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Robin McBride
March 2, 2023 | Robin McBride

Uncorking Excellence

With Black History Month coming to an end and Black Women's History Month coming in April, we think this is the perfect time to celebrate the contributions of Black women in various fields, including the world of wine. The wine industry has historically been exclusive in a number of ways – as of 2021, 31.7% of sommeliers are women, while only 11.3% are Black. Despite the lack of representation, Black women are making their mark as sommeliers, breaking barriers one glass of wine at a time and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

We had the opportunity to have six talented Black female sommeliers review our wines and provide their suggestions for the best pairings. These women are serving as trailblazers who are paving the way for a more inclusive industry. According to her website, Pour Pairings, Shayna Wells’ mission is to make wine tasting and education “less pretentious, less daunting and more inclusive by making it fun and accessible.” Meanwhile, Natasha Hall started Culture + Vine out of an effort to “make wine approachable and help others feel welcome in a world that can often appear intimidating.” Founder of Vintnoir, Nicole Mallari, is inspired by “Black winemakers and dedicated to celebrating the diversity of wine with all consumers.”


Read on to discover their – and three other talented sommeliers’ – thoughts on our wines. 


Jade Palmer



2019 McBride Sisters Central Coast Red Blend
Vibrant ruby color. Mixed berry jam aromas with a hint of flamed orange peel, black cherries,
and mocha. Medium-bodied on the palate. Easy-drinking blend with soft tannins.

Pairings: BBQ Pork Ribs, Hard Cheeses, and Cheeseburgers.

2020 Black Girl Magic Riesling
Bright lemon color. Orange blossom and honeysuckle lead into aromas of ripe peaches and
honeydew melon. Notes of petrichor and wet river rock. Medium-dry on the palate; the
sweetness accents the ripe tropical fruit notes, such as passionfruit.

Pairings: Spicy Noodles, Butter Chicken, and Samosas.

2020 Black Girl Magic Rosé
Brilliant salmon color. Aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, with a
hint of pineapple juice. Easy and fresh on the palate with abundant flavors of tropical fruit. Slow
rise of acidity on the finish.

Pairings: Watermelon & Feta Salad, Ahi Tuna, or Chicken Street Tacos

2018 Black Girl Magic Merlot
Pale ruby color. Aromas of ripe raspberry, red and black cherries enveloped in vanilla and toast.
Slightly weighty on the palate with fresh tannins and a dark chocolate note on the finish.

Pairings: Pork Tenderloin, Carne Asada, or Pepperoni & Italian Sausage Pizza.

NV Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut
Bright lemon color. Ripe peach, apricot, and pineapple aromas with subtle hints of pear and
canteloupe. Off-dry on the palate with lots of orchard fruit and tropical fruit. A beautiful everyday
sparkling wine, especially for mimosas.

Pairings: Brunch, Prosciutto and Cantaloupe, or Caprese Salad.



Trina Holmes


2019 Black Girl Magic Red Blend
This lovely deep purple wine gives spices on the nose that remind me of baking brown sugar, cinnamon
and allspice. When tasting I served this wine after chilling and returning to room temperature. The wine
tastes jammy and makes me think of baked red fruits and black cherry.

Pairings: Bruchetta, Grilled Greek Lamb and Spinach.

2018 Black Girl Magic Zinfandel
This bright and bold wine gives fragrant floral notes. I smell flowers, berries & plums. To the eye this
wine is deep ruby color. It’s smooth to the taste and instantly takes me back to plums I ate as a kid. There
is a bit of vanilla on the finish of the wine. It’s sweeter than a traditional Zinfandel.

Pairings: Jerk Chicken dish with Rice & Beans

2018 Black Girl Magic Merlot
This wine has a garnet red color and smells like the mocha blend in a coffee shop before you add the
espresso to the cup. There are red cherry notes on the wine but I also got leaves which I’m sure is a
black tea leaf influence.

Pairings: Coconut Macaroons dipped in Chocolate

2021 McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc
This pale-yellow wine smells like apples, pears, apricots and citrus. To my surprise upon the first sip I
immediately tasted tropical fruits like passionfruit, guava and pineapples. This wine is smooth and
complex serve super chilled and return to ice bath in between pours.

Pairings: Grilled Mangos with a sprinkle of Tajin, Fresh Rappahannock Oysters



Shayna Wells



McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rose NV Hawkes Bay

These New Zealand bubbles are an absolute yes! With its beautiful pale salmon color, fruity palate and a hint of residual sugar, this bottle of sparkling rose promises a great time. Notes of strawberries, raspberries, peaches and a little cream balanced with its refreshing acidity makes this sparkler super food friendly or perfect to enjoy on its own.

2021 McBride Sisters Collection Sauvignon Blanc

Definitely a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in all of the best ways! Elegant and citrusy with ripe grapefruit, pineapple and a hint of green pepper makes this glass perfect for a summer day.

2019 McBride Sisters Central Coast Red Blend
Bold and rich with black cherries, blackberries, plum and cocoa creating the perfect balance of fruit and oak. Gentle tannins and great acidity have me wanting more. This wine would be perfect with a rack of lamb, some meaty pasta or even a semi-sweet chocolate dessert.

2020 McBride Sisters Central Coast Chardonnay

Beautiful on the nose with aromas of honey, green apple, and lemon and even better on the palate. Bright and balanced with apples, citrus, vanilla and slightly creamy with a hint of butter. Not overly oaked with a nice long finish makes it an absolute treat to indulge in.

2018 Black Girl Magic Zinfandel
Cherries, blackberries, plums, vanilla, and baking spice make this fruit-forward Zinfandel easy to drink but very fun! I love a good Zinfandel and this one definitely hit the spot. Beautiful color with a great finish, I’m just missing some barbecue ribs to go with it.



Nicole Mallari



2020 Black Girl Magic Rosé
Black Girl Magic wines were created to draw parallels to culture, beauty, and style and to inspire.
The dry rosé presents a bouquet of strawberry, apple, raspberry and orange blossoms. On the
palate, this fruit-forward wine is well-balanced and bright. A pleasant note of rhubarb emerges in
the background alongside a mouthwatering finish. This vibrant California-style rosé is for
everyone and any occasion.

Pairings: Charcuterie, Veggie Burgers, and Grilled Chicken Salad

2020 Black Girl Magic Riesling
Aromas of apple, pear,nectarine, honey and white flowers invite you into the glass of this 2020 Black Girl Magic riesling. The pale yellow wine is teeming with tropical fruit flavors alongside firm citrus notes for a beautiful balance. This expression of California riesling is light-bodied yet juicy and crisp. It’s giving Magic!

Pairings: Jerk Chicken, Hawaiian Pizza, and Indian Cuisine

2020 McBride Sisters Collection Central Coast Chardonnay
The 2020 McBride Sisters Collection Chardonnay, from the notable California Central Coast showcases a wine that is both light and expressive. Aromas of green apple, pineapple, lychee and lemon tart flourish in the wine. The tropical flavors thrive alongside light creaminess and notes of wet stone. The cool and coastal Chardonnay has an intriguing and lasting finish.

Pairings: Lobster Risotto, Mushroom & Brie Flatbread, Baked Chicken

McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rose NV Hawkes Bay
The non-vintage Sparkling Brut Rosé from McBride Sisters Collection is a gem from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand. This salmon-hued sparkling wine is bursting with aromas of wild strawberry, cranberry, raspberry and rose petals. Red berries transition to the palate with a hint of white peach. Subtle toasty notes and crisp acidity round out this bracing sparkler. This bottle can stand up to breakfast through dinner.

Pairings: Light Appetizers, Brunch, Fried Chicken, Prime Rib 



Natasha Hall



McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rose NV Hawkes Bay
The first thing that caught my attention about the Sparkling Brut Rosé is its beautiful salmon color which of course reminds me of both France and the summertime. Although it reminds me of summer, this sparkling wine is perfect year-round because of its unique characteristics and pronounced aromas of strawberry and raspberry. This wine is light-bodied enough to enjoy poolside on a hot day but also contains enough structure to complement a flavorful lobster roll or charcuterie plate with prosciutto and brie cheese. The wine has the perfect amount of “bubbly” to go with any occasion and to be enjoyed at any time of the day.

2021 McBride Sisters Sauvignon Blanc
If the perfect food pairing is my first thought after tasting a new wine then I know it is a winner! The first time I tried this Sauvignon Blanc I immediately thought about enjoying it with a kale salad topped with avocado, fresh strawberries and goat cheese crumbles. Although this wine is brightly acidic, the New Zealand-grown grapes give a pronounced aroma and flavor of melon, pineapple and stone fruits such as peach and apricot which create a pleasant balance. The McBride Sisters Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite brunch wines because of its versatility and tropical flavors. It also has a beautiful pale yellow hue that’s stubble and classy. This wine will also go well with Chinese take-out and the NBA playoff season!

2019 McBride Sisters Central Coast Red Blend

Red Blends always hold a special place in my heart and this 2019 McBride Sisters Red Blend can be added to the list. I immediately noticed the pronounced aromas of baked cherry, warm vanilla and a hint of chocolate. With the perfect combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes, this blend has a beautiful and rich deep ruby hue. This is a dry wine with well-balanced tannins and just a hint of oak but the subtle fruit flavors are still noticeable. I love how this wine reminds me of being in a warm and cozy cabin. I would pair this wine with marinated, grilled meat such as lamb chops or ribeye steak. I would also enjoy this wine with braised oxtails or a juicy, blue cheese-stuffed burger.

2020 McBride Sisters Central Coast Chardonnay

Coming from someone who has never been a “Chardonnay Girl”...the 2020 McBride Sisters Central Coast Chardonnay threw me for a loop! The pale gold color of the wine is very eye-catching in the glass. This wine has a buttery finish without a heavy oak influence with aromas of honey and apple which makes it “gentle” and not too overpowering like some other California Chardonnay wines. This is a very smooth wine that is perfect for someone who may be trying Chardonnay for the first time. I was really impressed with the pronounced fruit flavors of apple, pear mixed in with hints of citrus. This wine can be enjoyed by newbies or Chardonnay veterans and its richness and creamy texture pairs perfectly with saucy pastas, grilled shrimp or lobster and my favorite which is a triple grilled cheese sandwich.



Kriis Alyse Wilson


NV Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut

This wine is approachable. I love acidity in wine, but I feel as if the acidity overpowers the fruit and floral characteristics, taking away from what could be a really crisp finish Instead, the finish while medium in length, leaves a "soapy" undertone on the palate.

Pairings: The RS in the wine makes me want Thai Food! – spicy green curry or coconut milk-based soup

2018 Black Girl Magic Zinfandel

This wine is well balanced with fruit and tertiary notes integrated well together. The supple tannins provide great structure to the wine. This would be a great "introduction to red wine", wine for those who tend to shy away from reds due to their experiences with more austere, tannic red varietals.

Pairings: BBQ; no sauce, just smoked with a great dry rub.

2018 Black Girl Magic Merlot

Grippy yet velvety tannins that provide good structure. This wine is a good example of Merlot being its own stand-alone varietal, despite it having many similar characteristics to Cabernet Sauvignon.

Pairings: Beef cheeseburger with smoked cheddar, no pickles or mustard

2019 Black Girl Magic Red Blend

Easy drinking. Although the tannin in the wine provide some structure, I think the lack of acidity in the wine makes it fall a little flat.

Pairings: Dark chocolate cake (no icing) with stewed dark cherries


Time Posted: Mar 2, 2023 at 1:14 PM Permalink to Uncorking Excellence Permalink
Robin McBride
February 2, 2023 | Robin McBride

The #HypeWomen Movement is Here to Stay

When Michelle Yeoh’s Golden Globes win for Best Actress was announced, it reignited a movement. This movement was not reawakened by the fact that Yeoh’s outstanding performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once sent shocks around the world, or by the fact that she was being recognized as an Asian American – the second Asian performer in history to win the award. This particular movement was set off by a reaction, one that came from Yeoh’s supporting actress and real-life bestie, Jamie Lee Curtis.


In true advocate form, Yeoh’s win triggered Curtis to respond like a proud mom: victory arms pumped high in the air, face plastered with an expression of pure joy, and mouth wide open cheering in what appears to be a celebratory warcry. Curtis was the ultimate hype woman, and the world took notice.


In a now-viral LinkedIn post that garnered 1.5 million impressions, 23,000 reactions, 990 comments, and 2,300 reposts on LinkedIn alone, Erin Gallagher, CEO and founder of Ella – an inclusive network unlocking women’s access to human and financial capital – highlighted Jamie Lee Curtis’ response, praising her hypnotic passion and energy. “Ladies, this is your vibe for 2023. Hype. Other. Women,” she wrote. “De-condition and unlearn what you’ve been wired to think: that women are your competition.” Gallagher’s words struck a chord, with her sign-off of “find your Jamie. Hype their Jamie. Be her Jamie,” resulting in hundreds of women commenting on the post with women who inspired them in their daily lives. 


“I am your Jamie and you are mine!!! Thank you!” one woman wrote when tagging five of her friends, while another commented “I saw this in the feed and immediately thought of you. Then I saw YOU shared the post. You’re our hype woman. You are out there endorsing and celebrating - and we’re better for it because of you. Thank you for being our Jamie Lee Curtis. You’re amazing and fierce and I adore you for it.” 


The good vibes were contagious. Everyone wanted to be a part of the action, to let the women in their lives know how incredible they are, and how special they are to them. And that’s not where the impact of the post ended. Jamie Lee Curtis shared a post on Instagram referencing Gallagher’s “word anthem of support” and writing that her response had been turned into a meme, which the cast of Everything Everywhere All At Once printed onto a t-shirt with the words “Friends Supporting Friends” displayed underneath the photo. Talk about iconic.

Source: Instagram



This isn’t just a moment, a temporarily fleeting social media trend that will lose traction within a month. It's an ongoing movement, one that redefines the way we think, feel, and respond to our community of women. 


One of the key aspects of the #HypeWomen movement is the use of social media to spread its message. Women are sharing their stories, offering advice and encouragement, and connecting with other like-minded individuals. This online community is helping to create a supportive and empowering environment where women can come together and uplift one another.


The #hypewomen hashtag has been going strong for a few years now, particularly across TikTok where a search for the “hypewomen” tag displays 3.6 million views and results in thousands of videos showing women supporting women such as this one. This movement is focused on empowering women and promoting their successes, highlighting the achievements of women in various industries, and encouraging other women to strive for their goals.


Supporting women means advocating for and empowering women, through actions or words, in both personal and professional settings. It can involve mentorship, promoting equality and inclusivity, amplifying women's voices, and challenging gender biases and discrimination. Let’s all embrace the notion of freudenfreude – the joy we derive from other’s success – not only does it contribute to building a strong community, it makes us feel pleasure. Positivity all around!


As a female-owned business we know just how important it is to create space for other women, to support each other in all our ventures, and understand that their wins are our wins. As a community we all win together. The aim is not just to lift other women up, but celebrate them loudly. Scream their accomplishments from the rooftops, let the world know they are incredible, they are powerful, they are an inspiration. 


When we launched our SHE CAN wines in 2019, we wanted to spread our mission of transforming the industry and cultivating community by dedicating our efforts to closing the race and gender gap. That’s why we created the SHE CAN Fund, to promote the professional advancement of women within the wine industry. In its first year, the fund awarded scholarships of nearly $40,000 to empower women to strive for change and to create opportunities for themselves and others, where there had not been before. 

Since then, we’ve contributed over $3 million in-kind skill development, technical training, and ad credits. Now, a portion of every SHE CAN sale goes to supporting the SHE CAN Fund. 

By promoting the achievements of women and creating a supportive community, the #HypeWomen movement is helping to empower women and create a brighter future for us all. So let’s continue to uplift and support one another, and work towards a world where women are truly valued and celebrated for their contributions.


Join us — and our sisterhood of  #HypeWomen brand partners at HypeWomen.com


Break the Rules. Drink the Wine. And hype your Jamie.


Time Posted: Feb 2, 2023 at 11:00 AM Permalink to The #HypeWomen Movement is Here to Stay Permalink
Robin McBride
January 13, 2022 | Robin McBride

Break the Rules, Ditch the Resolutions in 2022

Hello 2022! This year, we’re setting meaningful goals and intentions for ourselves. Instead of measuring our success by meeting the expectations of past resolutions, we want to nurture ourselves to grow and build the year of our dreams. 

Andréa and I have big plans for this coming year and our vision boards are full. 2022 is the year of being intentional about our lifestyle, focusing on loving ourselves and continuing the momentum of changing the wine industry. We’re focusing on the culture and traditions of our wine lifestyle. By setting wine intentions, you get a chance to ask yourself:

  • “How can I feel good about the wines I drink?”
  • “Which wine producers do I want to support this year and why?”
  • “What events and occasions are the most important to me?”
  • “How can I educate myself on wine to create a lifestyle that works for me?” 

It’s time to break the rules of what the wine industry tells us, find new ways to feel good about what we drink and shine a light on a more diverse industry as we go. With that said, we couldn’t think of a better person to join us to kick off 2022 than the Founder of The Hue Society—the one and only, Tahiirah Habibi!

Tahiirah is a dear friend of ours, a recognized sommelier who curates culturally relevant experiences dedicated to increasing economic inclusion and empowerment in the wine industry. As the first Black woman to land on the cover of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Tahiirah has made a name for herself. The entrepreneur has been named on the 40 Under 40 Tastemaker list, featured in Ocean Drive as of the top five female sommeliers, and her story has been picked up by Vogue, VinePair, Upscale Magazine, and Wine & Spirits, to name a few.

Ahead, we sit down with the wine & culture expert to learn how she's dismantling the status quo by normalizing Black women in the wine industry. In the words of Tahiirah and The Hue Society, "assimilation not required."

Meet Tahiirah Habibi

What made you decide to get into the wine industry and what challenges did you overcome along the way? 

I initially used wine as a tool. I was in leadership positions, and when I graduated [college] I saw how powerful it was—but not many people in the community I grew up in had access. 

I wanted to learn everything I could. I wanted to normalize Black women in the wine industry because there were so few of us. I wanted to be the first Black female-identifying master sommelier. 

Normalizing showing up as yourself is definitely a challenge, and is a barrier that I continue to try and dismantle. This idea that you need all these certifications to get your foot through the door… There are other ways to learn and grow. You can come from what some consider disenfranchised neighborhoods and be a Black woman in this industry and do it on your own terms. 

What does 'break the rules and ditch the resolutions' mean to you as we kick off the New Year?

Resolutions can easily become disappointments. Being intentional really breaks the rules and you get to live from a place of joy. Create life on your terms—wine, love, relationships. Free yourself!

What are your wine intentions for 2022 and how did you go about creating these goals?

First, I want to start a podcast (videocast). Next, my intention is to try everything and not write anything off—from different styles, to different techniques, and beyond. I love finding wines that are super geeky and unique. I want to explore my palette more. Lastly, I want to dive into Eastern European wines and wines from Caribbean countries to explore the diversity of wine from a cultural perspective.

How do you plan to educate people on the cultural perspective of wine, and what does that culture look like? 

We have to stand up for our culture. We have to break stereotypes and push past that barrier. That means digging into the nuances surrounding who we are, mentioning these nuances in articles, and decolonizing language. 

That looks like doing things on our own terms and ditching the idea that food from Black cultures doesn’t pair with wine. Enjoying wine as a part of everyday food. For example: When you’re cooking at home and making mac & cheese, there is no shame in this pairing. Who defines what pairs with fine wine?

Why is wine education important and what are some tools you recommend for soaking up the most information?

Wine education is important because it gives you a foundation. But, nothing can override experience except community—the greatest tool that you can get. Community gives you a sense of courage and place (and nothing is more important than a place to call home!). 

If you're studying for certification, you can now get recommendations on books and tools specifically for us, knowing that we speak in a different vernacular. Not having to code switch during this process increases your confidence.

What are two of your non-wine goals or intentions for the New Year?

1. Write a parenting book. The book would focus on: raising a child from a place of love and respect, non-traumatizing parenting, raising a child as a human being rather than possession, and raising a child while trying to build a career.

2. Build a creative space for women focused on fashion and jewelry. Sometimes as women we get too scared to do what we love. I want to cultivate a space for women to feel empowered and make a statement. Do what makes you feel good. Own the room!

What wine are you drinking the most in January 2022?

First off, I love bubbles. Period. Besides that, I'm drinking Eastern European wines and exploring Caribbean wines.

Can you tell us about one of your favorite wine & food experiences? From the varietal, setting, music, any details you can remember… a moment that is frozen in your mind as a perfect wine experience.   

When I was in Miami, I put on the Wine & Reggae festival, my first real Black wine experience. It was an underlying thought that Black people didn’t drink wine. I wanted to create a space that eliminated what people were used to drinking.

When you looked around the event and everyone was just vibing out, it was just us through our own lens. Our food, wines from all over the world, and music.

So many people authentically being themselves. I thought, "It does work. This tribe matters. The work that you’re doing matters."

What's next for your career—as the founder of Hue Society, and as an individual? 

The Hue Society is opening more chapters across the US, as well as international chapters. We're on a mission to create a global network of Black wine consumers. 

Personally, I really want to get my podcast up and running—a space where Black wine isn’t represented at all. I want to create my own roundtables and video content, and position myself for hosting and thought leadership opportunities. I want to continue growing the Wine & Culture Festival. And finally, I always want to make sure I'm advocating and liberating, and growing myself—as a professional, and as a mom. 


Time Posted: Jan 13, 2022 at 12:31 PM Permalink to Break the Rules, Ditch the Resolutions in 2022 Permalink
Robin McBride
December 16, 2021 | Robin McBride

The McBride Sisters presents: 12 Days of Cocktails with Camille Wilson

It’s time to level up your holiday hosting. How? Wear your best outfit, hang the decorations, invite a guest list of your favorite people & mix up some great cocktails. This season, we’re serving the GOOD STUFF with Camille Wilson from The Cocktail Snob. We’re turning any vibe into an unforgettable celebration. 

Meet the Mixologist behind one of our 12 Days of Cocktails, she’s the friend who always knows where to “eat, drink and twerk” in New York City, where she’s lived for the last decade. She’s giving you style, personality and some of the best cocktails you’ve ever had. She’s that friend. That’s why we’re ringing in 2022 with a very sophisticated, bubbly cocktail hand-crafted by Camille herself. Apple Pie Mimosa anyone? It's so good we'll be serving this mimosa at our next holiday party and sipping on it when the clock strikes midnight this New Years Eve. 

Camille Wilson is a New York City-based cocktail blogger and the creator behind The Cocktail Snob. She provides her audience with elevated, yet approachable ways to create happy hour at home. And she sows seeds of confidence in home bartenders worldwide by sharing recipes and helpful hints for cocktail-making. Since launching her blog in 2018, she's partnered with brands like Woodford Reserve, Perrier, and Reed's. And she was recently highlighted in Food & Wine as one of the "20 Black Mixologists You Need on Your Radar" and in VinePair as one of "15 Cocktail Influencers You Should Be Following on Instagram." Her first book, Free Spirit Cocktails, is set to be published by Chronicle Books in Fall of 2022.

Meet Camille Wilson

As a cocktail expert, what role does wine play in the future of mixed drinks?

I personally love mixing wine into my cocktails! Wine allows for versatility, an extra layer of flavor, and, most importantly, a boozier drink. When most people think of wine in cocktails, the first thing that comes to mind is a mimosa or sangria. But there are so many ways to incorporate all kinds of wine- red, white, rosé etc. in your cocktail. 

How do you go about creating a cocktail from scratch and what’s the most important thing to keep in mind when making a new recipe?

I’m typically inspired by seasonal ingredients and flavors. So I usually start off with that as the base. From there, I decide what spirit will pair well with it and then add in other flavors/ingredients that will complement what’s already in the shaker/glass. The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a new recipe is balance. You don’t want any single ingredient to overpower the others. For example, cocktails that are overly sweet or too boozy are usually not good. So achieving a balance of ingredients is important and makes for a great cocktail-drinking experience.

What’s your favorite food & cocktail pairing?

Whenever I drink, I reach for something savory-anything from popcorn to pizza. If I had to pick a favorite pairing, I’d say a classic margarita paired with french fries or chicken wings. 

Celebrating all of life’s moments is what we do here at the McBride Sisters Collection, what’s the most recent moment you celebrated and what were you drinking during?

I’m big on celebrating life’s moments-big and small. So I can always find a reason to pop open a bottle of something. A big moment I celebrated recently was my birthday. I celebrated at The Seville in New York City with the Mission X, one of their signature cocktails. 

Can you tell us about one of your favorite cocktail experiences? Where were you and what were you drinking?

One of my favorite cocktail experiences was overseas at a bar called Revolucion Cocktail in Bangkok, Thailand. I can’t remember what I drank. But the mixologists there were incredible! They were skilled in creating delicious cocktails but they also showed off their performance skills and put on a show after lighting the bar on fire...literally. They successfully juggled cups, bottles, and shakers. A few bartenders even juggled flaming bottles of alcohol. And somehow they were all synchronized!  ​​I was absolutely mesmerized. It’s an experience I’ll never forget!

How does the Sister’s story resonate with you?

One thing I really love about the McBride Sisters’ story is how their shared love of wine brought them together. And the passion they had to share wine with the world shook the wine industry and they blazed a trail for women with similar passions.  The takeaway for me is that if you follow your passion and truly live out your purpose, you can lay the foundation for those who are coming behind you. 

What are you the most proud of after starting The Cocktail Snob?

I am most proud of how I’ve established myself in the influencer/content creator world in a short amount of time. I got where I am today by consistently challenging myself and not being afraid to try new things. When I started out, there were so many things I didn’t know and skills I thought I’d never have. But I pushed myself and took the time to learn and research on my own. It wasn’t easy, especially with a full-time job. But I’m so proud of myself for pushing through because now I feel like there is no challenge I can’t conquer.

Set the scene, how should the Apple Pie Mimosa be enjoyed this holiday season? What’s the vibe, music, setting, outfit.. 

The Apple Pie Mimosa is best enjoyed at brunch but is really perfect for anytime of day. Before COVID, I used to host an annual Mistletoe & Mimosas party for my close friends. And, if I were hosting this year, the Apple Pie Mimosa would absolutely make an appearance. The vibe is lowkey but fun. People come dressed casual chic, we play games, and laugh all day. Strangers become friends and the day party lasts well into the night. 

We love how much self-evaluation you used to create this blog in the first place, finding out what your passions were and what your friends and ever-growing audience turns to you for. What’s the next step for you?

I’ve got a couple of big projects in the works that I’m really excited about. One of which is my book, Free Spirit Cocktails, which will be published by Chronicle Books in November of next year. It’s a collection of 40 original recipes that I’ve spent the last year perfecting and I can’t wait to share it with the world!



Time Posted: Dec 16, 2021 at 3:33 PM Permalink to The McBride Sisters presents: 12 Days of Cocktails with Camille Wilson Permalink
Robin McBride
December 10, 2021 | Robin McBride

Show Up & Show Off Your Wine Knowledge This Season

This season, we’re showing up to the holiday party with a lot more than a bottle of wine. Show off your wine knowledge and be the person at the party who knows which wine to pair with the favorite family recipes. 

McBride Certified Wine 101 is a free wine education course that was created to teach the wine curious about winemaking, wine tasting, food pairing and more. Wine knowledge and education should be accessible to everyone. For the holidays this year, we’re joined by Cassandra Schaeg of SIP Wine & Beer. She’s using her platform to educate and entertain the wine world in an inclusive and exciting way. The more success she finds, the more she brings everyone up together. Her wine knowledge is on point, her business is booming and we can’t wait to learn more about her tips and tricks for how to enjoy wine over the holidays.

Cassandra is the Founder of SIP Wine & Beer, a tasting room in Escondido, CA, specializing in and promoting wine and beer made by women and people of color. Since 2016 SIP Wine & Beer has been a destination to inspire, empower, and educate.

Cassandra supports her community by sharing her experiences and knowledge to assist entrepreneurs, students, and the community in understanding the importance of social and economic impact. SIP has been a hub for women and BIPOC brewmasters to thrive and share their stories and spirits. As a result, the San Diego community spent $500k supporting brands made by women and people of color.

She is passionate about assisting women and people of color in the wine, beer, and entrepreneurial ecosystem and champions initiatives to increase advocacy and resources. Supporting women and people of color is vital to expand views often seen from a singular narrative. Through SIP Wine & Beer, her movement to SIP | CONNECT | SHARE lives through community, culture, conversation, and your support.

Level Up Your Holidays With Cassandra

Robin: Why wine? What made you decide to get into the wine industry and what challenges did you overcome along the way? What made you decide to get into the wine industry, and what challenges did you overcome along the way? 

Cassandra: I decided to get into the wine industry because I enjoy the community, culture, and conversation it brings. Connecting with friends, family, and strangers over a bottle of wine is exciting. Sharing the stories of winemakers who've persevered through challenges and created their rulebook to navigate the industry gives me the strength to continue chasing my dreams. Challenges are a part of entrepreneurship. The biggest challenge was navigating a space where representation was limited. Having a support system is vital, and I appreciate Robin and Andrea's willingness to be sisters to others in the wine industry.

Robin: Over the holidays, which wines are you always reaching for? What’s your go-to holiday wine? 

Cassandra: Bubbles are my go-to to start the party. I always start the party with Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut. After, it's a bold cabernet for dinner and conversation. My favorite is Kita's 2016 cabernet, made by the 2021 VinePair winemaker of the year Tara Gomez!

Robin: What role does wine play in your family feasts or holiday celebrations?

Cassandra: Wine is the glue that keeps our family feasts and holiday celebrations memorable. As the founder of SIP Wine & Beer, I am the designated wine curator, and I take this job seriously. 

Robin: Our holiday wine education theme is Show Up & Show Off Your Wine Knowledge this season. How does that resonate with you? 

Cassandra: Excellence and sophistication are words that come to mind when I Show Up & Show Off. Sharing the excellence of women and BIPOC winemakers while drinking their wine with pride is a feeling everyone should experience. 

Robin: What are 5 wine facts to bring to the holiday dinner table this year?


  1. Bubbles are a must, and they also help with digestion.
  2. Wine with acidity complements dishes like yams, mac and cheese, stuffing, and turkey. 
  3. Keep your wine selection to 3 bottles to savor the flavors and aromas paired with your meal. 
  4. Add a port or late harvest riesling with your banana pudding or peach cobbler and watch your guests will love it!
  5. Drink responsibly!

Robin: What are the 3 best holiday dishes + unique wine pairings to try this year?


  1. Fried chicken + rose
  2. Collard greens + chenin blanc
  3. Peach cobbler + late harvest riesling

Robin: Can you tell us about one of your favorite holiday wine & food experiences? From the varietal, setting, music, any details you can remember — but a moment that is frozen in your mind as a perfect wine experience.   

Cassandra: A moment that sticks out is Thanksgiving 2020. I had to be creative to cure my pandemic woes, so I decided to cook fried chicken, yams, mac and cheese, greens, and cornbread. My drink of choice was LeFete Rose, and it changed my life! Paired with classic movies like House Party and Boomerang, it was a Thanksgiving I'll never forget.

Robin: Wine education also includes educating the consumer on inclusivity. What role have you taken in driving forward a more inclusive wine industry? How are you continuing to make an impact?

Cassandra: SIP Wine & Beer's business model supports local women and people of color. When you visit SIP, you are entering a space where inclusivity thrives. SIP's success depends on the success of brands represented, and it is vital to support innovators who defied odds in an underrepresented industry. 

Robin: Why did you decide to start SIP Wine & Beer and what’s next for your career?

Cassandra: I started SIP Wine & Beer to immerse myself in the community. Through wine and beer, I forged bonds with women and BIPOC winemakers who are the epitome of excellence. I truly enjoy my entrepreneurial journey, and next year’s goal is to continue to generate $1M in sales through women and BIPOC brands. Stay tuned for what’s next!!!


Time Posted: Dec 10, 2021 at 5:00 PM Permalink to Show Up & Show Off Your Wine Knowledge This Season Permalink
Robin McBride
November 17, 2021 | Robin McBride

How To Remix Your Friendsgiving + Festive Holiday Cocktails

This holiday season, we're inviting you to serve up the good stuff. If you’re hosting for the holidays this year, it's time to remix your friendsgiving cocktails. From a Ginger Bells Spiced Zin to our Apple Pie Magic Mimosa, let us make hosting easier. Make the perfect playlist, decorate your home & send out the invites for your best friendsgiving yet! 


12 Days of Cocktails Wine Set


With this six bottle wine set, we’re sending you home with the best holiday cocktail recipes hand crafted by some amazing mixologists and our winemakers that we’ve teamed up with! 

Includes an exclusive friendsgiving drink recipes for 12 holiday cocktails using this set of six wines. Recipes will be accessible on the luxe insert included in your wine set. 

Get The Set


How To Remix Your Hosting

  • The Perfect Friendsgiving Drinks Table

Make the cocktails the center of attention for your holiday events. Decorate and set up the perfect drink station for your guests. Include the written recipes, glassware and ingredients for each guest to create the holiday drink of their dreams. Add some extra decorations to this table and make sure you can hear the music from this spot in the room. Don’t forget to have an area to add a spiced rim to each of the cocktail glasses depending on the recipes!

  • Make Great Memories

Grab about 5-10 polaroid cameras and have them by the entrance of the holiday party. Put up a sign to encourage each guest to grab a camera and shoot photos of the party as they sip, sing and enjoy the event! Make sure to let them know to leave the cameras after the event ends so you can get them developed and then send the digital prints to each attendee afterwards.

 Extra: Build A Letter Balloon Background 

A night to remember is better when your guests are encouraged to take photos! Set up a balloon background that spells out the name of your event, such as, Friendsgiving, New Year’s Eve, Tis’ the season, etc. It will give your guests a reason to take photos in front of the sign but also add some unique festive decorations to the event. 

  • A Potluck To Remember 

Ask guests to bring their favorite holiday dishes. Before the event, create a full list of dishes being brought so you know what’s still needed! During the event at the dinner table, ask everyone to explain why the specific dish they brought is their favorite and what memories it brings up. Close out these special stories with a Friendsgiving toast! 

Happy hosting,


Time Posted: Nov 17, 2021 at 1:30 PM Permalink to How To Remix Your Friendsgiving + Festive Holiday Cocktails Permalink
Robin McBride
October 25, 2021 | Robin McBride

A Look Inside the 2021 California Harvest

Here in the Golden State, we’re joined by Head Winemaker, Amy Butler, on the blog to take us through the exciting California grape harvest this year. For Amy, harvest started on August 28th with the fruit for our sparkling wine. Now, we’re in October and this week is going to be the last week we have fruit scheduled to arrive at the winery. At the tail end of this year’s harvest season, we wanted to take a look into what this year brought and what made it special! Learn more about how Amy joined our winemaking team here

The fruit we’re bringing in this year is primarily from the Central Coast of California. From as far south as the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County to as far north as the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County and everywhere in between.

“The growing season was long and varied, with low temperatures during flowering and fruit set leading to fairly light yields. The long hang time, provided by a relatively mild summer, meant that the fruit had plenty of time to develop full flavors without the quick accumulation of sugar. In Monterey County especially, morning fog lingered in the vineyards, delaying ripening even more. What we’ve seen so far is exceptional quality with only slightly diminished yields, and a very long, protracted harvest season.” - Amy Butler

One of the most important aspects of sourcing grapes and making wine is building relationships throughout the process. This year, Amy had the pleasure of meeting Kirk, a farmer she met sourcing grapes for our sparkling wines. Everyone plays an important role in the bottles of wine you know and love. “From the tractor operators, to the barrel coopers, to the harvest schedulers, the sugar samplers,  and the press operators. It’s crucial to create fruitful partnerships with our grower and production colleagues, the people who work side by side with us every day to make what we do a success.”

Kirk is a grape-grower who also has avocados and pigs too. For Amy, the grape farmers are some of her favorite people. Without our viticultural (grape-growing) partners, it would be impossible to do what we do. 

Harvest With Amy Butler

“As soon as I began tasting the fruit Kirk had grown, I knew it was exactly what I wanted for the sparkling base wine for this vintage. My first visit to his vineyard I knew I needed to measure the sugar content, pH, and acidity as soon as possible. I could already feel the wine that was inside those tiny, seedy little pockets of juice we call grapes. 

I was not expecting the grapes to be so ripe yet that I’d forgotten my gear. I had my clippers, but no buckets, and two blocks of Chardonnay that needed sampling! 

Lucky for me, Kirk also raises pigs. That’s when he handed me a large, transparent, blue plastic sock, with an elasticized top, meant for pulling on over one’s boots while mucking around pigsties. This would be the perfect container for 10-15 pounds of Chardonnay grapes. 

How I wish I had a photo of these blue booties filled with grapes, like a neon gift from Santa. My team at the winery were also amused with my new containers for picking. We crushed the grapes from Kirk’s vineyard, tested them and scheduled the harvest for that Saturday. 

After I left the winery that day, I got a text from Kirk: “Do you need more pig booties for your other vineyards?” Humor is part of what builds a long-term winery/grower relationship. Along with impeccable fruit quality. We’ll be back for more next year.”



and the Winemaking Team


Time Posted: Oct 25, 2021 at 2:26 PM Permalink to A Look Inside the 2021 California Harvest Permalink
Robin McBride
September 13, 2021 | Robin McBride

The Story Behind Black Girl Magic Wines

Black Girl Magic: Bold on purpose, sweet by design, refreshingly complex.

It was at ESSENCE Fest 2018 where we first launched our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic label. The incredible event is a “Party with a Purpose,” put on by ESSENCE Magazine, which has grown over 27 years to be one of the premiere gatherings for Black music, entertainment and culture — drawing averages of 500,000 attendees annually. It was a festival where thousands of Black women came together in one place to empower, educate and elevate during the day and party(with a purpose)at the music festival at night. Headlining with TRUE icons - we’re talkin’ Beyoncé, Barack & Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott, Diana Ross, and many more.

McBride Sisters at Essence Fest 2018

“ESSENCE is where Black Women Come First for news, entertainment, and motivation.”


When we launched the label in 2018, it also happened to be the first time New Orleans had a Black woman mayor, LaToya Cantrell. Since ESSENCE Fest is such a huge contributor to the city, the mayor hosted the opening party and we knew that’s where we wanted to introduce McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic to the world.

We only launched one wine in 2018. Riesling, a noble grape that originated from the Alsace region of France, was one of our favorites. It’s beautifully floral, with jasmine, honey and punch-you-in-your nose aromatics. Our style of Riesling remixed the traditions; you know the way that we do it! We wanted gorgeous acidity balanced with residual sugar. It was at the Essence Fest opening party where we announced our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Riesling. And let me say we have NEVER in our lives had people respond to a label and to a bottle of wine the way that they did that weekend. We ran out of this inaugural Riesling so quickly, that we knew right away we needed to give this label the attention it deserved. Robin & I tapped into something really special, something rare.

McBride Sisters at Essence Fest 2018

Since the incredible launch of our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Riesling, we’ve added a Red Blend, Rosé, Sparkling Burt, Merlot and Zinfandel to our the Black Girl Magic collection. These wines and this label have received so much love from you all! We see your amazing Instagram posts showcasing your Black Girl Magic and that’s the reason we made this brand. 

McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic was cultivated at a time when we were seeing Black women breaking barriers as judges, scientists and in sports and entertainment. Black women were a huge part of the wine industry consumer demographic but were being underserved. If we were to honor the direct women in our family and the women within our community with a wine to celebrate their beauty and their resilience, what would that label look like? 

Black women have been at the forefront of beauty, culture and style since the dawn of time -- yet are always last when it comes to products and services designed with them in mind. If our mission has always been to shake up the industry, how can you really drive innovation and serve people from diverse backgrounds in different countries and cultures if you have a small exclusive demographic of people making all of the decisions? It was time for Black women and everyone who supports Black culture to have a wine that was made with Her in mind. Black Girl Magic is more than a phrase. It’s a feeling. A look. A mood. A taste. Our wines are a celebration for us, by us, of all the things passed down from our ancestors to today. Our features, our skin, our beauty, our magic … and the wine inspired by it all. 

These wines were made to celebrate the groundbreaking accomplishments of Black women including the small victories. Whether you’re sipping on them after work or for your wedding, there’s an indescribable joy in turning lowkey moments into unforgettable celebrations. That’s the power of these wines, we can turn ANY vibe into a celebration. 

She is fun, fresh and fly. Sun-kissed and ripe. Full-bodied and luscious. She is one of a kind, she is McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wines. 



Time Posted: Sep 13, 2021 at 4:04 PM Permalink to The Story Behind Black Girl Magic Wines Permalink
Robin McBride
September 1, 2021 | Robin McBride

My Birthday Wish? That All Women Are Empowered!

Thank you to everyone for your kind & thoughtful birthday wishes this year. This one is really special to me. For my birthday, I’ve wished for all women to feel empowered. Not a small feat, but we’re asking you to contribute to a cause that’s close to our hearts. A contribution can be a pledge to raise women up at your company, encourage your best friends to apply for that dream job or if possible, donate to our professional development scholarship program. But before that, I want to tell you a little more about where our drive to shake up the industry and empower women throughout business originates from. I’m hoping to give this amazing community a look into who I am and this company I’ve built with my sister, Andréa. I think the story of my life as a woman becoming an entrepreneur, in a male dominated industry, leads perfectly into the purpose and drive we have to empower other women with our McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund. 

As you know, I’m Robin McBride — the other half of this sister run company. I am currently the head of winemaking operations, human resources, finance and our direct to consumer program. My role taps into the things that I care about the most, the science of grape growing and winemaking, my interest in people and my drive to run my own business. 

In a speed round of “get to know me”, here are some of my favorite things!
  • The cocktail I’m always reaching for is a French 75, that’s why we made our own twist on the classic. Mix up our Oakland 75 using our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé for your new favorite drink! 
  • I love farm life. Cultivating from the earth and living on land that has a purpose. I eventually hope to make my own cheese and raise my own goats
  • I love music, Bossanova is close to my heart as my grandma used to listen to when I was younger. My eclectic taste is rooted in memories and moments that a song can take me back to and Lizzo just makes me feel amazing. Here is my birthday spotify playlist, turn the music up!
  • My favorite wine ever is Chateau Y’quem, a Sauterne from France where I ended up working a harvest!  

Why Wine? Becoming An Entrepreneur

I get asked often who my role models in wine or business were and truthfully I really didn’t have any. When I was growing up I wanted to be so many things, from a flower farmer, a volcanologist, and a particle physicist. I always loved science and I knew my dream job needed to include science. Wine was always in my life growing up in Monterey, California. As one of the main industries in that area, I was surrounded by vineyards and wine professionals. 

The reason I started to thoughtfully pursue a career in wine was because I felt that wine, as a product and process, ties in with agriculture and a social experience. It’s not only an incredibly complex product that taps into my childhood dreams of wanting to do things in science and chemistry, but it also is something made for people to enjoy. They can laugh, cry, give a toast, share stories and connect with others over a simple, yet tasty, glass of wine. Wine is science, wine is agriculture and wine is an experience. 

As an adult, I was having dinner with friends for our weekly Sopranos night, we’d watch an episode and my friend would chef up an italian dish from the show. One night, we had finished a bottle of Merlot and brought out another bottle of Merlot from the same place, with the same terroir. The wine was completely different. It caught my attention and I couldn’t shake my interest. What are these winemakers doing to make these products so different? I felt all of my interests in the chemistry and biological processes ignited as I continued to think about how much went into a bottle of wine and the power you had to alter the experience. Wine, for me, was never the same. I was hooked. 

When I first met Andréa, the bond and relationship truly solidified so many things for me. First off, Andréa’s uncle in New Zealand was a grapegrower and she had also grown up in wine country. Further reinforcing that I needed to explore this industry and now I had her by my side. At the time, I was living in Atlanta. I had moved there after one visit because I was so amazed to see Black Excellence and professionals and universities in the 90s. I saw so much success in the Black community and such incredible culture. It was a really cool melting pot and I saw so much opportunity. 

We get asked a lot why we eventually chose to build our business out of Oakland. And we like to tell em’ loud and proud that Oakland is where it's at! When we started making our own wines, I was commuting from the Central Coast, where I chose to raise my twins. Being close to San Francisco was key as it is a business hub and brought us closer to Northern wine country. But in the end, we chose Oakland because we wanted to find a place that had heart. Culturally, Oakland was a better fit and at the time a resurgence in the culinary and  wine scene had begun.  The city felt diverse and creative. 

Empowering Women Along The Way

We wanted to break the rules of the wine industry but more importantly break the unwritten rules of women being pushed to the side. I grew up around only strong, independent women and am still under the impression that you don’t need men to make something successful. It was appalling to see the inequity in the business. Not only what Andréa and I experienced, but also witnessed across industries. Luckily,  we're tough and were not going to be pushed off our path. But some women are not so lucky. It was painful to see the talent of the women in the industry being held back by the archaic nature of the business. The second we had a penny or a minute, we wanted to make sure we did something to help change that. That’s why we started our McBride Sisters SHE CAN FUND.

Our Impact To Date

The McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund stems from the mission Andréa and I focused on from the beginning — We want to transform the industry, lead by example, and cultivate community, one delicious glass of wine, at a time. As our company grew, so did our goals to help empower, educate and support women in their careers. We need more women in leadership positions, that’s why the SHE CAN Fund is investing in women. We’re helping build the next generation of women leaders by supporting the continued education, coaching and professional certifications for women working in traditionally male-dominated fields through our non-profit. You can now donate directly to the fund and learn more about the 42 women that have been awarded professional grants & scholarships so far on our website here. 

Are you able to Donate? Find direct access to donate to our McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund here. 

This year for my birthday, I want women to be empowered. I want to do my part in raising up the next generation of women leaders and create pathways for them to work their way to the top, where they belong. The moment Andréa and I  had a penny or a minute to spare, we wanted to make sure we did something to help change these gender inequalities in business — and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon. Celebrate with me and wherever you can, raise up the women in your life. SHE CAN do anything. 



Time Posted: Sep 1, 2021 at 8:37 AM Permalink to My Birthday Wish? That All Women Are Empowered! Permalink
Robin McBride
July 15, 2021 | Robin McBride

A McBride Guide to Chardonnay

The Perfect Summer Wine

The wine of the summer! Chardonnay is made in some of the world's most iconic winegrowing regions and is one of the most popular and loved white wines. For us, this grape varietal gives us the opportunity to break the rules of fine winemaking. Chardonnay can be medium-full bodied, cool or warm climate, unoaked or rich in oak. The winemaker can cultivate and create the style that they love, for us, we love a cooler climate Chardonnay with light to minimal oak because we want the varietal characteristics to shine through.

Our McBride Sisters Collection Central Coast Chardonnay 2019 is a wine we cannot live without. It’s a crowd pleaser at all of our events and one of our favorite wines to sip with a summer cheeseboard. This is not your gramma's Chardonnay. Drinks well with salmon garnished with fresh dill, Alfredo pasta with spring peas, or grilled portobello mushrooms. It’s not only a seasonal wine, you’ll find our glasses filled with Chardonnay all year round. 

This white wine is the perfect match for fresh seafood, buttery chicken, and caramelized vegetable dishes. A wine we love, always have in our wine rack and part of the story of Robin’s journey into winemaking. Celebrate this wonderful wine with us as we delve into the history, pairing suggestions, and recipes for Chardonnay. 

We recently released our new McBride Sisters Collection Reserve Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2019. This wine, called The Great Escape is very special to us and comes from one of the most incredible winegrowing regions in California. The Santa Lucia Highlands are located in Monterey County, California and given the proximity to the Pacific Ocean, unique topography and California sunshine, you're left with what we think are some of the best vineyards in the world. The Great Escape embodies our love for the Chardonnay grape, the beauty of Monterey County and the childhood memories that have brought us to winemaking.

“When I was a baby, my mom drove our bright red Volkswagen bug up the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to a small town called Monterey. This is where I fell in love with vineyards and winemaking.” - Robin McBride

Learn more about the story behind the name and label on our website here. 

The Chardonnay Grape 

The world’s most popular white wine originated in the Burgundy region of France, with the earliest reference to the wine dating back to 1330. It wasn’t until the 18th century that Chardonnay was introduced to California by Spanish missionaries who planted the first vineyards in Alta California. The popularity of the light green grape grew rapidly over time, now being responsible for over 93,148 acres of vineyards, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual 2018 report. 

A rich, buttery flavor is what comes to the majority of people’s minds when they hear “California Chardonnay.” But that’s because that style of California Chardonnay become widely produced and popular until more recently. California has varying regions and microclimates that have a range of cool and warm climate conditions in the vineyards.

Other than California and France, Chardonnay is also cultivated in the majority of major wine regions around the world, from New Zealand to Chile, and Australia to South Africa. All producing great wines in unique and regional styles. Our Reserve Chardonnay is breaking away from the overly oaked style and using minimal oak to complement the grape and terroir characteristics instead of overpowering it. The maritime influence from the vineyard proximity to the ocean gives this wine it's special and delicious qualities. See the where the vineyard is located below.

Chardonnay is a chameleon of a wine, with its flavors varying depending on the terroir (where it is grown and the climate, soil and topography conditions of the region), and the winemaking decisions, including how much new oak that is used in the ageing process and how long it’s in contact. Cooler climate Chardonnays can have gorgeous notes of apricots and citrus, and warmer climates can showcase tropical fruit and honey flavors. 

The Ideal Pairing Dos and Don'ts

The perfect wine of the summer, Chardonnay is an easy wine for food pairings due to its versatile flavor profile. Whether you feel like whipping up a refreshing seafood salad, or a spring vegetable risotto, Chardonnay is the ideal drink to accompany you on a warm summer day. Below are our families pairing dos and don’ts to make sure you have the best experience possible. Cheers!


  • Serve Chardonnay with mild, creamy or buttery dishes.
  • Accompany with hearty fishes such as cod or halibut as well as shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, scallops, oysters, and mussels.
  • Pair with pork and poultry dishes that have subtle flavors and plain seasonings.
  • Accompany oaky Chardonnay with foods that have a smoked or toasty flavor, such as roasted nuts or baked bread. 
  • Pair Chardonnay with sweet flavored and silky textured foods, such as caramelized roast vegetables, sweet corn, creamy soups, and risottos. 


  • Pair with aggressively, overseasoned foods and spicy dishes typically found in Indian and Southeast Asian meals. Also avoid pungent or over flavored cheeses. 
  • Pair with acidic or bitter foods that can make the Chardonnay taste sour or enhance the bitter aftertaste. 
  • Leave Chardonnay sitting on the table, or serve it too cold as this can reduce it’s pairing abilities. Aim to remove the bottle 15 to 20 minutes from the fridge and let it warm up to approximately 40 degrees.


Now that we have run through the dos and don’ts of food pairings, it's time to indulge in some delicious food recipes to try this season. Whip them up for your next happy hour on the patio, cheeseboard at the park or girls night at home.

Cheese Pairings & Snacks

Pair unoaked Chardonnay with soft and creamy cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella and Ricotta. Oaked Chardonnay pairs well with semi-soft aged cheeses with nutty flavors, such as Gruyère, Emmental and Comté.

Salmon Rillettes


The rich, buttery flavors of this French-inspired dish pair perfectly with our fruity, yet balanced McBride Sisters Collection Central Coast Chardonnay. These salmon rillettes make a delicious appetizer, or a snack to take for a picnic on the beach!

Image via Food and Wine & recipe here.

Main Dishes

The main course. You can sip on Chardonnay by itself, with appetizers, entrées and even dessert. These are our go-to summer recipes using fresh seafood and savory chicken. Do you have a favorite Chardonnay pairing?

Chef John's Bay Scallop Chowder


Scallops and Chardonnay are a match made in heaven, and this creamy chowder, complete with Yukon Gold potatoes, is no exception. This dish makes an excellent meal for a dinner party, or a chill night at home where you want to indulge in comfort foods. 

Image via All Recipes & recipe here.



Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken


The chicken dish we make every week, a Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken recipe that is full of Chardonnay-lovin’ ingredients. Pair with a fresh side salad and a glass of our crispy and beautifully balanced McBride Sisters Collection Reserve Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2019 and you’re all set for a summer date night, solo or with company.

Image via All Recipes & recipe here.


Butter Pecan Crunch


Ice-cream makes the ideal summer treat anytime, but when combined with vanilla and butter pecan flavors, the result is a mouthwatering dessert that pairs perfectly with the lemon curd and honey flavors of our McBride Sisters Collection Central Coast Chardonnay. 

Image via Spaceships and Laser Beams & recipe here.

For us, Chardonnay is so much more than just a wine, it is part of our heritage and heart, it is an origin story. Taste our Chardonnays and get ready for your next summer feast by ordering on our website here or finding the wines in store near you. Get out and enjoy your summer, one glass of Chardonnay at a time!



Time Posted: Jul 15, 2021 at 10:00 AM Permalink to A McBride Guide to Chardonnay Permalink
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