For our next #WomenCrushingIt we’re introducing an icon in the kitchen and winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for ‘Best Chef: South.’ Nina Compton is one of the most impressive chefs in the country, and she’s been uniting cuisines and cultures throughout her career. Originally from St. Lucia, she started her journey in the kitchens of many notable restaurants in Miami, and earned accolades at every stop.
Nina then opened her first solo restaurant in New Orleans, Compère Lapin. There she made an art out of intertwining St. Lucia, her love of French and Italian cuisine and the indigenious ingredients found throughout Louisiana.
Nina is a visionary and a woman who focuses on the epicurean experience of food. She’s crushing the food and restaurant industry, creating successful and rave worthy restaurants, while also serving as a Culinary Ambassador for St. Lucia. Her most recent venture, Bywater American Bistro, is shaping the way chefs explore their culinary curiosities and continue to challenge themselves with bold cuisine and bigger dreams.
Meet Nina Compton
Andréa: When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why?
Nina: My Mum. She's in St. Lucia and we haven't been able to see each other this whole time. I can't wait!
Andréa: How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman of color in a male-dominated industry?
Nina: Looking back, there were never a lot of me in the kitchen. I'm encouraged today that this is changing and the young women of color have that encouragement to challenge for any job they want.
Andréa: Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in your industries?
Nina: Leah Chase (known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine) told me I have to make it as a chef and restaurateur to set the stage for the next generation like she has for me and my peers.
Andréa: How would you define your tribe or sisterhood that has supported you during your path?
Nina: I think the combination of being around successful friends as well as those working hard and coming up creates a nice balance.
Andréa: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions?
Nina: Do what makes you happy with realistic expectations of what the future could hold. I went to the best culinary school in the states, but there was still years of learning and refining my craft until I was ready to own my own restaurant.
Andréa: How has the pandemic changed your work, industry and outlook?
Nina: It turned the restaurant industry upside down. However, while we were shut down, I was able to slow down and work through things that required that time. When we reopened, we were able to reset some systems in the restaurants which made for a more equitable environment. The outlook I i think is very bright once we get past the pandemic.
Andréa: What are you most excited about in your work right now?
Nina: The changing of the seasons is always fun because I get to change the menu!
Andréa: Which wine varieties or styles are most often on your table? Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it?
Nina: We have 9 months of warm weather here, so most often it’s the McBride Sisters Sparkling Rosé. It’s great with fresh warm weather foods like crabmeat salad and also stands up to a spicy ceviche.
Andréa: One of our initiatives this year is content and education on the African Diaspora. Where are your family’s roots and how has that influenced your cooking?
Nina: My father was from Canouan and my mother St. Lucia so Caribbean has had the greatest influence on my cooking. St. Lucia particularly with African and Indian influences
For our next #WomenCrushingIt this Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a Change Agent on the distribution side of the business, challenging the wine & spirits industry status quo, proudly and loudly driving diversity and inclusion at her company and not accepting anything less. It goes without saying that Jennifer Chaplin Tolkin embodies the phrase of “women supporting women.” Jennifer is the Vice President, Family-Owned Brands for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the largest and most prominent distributors of beverage alcohol in the United States and the world.
Jennifer has been crushing every industry she takes on since she graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. From global entertainment to national strategy & business development, she’s a force that leads in her roles and champions other women as she goes. For Robin & I, she’s elevating what it means to be a powerful, thoughtful and groundbreaking leader.
Through a partnership with Columbia Business School, she’s helped build the Southern Glazer’s and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Women in Leadership program. This program not only supports women in business, it encourages them to find their strengths and leverage them in the business landscape in order to step into, with a whole lot of confidence, roles of greater influence by focusing on the advancement of all women as the goal. She’s a mother, thought leader and gamechanger.
Meet Jennifer Chaplin Tolkin
Andréa: When the pandemic subsides, who are you raising your first glass with and why?
Jennifer: Before the pandemic, my extended family would get together for dinner every Monday night, hence the name, Monday Night Dinner. This tradition started with my late Grandma Arlene more than 30 years ago with just eight people and has now morphed into a 25-person gathering every Monday night. I can’t wait to raise a glass (safely) with my family and celebrate just being together again.
Andrea: How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman (in a male-dominated industry)?
Jennifer: I want to keep pushing boundaries and making it known that I have just as much grit, passion, and determination as anyone else. Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I am any less. It doesn’t mean I care less about my job, or more about my family, or vice versa. Both are extremely important priorities to me. The environment is a challenging one, but if we keep chipping away at the iceberg there is no way we can’t win.
Andrea: Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in Wine & Spirits?
Jennifer: This may sound funny, but most recently I’ve found inspiration from within. This past year has forced me to overcome so many different obstacles and I have never given up. I am proud of myself for staying the course. There have been times I didn’t think I could juggle all of the competing responsibilities of being a working mom, but I continue to surprise myself. I am also inspired everyday by my colleagues at Southern Glazer’s. I get to work with people who are just as passionate about diversity & inclusion and getting the job done as I am. Seeing their passion ignites my fire even more and I know together we can inspire so many.
Andrea: How would you define your tribe or sisterhood that has supported you during your path?
Jennifer: I am lucky to have several different support systems. My husband, for example, has always been there to gently push me beyond my comfort level. As an executive in his own family’s business, he really relates to my work situation. He knows how far I want to go in my career, and he supports me every step of the way. I couldn’t achieve anything without his guidance, love, and of course, help with our son. My mom has been another influential member of my tribe. She has been the greatest example of how I want to mother, how I want to love, and how I want to stay a positive force for my family. Of course, I can’t forget about my Dad. I think grit, tenacity, honesty, and hard work has been ingrained into my framework from day one because of his example.
Andrea: What advice would you give to women who want to pursue nontraditional careers that combine their work and passions?
Jennifer: Never be scared -- everything happens for a reason -- and never give up! I originally studied at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts to become an actress, and when that didn’t work out, I moved on to a talent agency in New York City. When I decided to move back to Miami, I didn’t really know where I would fit in at Southern Glazer’s. I started in events and worked my way to the commercial side of the business where I am beginning to thrive and find my niche. It takes time, and sometimes you have to realize the best thing you can do is ask questions and take it all in. Every experience, good or bad, is a learning opportunity.
Andrea: How has the pandemic changed your work, industry and outlook?
Jennifer: The pandemic has changed so much for me, and so many. I had my son, Henry, at the end of March 2020 right at the outset of the pandemic. I’ve learned so much about being a woman, a mom and a working mom. Sometimes I can’t wait to get back to working in my office, with my colleagues, and travel for meetings, etc., but then I remember that means spending more time without my baby and family. Although I know it will be hard to separate family life and work life when it's time to get back to in person meetings, I can’t wait to do what I love most, and that’s spending time with the people in our industry and at Southern Glazer’s. I also feel incredibly lucky to work for a company that cares so much about FAMILY. That commitment to FAMILY was really demonstrated during 2020 – when many of us pivoted to work-from-home, while at the same time, we put in extensive safety protocols and other policies in place to protect our essential frontline employees. It was because of these measures that we were able to continue serving our customers without disruption, while keeping our people healthy and safe. I want to recognize those employees on the frontlines, particularly our warehouse teams and drivers, who really stepped up during this challenging time.
Andrea: What are you most excited about in your work right now?
Jennifer: Our Industry is begging to be more diverse and more inclusive, and that’s extremely exciting. I feel like I am a part of something way bigger. It’s incredible that the passion for diversity, equality and inclusion is so well aligned with our suppliers’ priorities. They are looking to do business with diverse and inclusive companies that take action to move the needle. I’m lucky that Southern Glazer’s is one of those companies that continues to strive to be better in every way. I also love getting to work with other family owned companies who have similar values. Integrity, inclusiveness, leadership, honesty, are all a part of my day to day interactions with them.
Andrea: Which wine varieties or styles are most often on your table? Do you have a favorite MSC wine, and a recipe, cuisine or mood to pair with it?
Jennifer: I love all different kinds of wine, but my go-to is definitely chardonnay. I love the McBride Sisters Collection Chardonnay with my husband’s Brussels sprout salad. It’s shaved raw Brussels sprouts, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese topped with a light olive oil and lemon dressing. It’s light and fresh!
Jennifer, we raise our glass to your triumphs, your hard work and your purpose. We’ve seen you CRUSHING IT for years now and this #WomensHistoryMonth we celebrate you.
It’s Women’s History Month and we’re highlighting #WomenCrushingIt in their industries every week of March. These women are inspiring, hardworking game changers. We’re kicking it off with two of the women on our winemaking team who perfectly complete our sisterhood across two hemispheres.
Before we begin, a little HERstory from Andréa and Robin:
Andréa: “In 2016, we were on the prowl for a GREAT winemaker that could join us on our mission. Not an easy task, given our winemaking philosophy, non traditional approach and view of the world through Rosé colored glasses. (Not to mention the fact that our sister wine journey is 18 years strong.) And while wine is tied to 8,000 years of history, we can’t ever learn enough and remain hauntingly curious, tasting hundreds of wines a year in pursuit of pleasure and perfection of our craft and portfolio. We’ve developed our own unspoken language when it comes to wine … sometimes we don’t even need to talk about it, we just know what the other is thinking. Robin has the stronger palate and my strength lies in the geeky details. Robin hates pretense, and I can be boujee AF. We are nothing without each other, but definitely something together, here to break the rules and drink the wine.”
Image: Jean Pedigo
Robin: “We met Amy Butler first. Stasi Seay, a force whom we both admire greatly, had been breaking barriers in grape growing and Viticulture in the Central Coast with more than 30 vintages under her belt. She said we had to meet Amy. Amy had been bitten by the wine bug at a young age too. Her mom joined a wine club and she was mesmerized by the winemaker notes. She decided to attend UC Davis and pursue a degree in fermentation science. After graduation, she first worked for Stag's Leap and then she worked for the well-known American winery, Schramsberg, to perfect her skills in sparkling wine. Eventually, she found herself in Paso Robles and her love affair with Rhone varietals would lead her to become president of the Rhone Rangers in the Central Coast and she is still an active member in the organization. Amy is fearless, but also practical, incredibly thoughtful and smart. We work closely with Amy to develop wines that we love, wines we are proud of. And 5 years later, she’s our head winemaker, doing the impossible and CRUSHING IT.
Andréa: “Diana Hawkins is one of our newer family members. We first learned about her at Essence Festival in 2019 when we were chatting with esteemed Advanced Sommelier Wanda Cole Nicholson about expanding our winemaking family. She mentioned a Diana Hawkins, who was ‘down in New Zealand, finishing her Master’s program in winemaking.’ We find out that Diana was a former engineer who quit corporate America to follow her passion for wine. She’d attained her Level 2 Certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers and worked at one of the best restaurants in Chicago, Alinea, which has 3 Michelin stars. My mind was blown. We met up in New Zealand and over several glasses of sparkling wine, at the bottom of the South Hemisphere on a tiny island that most have never heard of (Waiheke), we got to know each other and I was immediately taken by her confidence, curiosity, humbleness and perspective. She’s been our Assistant Winemaker since 2020, based in Waiheke Island, New Zealand and she is absolutely CRUSHING IT."
Let’s hear from Amy and Diana in our first #WomenCrushingIt Q&A to celebrate Women’s History Month. This month is a time to showcase and celebrate the women in our sisterhood. Raise a glass and enjoy!
Meet Amy Butler
Robin: “How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman in a male-dominated industry?”
Amy: “I have always felt (and maybe this is just my personality) that I had to do more and be better to get by. When I started my own wine brand, this became even more clear to me. I was constantly asked ‘Who makes your wine?’ Or even ‘So your husband makes the wine?’ It is truly a breath of fresh air to be working in a women-owned, women-driven business, where there are no assumptions and no ignorant sexism. And yes, I still feel like I have to do more and be better, but now that’s just a work ethic instead of a gender-imposed challenge.”
Robin: “Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in wine?”
Amy: “You and Andréa are overwhelmingly inspiring. You absolutely live by your ‘Break the Rules, Drink the Wine’ mantra. To be honest, you both were the first women in a position of power in my professional life who truly, truly believed in me and convinced me to get on board! I'm so glad I did!”
Robin: “How does your sisterhood - friends, family and colleagues - support you personally and professionally?”
Amy: “My mother has always inspired me. She was always a career-focused woman who showed me how to do it! The girlfriends I feel closest to are largely entrepreneurs (entrepreneuresses?) and make their own rules. And we are truly cheerleaders for each other! Maybe they don't make wine, but they make chocolates, or visual art or legal briefs. We all appreciate each other so much. Professionally, I'm on a great team of women in the Operations/Winemaking department at MSC, and their talent, communication, and execution constantly amaze and guide me.”
Robin: “What inspired you to get into winemaking and how does this career measure up to your expectations?”
Amy: “When I was in high school, my mom was a wine club member and there was one on the Central Coast of California whose shipments I came to anticipate because of their super-creative wine club enclosure. Their winemaker waxed poetic about the offerings and I just LOVED his writing. I decided I wanted to be a winemaker … I think I thought they were ALL brilliant wordsmiths and wacky scientists. I feel lucky because I'm equally comfortable handling a shovel in the cellar and a pipette in the lab, foot treading grapes or creating a blending spreadsheet. Without being certain what my expectations were, I have to say that my life feels very fulfilled from a career perspective. I've had other jobs, but winemaking has been my only career. I'm not sure I know how to do anything else!”
Robin: “What is your favorite part of the process when it comes to making wine?”
Amy: “Completion. While bottling day is either the most interesting (if it goes poorly) or boring (if it goes smoothly) day of a winemaker's life, it is so satisfying to see that product finally filled, corked, labeled and boxed. Few people realize how many moving parts have to come together to make that happen. It's like cooking eggs benedict for a crowd!”
Robin: “How would you describe the region you're working in and what makes it so special?”
Amy: “I'm California born and bred. Napa had its appeal when I first came out of college, but when it came to settling down for a life and a lifestyle, the Central Coast was everything. It still has a small town appeal while taking wine very seriously! I love the cool nights here during the summer and early fall, and so do the vines! You only need to drive a few miles to experience completely unique grape-growing conditions.”
Robin: “If you could describe your job in one word, what would it be?”
Amy: “One word? Just one? FUN! Even though it can be high-stress and fast-paced and there's a lot at stake, ultimately we are creating an unforgettable experience for women of all kinds. How can that be anything but FUN?”
Meet Diana Hawkins
Andréa: “How is the 2021 International Women's Day theme #ChooseToChallenge meaningful to you? What has challenged you as a woman of color in a male-dominated industry?”
Diana: “If we don’t challenge the status quo, nothing is ever going to change for the better. By encouraging people to get a bit uncomfortable or challenged via calling out inappropriate behavior, it encourages and promotes positive change and progress (which is sorely needed!)
In addition, making wine is a very physical process. Other than overcoming misogynoir, the biggest challenge when I was first starting out in the cellar was making what my male counterparts did work for me. I don’t need to be able to deadlift a wine barrel to get the job done safely and efficiently, for example. Another challenge has been overcoming people’s shock to my very existence as a young, black, woman winemaker. Sometimes people short circuit initially and don’t know what to do with me (lol) but I’ve found that once they get over that initial shock, they’re happy I’m there and quick to put me to work on the team.”
Andréa: “Who has inspired you to break the rules or think beyond them as a woman in wine?”
Diana: “My grandmother. She broke every rule in the book and inspires me to keep pushing and challenging the status quo. She moved from Louisiana to Chicago during the great migration, went to college and got her teaching degree. When my biological grandfather died suddenly, she raised 4 kids as a single mom, paid off her house, and travelled around the globe. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for her tenacity and rule breaking behaviour.”
Andréa: “When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
Diana: “I wanted to design and build robots and cars. I went to school for engineering. So I did design and build robots, but in the end it wasn’t for me.”
Andréa: “What inspired you to get into winemaking and how does this career measure up to your expectations?”
Diana: “I’m a nerd and had a lot of questions about wine and the winemaking process that I didn’t find answers to in the books I was reading at the time. So, I decided to take the plunge and really get into it. I absolutely love it! I love the physical aspect, the creativity involved, the seriously geeky parts, how it brings people together and everything in between.”
Andréa: “What is your favorite part of the process when it comes to making wine?”
“Blending, which occurs once the wines have been made. I love tasting through all the different vineyard blocks (lots) and detecting the nuance and differences between each one. Then, you blend them together to make something far more profound. Winemaking is equal parts art and science, and blending is definitely the artsy part. I also love selecting yeast for fermentation and tasting a wine as it goes from grape to glass.”
Andréa: “How would you describe the region you're working in and what makes it so special?”
Diana: “There is no place on earth like Aotearoa New Zealand. That’s not hyperbole, it’s quite literal. There are animals here that are found nowhere else. There are breathtakingly gorgeous landscapes, and the earth’s crust is so thin that there are unique geologic features (think Yellowstone) and tons of sleeping volcanoes (think Hawaii). The temperatures here never get too hot or too cold because of the Pacific Ocean and Antarctic currents. The soil types are also quite varied, and the winemaking culture so young that there’s still so much to explore. So, I find the region really exciting because of that – there are infinite possibilities.”
Andréa: “If you could describe your job in one word, what would it be?”
Diana: “Making it happen!”
That’s our foursome, that’s our winemaking team. Bold, discerning women. Different ages, nationalities, cultures and backgrounds, all united by a common mission: to transform the industry, lead by example and cultivate community, one delicious glass of wine at a time. Cheers to the #WOMENCRUSHINGIT!
Tracing the Routes of the African Diaspora through Wine & Food
All of our wines are an intimate reflection of who we are, and where we come from. During Black History Month, we are reminded of the journeys, people, and cultures which have made the McBride Sisters Collection possible. Our own family history, which covers multiple states, countries and continents (!), keeps us particularly mindful of the depth and scale of the African Diaspora.
While history focuses on the mass movements of the African Diaspora and its impact on the creation of Transatlantic Slave Trade, we want to showcase the beautiful traditions, cultures and cuisines that are a direct reflection of the men and women who were bought, sold and traded on foreign land. We want to take you on a tour through the Diaspora by tracing our roots (and routes) to highlight the cultures and cuisine that have influenced our lives, while also giving you recipes and wine pairings to bring these cultures into your own kitchen.
A Diaspora is defined as “the migration of a people and its culture away from their homeland” according to San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora. While the literal definition is accurate, in regards to the African Diaspora it is singularly important to note that the African migration was forced for roughly 500 years. From as early as the 1400’s through the late 1860’s, even after the Civil War (see Juneteenth), PBS estimates that at least 12 million Africans, spanning 50 different linguistic and ethnic groups, were taken from their homes and scattered around the world to foreign places throughout Europe and its colonies in the Americas.
Historically, much of the African Diaspora is horrific and traumatic, with the negative impacts intergenerationally being present to this day in Black communities around the world. However, despite the darkness, we represent a diverse population of over 140 million beautiful Black peoples, cultures, cuisines and utter excellence that were crafted and rooted from generation to generation, despite it all.
Tracing The Routes -Where Did Our People Migrate From?
The Transatlantic Trade, or Triangle Slave Trade, originated in Europe, but spanned at least three continents. According to PBS, a majority of enslaved Africans were sent to South America and the Caribbean, whereas a minority of that 12 million went to North America, explaining the breadth and vibrancy of today’s Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean cultures. The origins of this African/Latin/Indigenous panism can be seen in the range of colorful dialects, tones and cuisines that have come from Transatlantic migration.
Smallest migration origin: South East Africa — Mozambique
Biggest migration origin: West Central Africa — Republic of Congo, Nigeria
Main areas we landed after Crossing the Atlantic:
- Brazil: South East Brazil, Bahia, Pernambuco
- Colombia: Cartagena, Palenque de San Basilio
- Carribean: Barbados, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic
- United States of America: Gulf Coast, New Orleans + Coast of Georgia and the Carolinas
The Cuisine Rooted In African Heritage
“For Africans and their descendants in the Americas food and its preparation are deeply infused with social and cultural meaning, rooted in African traditions, and have always held an intrinsic role in creating, preserving, and transmitting expressions of ethnic cohesion and continuity.”
As people were being forced from their homes in Africa, they brought traditions, stories and distant memories of their homeland with them. Over many years, the slave trade was bringing a large and constant influx of people to Brazil, Columbia, the Carribean and the United States. These movements brought culinary artists and expert agriculturalists across the Atlantic ocean, leading to a re-energized African culture that was incubated and permeated throughout rural and urban cooking throughout North and South America. The result was deeply rooted culinary excellence in new and evolved cooking styles, recipes, spices and flavors.
According to Diane Spivey from The Black Past, the African Diaspora introduced many new methods of cooking to the American palate, from frying, simmering, roasting and steaming. Prepared cuisine and traditional dishes were becoming more delicious due to the influence of African migrants in the kitchen. Hot peppers and spices were used to season fish, meat, rice, beans and vegetables. Seasoning can be one of the most notable influences of the African culture within American cuisine today. Oils used to prepare African dishes included groundnut, peanut, melon seed, sesame seed, coconut, corn, shea butter and palm, “which remains the favorite in West Africa due to the reddish-orange color it imparts to foods.
Wine That’s Redefining Tradition
Culture and creativity first.
With no aristocratic heritage and tradition to the wine industry, our only boundary to the rules of our wines is within ourselves. Break the rules. Drink the wine. As we define the McBride Sisters Collection, stewarding the best expression of the vineyard and grape from the region is important and will always be a given for our winemaking process. The most important aspect for Robin and I is to focus on how each wine we make will inspire and illuminate our tribe. It’s the mood and experience that drives our creative process behind each bottle of wine.
A wine starts as an idea, a varietal and a vineyard but evolves into a way to express our culture, heritage and purpose by redefining tradition. During the ideation and creation process we always evaluate how a wine will be enjoyed. Will this wine experience be overcomplicated (everyone has that one friend like this, you know exactly what we’re talking ‘bout) and need to be served in a quiet, focused, intellectual environment, supported by contemplative and slow sips?
Or is this wine thirst-quenching, optimistic, happy AF and straight to the point? Ultimately, how does this wine elevate the food and people experience?
Our wines may never be the loudest in the room because we are quietly confident that each wine will elevate your food and mood. But most importantly, these wines will help create an intimacy between the deep roots of our love for wine and the dynamic routes of our families history along African Diaspora.
Every time you open a bottle of our wine, we want to elevate your experience without you even noticing. Over the coming weeks and months, we will share the perfect wine pairings, wine cocktails, recipes, culture, history and music as we take a tour of the African Diaspora.
Join Us In #TracingOurRoots
Over the next few months, we will be highlighting the powerful influences of the different countries who were a part of the African Diaspora through cuisine, wine and more. We’ll showcase the beauty of our culture and the many cultures across the world that are deeply rooted in the African traditions and artforms brought over by the migrations. Along the way, we'll explore the routes, introduce chefs that are keeping their heritage thriving and give you the perfect pairings to enjoy the recipes and wines at home.
Black History Month presents an amazing opportunity to find out more about Black history, culture and cuisine, and it also provides a powerful incentive to look into your own ancestry, however you identify. As we’ve seen; diversity, curiosity, and connection are the makings of a great origin story, so we encourage you to set the table with enough seats (and enough glasses!) for everyone!
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.
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.
On June 3rd, we created a post on our Instagram in recognition of the #BuyBlack movement, with hopes that it would bring awareness to other Black-owned wineries much like ours! We are happy to say that you all shared this post far and wide (over 29,000 times), so much so that many of the wineries sold out and had to gear up for a full restock.
Being that August is Black Business Month, we want to continue the support of Black wineries by expanding our initial list from 67 to over 130 companies that are either Black owned, feature Black winemakers, or both!
You can help us support Black owned businesses, Black owned vineyards & Black owned wineries around the world by sharing this blog post and letting us know about your business or a Black owned wine businesses and Black owned wine companies in your area. If we missed any Black owned wineries in California below or a Black owned winery in your area, let us know!
- McBride Sisters Collection - Instagram (Black owned winery in California)
- Theopolis Vineyards - Instagram
- Zafa Wines - Instagram
- P. Harrell Wines - Instagram
- Jenny Dawn Cellars - Instagram
- Love Cork Screw - Instagram
- Stuyvesant Champagne - Instagram
- Browne Estate Napa Valley - Instagram (Black owned wineries in Napa Valley)
- Aslina Wines by Ntsiki Biyela - Instagram
- La Féte du Rosé - Instagram
- Bodkin Wines - Instagram
- Abbey Creek Vineyard - Instagram
- D Wade Cellars - Instagram
- Flo Wine - Instagram
- Amour Geneve - Instagram
- Vision Cellars - Facebook
- Armand De Brignac by Jay-Z and Beyoncé - Instagram
- Domaine Curry - Instagram
- Cheurlin Vineyards - Instagram
- Lyons Wine - Instagram
- LVE Wines by John Legend - Instagram
- L'Tonya Renee Red Blend - Instagram
- Marie Cesaire - Instagram
- Serendipity Wines - Instagram
- Shoe Crazy Wine - Instagram
- Frichette Winery - Instagram
- Silkbush Mountain Vineyards - Instagram
- Simply Love Wines - Instagram
- Sip and Share Wines - Instagram
- Darjean Jones - Instagram
- Sosabe Cellars - Instagram
- Virgo Cellars - Facebook
- Maarkell-Bani Fine Wines - Instagram
- J Moss Wines - Instagram
- Kumusha Wines - Instagram
- Ole Orleans Wine - Instagram
- Longevity Wines - Instagram
- Enat Winery - Instagram
- Free Range Flower Winery - Instagram
- Indigene Cellars - Instagram
- Stover Oaks - Instagram
- Tympany Vineyards
- Frog Crest Vineyards - Instagram
- Corner 103 - Instagram
- Taste Collection Cellars - Instagram
- Charles Wine Company - Instagram
- Marbue Marke Wines - Instagram
- Earl Stevens Selection - Instagram
- Myx Fusions by Nicki Minaj - Instagram
- M'Hudi - Instagram
- Nyarai Cellars - Instagram
- Okapi Vineyards - Instagram
- Charles Woodson Wines - Instagram
- Vina Sympatica - Instagram
- L'Object Noir - Facebook
- Edelheiss Wines - Instagram
- Esrever Wines - Instagram
- The True Wine Connoisseurs by Sadat X & Will Tell
- Seven Sisters - Instagram
- Mukamii - Instagram
- Mosi Wines - Instagram
- Wachira Wines - Instagram
- House of Mandela - Instagram
- Bee D’Vine - Instagram
- Thomas T Thomas Vineyard - Instagram
- Bass Note Sangria - Instagram
- Davidson Wine Co - Instagram
- Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery - Instagram
- Chateau Le Lous Gris - Instagram
- Sapiens Beverage - Instagram
- Stoney Wines - Instagram
- The Collection Cellars - Instagram
- Wifey Brands - Instagram
- Women in Wine - Facebook
- K Rose Wine - Instagram
- Stoudemire Wines - Instagram
- Ses' Fikile Wines - Instagram
- Lathitha Wines - Facebook
- Thandi Wine - Instagram
- Adama Wines - Instagram
- Bayede - Instagram
- Imvula Wine - Instagram
- House of BNG - Instagram
- House of La Ricmal
- Amelie Wine
- Botebo Wines - Instagram
- Cape Dreams - Instagram
- Saarloos & Sons - Instagram
- Compagniesdrift - Instagram
- Carmen Stevens Wines - Instagram
- De Ladegourdie Wines
- Delisa Wines - Facebook
- Doornkraal Wines - Instagram
- Earth Bound - Instagram
- Enaleni Vineyards
- Epicurean Wine - Instagram
- Fairvalley - Facebook
- Inkosi Wines - Instagram
- J9 Wines - Instagram
- Jan Harmsga - Instagram
- KABB Wines / Mountain Breeze
- Koni Wines - Instagram
- Koopmanskloof - Facebook
- La Ric Mal - Facebook
- Land of Hope
- Libby's Pride
- Magna Carta Wines - Instagram
- Oakfields Wines
- Opus Wines
- PaardenKloof - Instagram
- Paul Roos Wine
- Poker Hill Vineyard
- Sena Wine
- Siwea Wines
- Sizanani Wines
- Son of Soil Wines
- Stellar Winery - Instagram
- Stellenrust - Instagram
- Tesselaardal Wines - Instagram
- The Bridge of Hope Wines - Instagram
- Thembi & Co Wines - Facebook
- The Township Winery - Facebook
- Truevines Wines - Instagram
- Tumbaga Fine Wines
- Five's Reserve
Companies that support Black Drinks Professionals - including the McBride Sisters She Can Thrive Professional Development Fund. The fund for 2020 is being awarded to Black Woman-Owned businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Read more about the fund here.
- Association of African American Vintners - Instagram
- Black Bourbon Society - Instagram
- Black Food Folks - Instagram
- Black Girls Drink
- Black Vines - Instagram
- Black Wine Professionals
- Causing a Stir - Instagram
- Diversity in Wine & Spirits - Instagram
- Hue Society - Instagram
- Radical Xchange - Instagram
- Urban Connoisseurs - Instagram
- Urban Wine Collective
Ok, we can all admit this spring is definitely not “business as usual.” Most of us are stuck at home S.I.P. (sheltered in place), which is especially hard during this Easter/Passover week, a time normally celebrated with our families. If you’re like us, you’re looking for all the positive energy you can find in this world of scary COVID-19 news.
For the first week or so, Robin and I read ALL the articles that popped up in our notifications and religiously watched the news for updates on the virus. We were STRESSED. However, after a FaceTime session, we realized that we’d been working so hard with events and travel, and for real––we were a little worn out. While we continue to work hard during S.I.P., now is a great time to focus a little more on taking care of ourselves and getting back in touch with the things we love, like hanging out with our families, cooking, catching up on movies and shows, and listening to music, to help us feel more calm and relaxed.
Like so many of us, Robin and I are not good at making time for ourselves––we always feel like there’s something we should be doing to stay busy––but caring for ourselves, especially during stressful times, helps clear our minds. So, we wanted to share some fun activities you can do, paired with our favorite wines for spring, to bring a little fun into a tough situation!
Rosé All Day!
Rosé is perfect for spring, and it’s even better when enjoyed with your girlfriends. Fragrant orange blossom and tart raspberries make our Black Girl Magic California Rosé an excellent wine to sip on with your girls this season.
Although you can’t see them in person right now (shoutout to #SocialDistancing), you can meet up at the club! #ClubQuarantine, that is. Our favorite DJ, D-Nice, has been live on Instagram spinning the songs that make EVERYBODY move. Grab your girls and jump in––it’s just like being at the club back in the day but you don’t even have to get dressed!
Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay
Ok, truth? We haven’t had much time to read. But, I’ve got a plan to chill with some smooth R&B and a few books that I’ve been dying to read. Robin and I like to read books written by strong women who write honestly about their lives and learnings. A lot of humor and maybe even a little spilling of tea along the way and we are IN. On our list right now? “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” by the fabulous Elaine Welteroth, “We’re Going to Need More Wine” by the smart and gorgeous Gabrielle Union-Wade, and “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” by truth-telling Luvvie Ajayi Jones. Let us know your favorite reads in the comments!
The perfect companion to great music and an excellent book is, of course, Chardonnay! Try our elegant and crisp Central Coast California Chardonnay. With notes of juicy pineapple and zesty citrus––it’s perfect with this delicious Grilled/ Smoked Salmon recipe featured in the latest blog from our good friend Mark Phillips at Southern Temptation.
Sauvignon Blanc and Downward Dog?
Yoga and wine are known to be two of the best ways to relax. If you’re craving some good yoga and maybe even a little side of meditation, check out the awesome sessions hosted by Faith Hunter or join in on the FREE classes CorePower is offering on their YouTube channel.
Red Blend and Chill
And finally, now is the perfect time to binge a TV series or watch some movies! If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Uncorked on Netflix––a fantastic family drama centered around our favorite thing: Wine!
For a relaxing movie night, all you need is a smooth red wine, some PJ’s and a cozy seat.
Hungry? Skip the popcorn and go all out with some BBQ! Treat yo’ self to one of our favorite recipes: McBride Sisters Family Chocolate & Jalapeño Short Ribs. Enjoy it with our Central Coast California Red Blend. With its leathery notes of tobacco, flavors of juicy plum, cherry, and blackberry, and a hint of peppery spice, you’ll be ready for a dope night in!
Take good care of yourself and don’t forget to celebrate tiny little happiness in your daily life. Order our wines now in our Online Wine Shop to stock up on these spring essentials! Want more? Come visit our seasonal Wine Club with your beloved families and friends.
Happy Easter and Passover to you all! Wash your hands and be well.