Wine & Liquer | Brooklyn, NY
Harlem Wine Gallery | New York, NY
Down The Rabbit Hole Wine Boutique | Sayville, NY
Pyramid | Memphis, TN
Moffitt's Wine & Spirits | Milan, TN
711 | Austin, TX
711 | Dallas, TX
OST Liquor Store | Houston, TX
Downtown Spirits | Seattle, WA
It's the best time of the year! Usually the holidays are a time to travel and see family, friends and loved ones. But with everything that is going on in the world at the moment, this may not be a typical holiday season. This is, however, your chance to make new traditions. Through it all, we are still here and that is something to celebrate!
So grab your Sparkling Brut and get ready to pop the bubbly with your bubble! Gather with the friends that you know are being COVID safe & smart, the group you’ve been with since the beginning of this year, and plan a feast to remember! This Friendsgiving is going to be better than the rest because this season, your friends are your family.
So how does one plan a feast? What if you’ve never made an entire turkey before? To ease your mind, we’ve compiled a full guide on how to celebrate Friendsgiving so that you can focus on what’s important - friends, food and WINE.
It’s Time to Celebrate
Since the holiday landscape does look a little different this year, Friendsgiving can be celebrated in a variety of ways, some traditional, others more creative. Whether you decide to attend or host an event in person or virtually, make the right decision for you, but just make sure you have a bottle of wine ready at the waiting. The Friendsgiving tips we provide can be done both virtually and in-person, so choose what you’re comfortable with and let’s party!
Host a potluck. Potlucks are always a fun way to see which of your friends can cook! Each person invited brings their favorite dish, often leading to a smorgasbord of exciting foods. Indulging is the game here, and we’re all for it.
Virtual tip: Gather on zoom and have all your friends make a smaller, single serving size of their dish and share the recipes!
Throw a virtual party. This is great for the current time as you can invite as many people as you want. Tell your friends to invite their friends and you can even organize a talent show where people can sign up and showcase their chosen skill to the party. The talent show will get better as you drink!
Holiday movie marathon. Grab a group of your closest friends, prep a few dishes, organize some holiday drinks and pull out the cushions for a night at the movies (at home).
Social distancing tip: There are a few fun ways to have a socially distanced movie night. Google Chrome extension Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) allows you to watch synchronized flicks with your friends all around the world, with a group chat feature added to Netflix, Disney, Hulu and HBO. Alternatively, if you live in an apartment block with a rooftop, you could see if your building can arrange a socially-distanced movie night with your neighbors.
The Wine List
The refreshments that will accompany all the delicious food are just as important as the food itself. We all know how a great bottle of wine can level up a fabulous meal!
For a more formal sit-down dinner, the Black Girl Magic Wines will pair well with your fancy attire & delicious food! The Black Girl Magic Fall Vibes 6-pack is perfect for this occasion and will provide you with an entire wine list in one order. It’s also a great time to taste through the collection with your favorite holiday dishes to find the best pairings!
Now for the best part of the holidays (apart from the great company, of course). The food. If you are hosting then typically you will supply the main meal and have your friends bring all the supporting side dishes. However, if it’s a potluck you can coordinate with all the guests to bring a different dish of their choosing. To mix things up a bit and get into the Autumn spirit, add a pie bar and ask everyone to bring their favorite pie and toppings. Your party will end up with a range of delicious pie options such as pumpkin, pecan, apple and more!
If your Friendsgiving bubble is more of a brunch crowd, try a range of lighter options that can satisfy your sweet tooth such as pumpkin-spiced waffles, homemade cinnamon buns or croissant french toast with soft caramel apples.
The key to making these new traditions into lasting memories? The decor! You may want to pick a theme or even have everyone dress up, when was the last time we wore our high heels? Turn wine corks into place card holders, stop by the store and get festive! Make your space feel like the home you may not be able to go visit this year. Facetime your mom or grandmother and get decorating tips from them, too. Virtual tip: If you’re hosting a virtual event, set a theme for everyone to dress up and put on a fun background. Or even have everyone put their background as one of their favorite photos of the group!
Let the Games Begin!
Once the feasting is over, it’s time for the entertainment to begin. Friendsgiving is the time to reconnect with the people you love, and have fun together in person or virtually. It’s so important to be surrounded by your loved ones but this year that might just be a long Facetime call! Be safe this holiday week but also, treat yourself. You deserve a safe night surrounded by the friends in your bubble and the wines you love. Cheers!
P.S. While celebrating the holiday season with your families and friends, don't forget to cheers for the tiny little happiness in your daily life. Try out our Wine Club specials and share with your special ones.