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.
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!
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?
- Bubbles are a must, and they also help with digestion.
- Wine with acidity complements dishes like yams, mac and cheese, stuffing, and turkey.
- Keep your wine selection to 3 bottles to savor the flavors and aromas paired with your meal.
- Add a port or late harvest riesling with your banana pudding or peach cobbler and watch your guests will love it!
- Drink responsibly!
Robin: What are the 3 best holiday dishes + unique wine pairings to try this year?
- Fried chicken + rose
- Collard greens + chenin blanc
- 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!!!
This holiday season, we're inviting you to serve up the good stuff. If you’re hosting for the holidays this year, it's time to remix your friendsgiving cocktails. From a Ginger Bells Spiced Zin to our Apple Pie Magic Mimosa, let us make hosting easier. Make the perfect playlist, decorate your home & send out the invites for your best friendsgiving yet!
12 Days of Cocktails Wine Set
With this six bottle wine set, we’re sending you home with the best holiday cocktail recipes hand crafted by some amazing mixologists and our winemakers that we’ve teamed up with!
Includes an exclusive friendsgiving drink recipes for 12 holiday cocktails using this set of six wines. Recipes will be accessible on the luxe insert included in your wine set.
How To Remix Your Hosting
The Perfect Friendsgiving Drinks Table
Make the cocktails the center of attention for your holiday events. Decorate and set up the perfect drink station for your guests. Include the written recipes, glassware and ingredients for each guest to create the holiday drink of their dreams. Add some extra decorations to this table and make sure you can hear the music from this spot in the room. Don’t forget to have an area to add a spiced rim to each of the cocktail glasses depending on the recipes!
Make Great Memories
Grab about 5-10 polaroid cameras and have them by the entrance of the holiday party. Put up a sign to encourage each guest to grab a camera and shoot photos of the party as they sip, sing and enjoy the event! Make sure to let them know to leave the cameras after the event ends so you can get them developed and then send the digital prints to each attendee afterwards.
Extra: Build A Letter Balloon Background
A night to remember is better when your guests are encouraged to take photos! Set up a balloon background that spells out the name of your event, such as, Friendsgiving, New Year’s Eve, Tis’ the season, etc. It will give your guests a reason to take photos in front of the sign but also add some unique festive decorations to the event.
A Potluck To Remember
Ask guests to bring their favorite holiday dishes. Before the event, create a full list of dishes being brought so you know what’s still needed! During the event at the dinner table, ask everyone to explain why the specific dish they brought is their favorite and what memories it brings up. Close out these special stories with a Friendsgiving toast!
Here in the Golden State, we’re joined by Head Winemaker, Amy Butler, on the blog to take us through the exciting California grape harvest this year. For Amy, harvest started on August 28th with the fruit for our sparkling wine. Now, we’re in October and this week is going to be the last week we have fruit scheduled to arrive at the winery. At the tail end of this year’s harvest season, we wanted to take a look into what this year brought and what made it special! Learn more about how Amy joined our winemaking team here.
The fruit we’re bringing in this year is primarily from the Central Coast of California. From as far south as the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County to as far north as the Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County and everywhere in between.
“The growing season was long and varied, with low temperatures during flowering and fruit set leading to fairly light yields. The long hang time, provided by a relatively mild summer, meant that the fruit had plenty of time to develop full flavors without the quick accumulation of sugar. In Monterey County especially, morning fog lingered in the vineyards, delaying ripening even more. What we’ve seen so far is exceptional quality with only slightly diminished yields, and a very long, protracted harvest season.” - Amy Butler
One of the most important aspects of sourcing grapes and making wine is building relationships throughout the process. This year, Amy had the pleasure of meeting Kirk, a farmer she met sourcing grapes for our sparkling wines. Everyone plays an important role in the bottles of wine you know and love. “From the tractor operators, to the barrel coopers, to the harvest schedulers, the sugar samplers, and the press operators. It’s crucial to create fruitful partnerships with our grower and production colleagues, the people who work side by side with us every day to make what we do a success.”
Kirk is a grape-grower who also has avocados and pigs too. For Amy, the grape farmers are some of her favorite people. Without our viticultural (grape-growing) partners, it would be impossible to do what we do.
Harvest With Amy Butler
“As soon as I began tasting the fruit Kirk had grown, I knew it was exactly what I wanted for the sparkling base wine for this vintage. My first visit to his vineyard I knew I needed to measure the sugar content, pH, and acidity as soon as possible. I could already feel the wine that was inside those tiny, seedy little pockets of juice we call grapes.
I was not expecting the grapes to be so ripe yet that I’d forgotten my gear. I had my clippers, but no buckets, and two blocks of Chardonnay that needed sampling!
Lucky for me, Kirk also raises pigs. That’s when he handed me a large, transparent, blue plastic sock, with an elasticized top, meant for pulling on over one’s boots while mucking around pigsties. This would be the perfect container for 10-15 pounds of Chardonnay grapes.
How I wish I had a photo of these blue booties filled with grapes, like a neon gift from Santa. My team at the winery were also amused with my new containers for picking. We crushed the grapes from Kirk’s vineyard, tested them and scheduled the harvest for that Saturday.
After I left the winery that day, I got a text from Kirk: “Do you need more pig booties for your other vineyards?” Humor is part of what builds a long-term winery/grower relationship. Along with impeccable fruit quality. We’ll be back for more next year.”
and the Winemaking Team
Family Day with the McBride Sisters
Andréa and I celebrated National Family Day the best way we know how, with each other, a great bottle of wine and a charcuterie board.
For this event we talked about the power of family and how that’s contributed to the success of our business. For us, family is everything. We wanted to build a brand that continued to share the sisterhood we found with wine lovers everywhere.
Make sure to join our mailing list here to reserve your spot for our next virtual event. Find our How To: Build A Perfect Charcuterie Board blog here to make the best grazing board this season.
Hello Fall! We’re passing up the Pumpkin Spice this year and diving right into our go-to wine cocktails. Hand crafted by our Head Winemaker, Amy Butler, we’re giving you our McBride Sisters twist on your favorite classics with recipes, an easy way to order the wines & storing tips if you don’t finish the whole bottle.
The Oakland 75
Oakland is where it’s at! That’s why we're giving you our take on the classic French 75, with our very own twist. You can enjoy a French 75 to replace your go-to mimosa or enjoy it after your meal, as a dessert of sorts. That’s how we like it. According to Liquor.com, “The French 75 is named for the fast-firing 75 millimeter field gun that was utilized by the French during World War One.”
Grab our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé to add some fruity, creaminess to the cocktail — conveniently available with our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Zinfandel for your Red Wine Margarita below. One stop shop for the wines to mix up these special drinks! Get the wines here.
Red Wine Margarita
Margarita’s may be our drink of choice all year around, but pour over some full-bodied Zinfandel to give your classic Marg a bit of spice and ripe fruit. You may not ever go back to your classic. Salt on the rim is optional, we used our favorite coup glasses to make it fancy but any glass will do! Developed by Amy, we are just now realizing how well this woman can make a wine cocktail. Recipes that use red wine are our Fall favorites.
Grab our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Zinfandel to spice up your Red Wine Margarita here — available in the perfect four bottle bundle with our McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé for all of your fall cocktail needs! Shop now.
Opened Wine: How To Store It?
For some people (not always us!), you can end up with a pretty full opened bottle of wine after mixing up cocktails. Below are our top 5 storing tips for your open bottles so they don’t go to waste and are fresh to drink the next day.
- Make sure to keep the cork of screw off cap just in case you don’t have a wine storage cork. We’d recommend having these affordable, Repour rubber wine stoppers on hand for your still wines.
- For your bubbles, you’ll have a very hard time getting the original cork back in. Make sure to stock up on these sparkling wine stoppers from Cuisinart, before the holiday season.
- Put all re-corked or wines with a stopper into the fridge after opening. For red wine, you can pull it out of the fridge about 15 minutes before drinking to let it warm back up.
How long to wait before you drink your opened wine?
- Red Wine can be stored in the fridge for up 5 days or so. We’d highly recommend drinking within 1-3 because the longer the wine is in the fridge you’ll lose some of the delicious fruit notes and rich flavors.
- We’d recommend storing White Wine in the fridge for up to 3 days but drinking within 1-2 as it will lose the aromas fairly quickly.
- For Sparkling Wine, it can really only last in the fridge for 1-2 days max before losing all of the delicious carbonation. We’d recommend always drinking the next day to keep the quality high.
Getting into the holiday season already? Find our favorite festive cocktails for the holiday season here. For all of you who love to host a holiday party, find our Holiday Table Presentations Do's And Don'ts here.
Black Girl Magic: Bold on purpose, sweet by design, refreshingly complex.
It was at ESSENCE Fest 2018 where we first launched our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic label. The incredible event is a “Party with a Purpose,” put on by ESSENCE Magazine, which has grown over 27 years to be one of the premiere gatherings for Black music, entertainment and culture — drawing averages of 500,000 attendees annually. It was a festival where thousands of Black women came together in one place to empower, educate and elevate during the day and party(with a purpose)at the music festival at night. Headlining with TRUE icons - we’re talkin’ Beyoncé, Barack & Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott, Diana Ross, and many more.
“ESSENCE is where Black Women Come First for news, entertainment, and motivation.”
When we launched the label in 2018, it also happened to be the first time New Orleans had a Black woman mayor, LaToya Cantrell. Since ESSENCE Fest is such a huge contributor to the city, the mayor hosted the opening party and we knew that’s where we wanted to introduce McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic to the world.
We only launched one wine in 2018. Riesling, a noble grape that originated from the Alsace region of France, was one of our favorites. It’s beautifully floral, with jasmine, honey and punch-you-in-your nose aromatics. Our style of Riesling remixed the traditions; you know the way that we do it! We wanted gorgeous acidity balanced with residual sugar. It was at the Essence Fest opening party where we announced our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Riesling. And let me say we have NEVER in our lives had people respond to a label and to a bottle of wine the way that they did that weekend. We ran out of this inaugural Riesling so quickly, that we knew right away we needed to give this label the attention it deserved. Robin & I tapped into something really special, something rare.
Since the incredible launch of our McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Riesling, we’ve added a Red Blend, Rosé, Sparkling Burt, Merlot and Zinfandel to our the Black Girl Magic collection. These wines and this label have received so much love from you all! We see your amazing Instagram posts showcasing your Black Girl Magic and that’s the reason we made this brand.
McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic was cultivated at a time when we were seeing Black women breaking barriers as judges, scientists and in sports and entertainment. Black women were a huge part of the wine industry consumer demographic but were being underserved. If we were to honor the direct women in our family and the women within our community with a wine to celebrate their beauty and their resilience, what would that label look like?
Black women have been at the forefront of beauty, culture and style since the dawn of time -- yet are always last when it comes to products and services designed with them in mind. If our mission has always been to shake up the industry, how can you really drive innovation and serve people from diverse backgrounds in different countries and cultures if you have a small exclusive demographic of people making all of the decisions? It was time for Black women and everyone who supports Black culture to have a wine that was made with Her in mind. Black Girl Magic is more than a phrase. It’s a feeling. A look. A mood. A taste. Our wines are a celebration for us, by us, of all the things passed down from our ancestors to today. Our features, our skin, our beauty, our magic … and the wine inspired by it all.
These wines were made to celebrate the groundbreaking accomplishments of Black women including the small victories. Whether you’re sipping on them after work or for your wedding, there’s an indescribable joy in turning lowkey moments into unforgettable celebrations. That’s the power of these wines, we can turn ANY vibe into a celebration.
She is fun, fresh and fly. Sun-kissed and ripe. Full-bodied and luscious. She is one of a kind, she is McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wines.
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.
The Story of SHE CAN
Did you know we have wine in a can? For those of you who do, thank you for all the SHE CAN Wines love. For those who are just finding out about our SHE CAN Wines collection, welcome! Enjoy our McBride Sisters Collection wine quality in the convenience of a can for those on the go. It’s a SHE CAN Summer and we have a fresh NEW flavor! We have also launched our Cans Club - a new kind of wine club created for the woman who's going everywhere. Read on below!
If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that SHE CAN Wines is not only a statement, it is a way for us to honor our mothers. The strong and empowered lionesses on the sides of the SHE CAN pay tribute to the women who encouraged and inspired us throughout our lives, our mum & mom. Andréa & I wanted to include a striking design that could remind us everyday of the first women who taught us that we CAN do anything we set our minds to. It was only fitting that they were a focal point on these fun and fab cans.
We consider ourselves to be a pride, the same pride lions live in. A fearless pride and sisterhood that is constantly challenging the norm, inspiring other women to do the same and breaking barriers as we go. We took the lionesses from our McBride Sisters Collection logo and placed an enlarged version on each SHE CAN. Our newest flavor to the SHE CAN sisterhood is Fresh White and is dedicated to Andréa's mums (birth mother and foster mother) so their initials are by the lioness (P.J. & D.H.H.). The SHE CAN Rosé is dedicated to Robin's mom, and her nickname is by the lioness (KOKO). The SHE CAN Spritzers are a tribute to our daughters; you’ll find their initials within the designs on the Island Citrus and Coastal Berry. Can you spot them?
Design is a wonderful way to express a message through illustration, and we’re glad we had the creative opportunity to pay tribute to the special women in our lives.
For this SHE CAN Summer, it’s time to celebrate yourself and the other incredible women who have paved the way for us. SHE CAN is rooted in the ethos of a boundless sisterhood, challenging the status quo of male-dominated industries and focusing on uplifting and supporting female entrepreneurs, creatives and leaders.
Andrea’s and my journey involved looking up to a range of strong women throughout history—our own mothers included—who motivated us to follow our own paths and cultivate a community for women to support and celebrate each other, one great glass of wine at a time.
What started as a wine in a can collection has turned into much more. In 2019, we created the McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund. At its inception, The McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund was first developed to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine industry in a concerted effort to help close the gender and race gap. For this year's scholarships, we invited women who have a bold vision for their careers in hospitality, wine and finance, to apply for grants and scholarships for continuing education, leadership coaching and industry conferences. Our impact to date:
Applications for 2021 are now closed. Please check back in Spring 2022 for the next set of scholarship applications.
It’s more than just delicious wine in a can, it’s a loud message. A message to the world that SHE CAN and She Does, every single day. Join the #SHECANSummer movement by following SHE CAN Wines on Instagram and Facebook, share this blog with your friends and spread the word! Embrace the can and empower her path. With wines that go anywhere for the woman who’s going everywhere, "Where will she take you?"
Summer of SHE CAN - She’s New & She’s Fresh
For this #SHECANSummer we wanted to give you something different, something refreshing, a wine you would want to always have in the fridge. Think fruity, crisp and flower-garden fresh - this wine has flavors of pear, melon, white flowers and orange blossom. A wine that tastes like a summer day.
Be the first to taste the new Fresh White — we have three different 12 pack bundles featuring our newest flavor. The 12-pack of Fresh White is perfect for wine drinkers who know what they like and that’s aromatic white wine! Want to rosé all day and white wine all night? Then the Fresh White and SHE CAN Rose 12-pack is the one for you. Can’t decide? We’ve got you sorted with the 12-pack sampler of SHE CANs: Fresh White, SHE CAN Rose, SHE CAN Island Citrus Spritzer and SHE CAN Coastal Berry Spritzer.
Sip tip: Did you know that 1 premium can of SHE CAN Wine = ½ bottle of wine!
For The Cans Lovers
Another SHE CAN Summer launch: a brand new Cans Club! A new kind of wine club to get our fun, fab and award-winning canned wines delivered right to your door.
The best thing about this club, apart from receiving your own customizable can shipment four times a year, is supporting women in business and career development. A portion of the proceeds from our SHE CAN Wines goes to our SHE CAN Fund to help empower and educate emerging women leaders.
Oh, and did we mention you’ll also receive 10% off all your future wine orders? The first 100 members to sign up will receive a FREE SHE CAN Wines Bucket Hat! Run, don't walk to the site to join now. Black Girl Magic Bubbly Cans are also included in the Cans Club.
Women Who Embody SHE CAN
Who is the SHE CAN woman? She is creative, bold, unafraid and inspired. She is supportive and encouraging. She is also respectful of her own self-care and the need for downtime.
We look at women such as Simone Biles, a revolutionary athlete, a supportive teammate and an advocate for her own mental health, and see the SHE CAN woman. We look at Katie Ledecky, who made history this year at the Tokyo Olympics by winning six Olympic gold medals, the most won by any woman U.S. olympian ever. Katie also vocally announced how proud she is of Simone Biles. In both her achievements and support, we see the SHE CAN woman.
We look at our mothers, our grandmothers, our sisters, our daughters and friends, and see the SHE CAN woman in all of them.
Where Will She Take You?
The sun is out, flowers are blooming and the opportunity for adventures are endless. The #SHECANSummer is about discovery, excitement and new experiences. There is no limit to where you may find yourself if you follow your imagination. Here are a few ideas of where to drink SHE CAN to get your creative juices flowing:
While Supporting Women On Screen
Whether it’s the Summer Olympics or other sports you love to watch, call together all your girls for a night of celebrating female talent on screen. Let’s go Naomi Osaka, Ramla Ali and Rikako Ikee!
At a Picnic with the Girls
Summer is the best time to get your crew outside with a few packs of SHE CANs and a delicious spread for a picnic on the beach or by a lake. Got a grill nearby? Try some of these delicious recipes, which will pair perfectly with any SHE CAN pack.
Host a Wine Tasting Games Night
Combining two of our favorite things–wine and fun—this games’ night takes wine tasting to the next level. Check out our guide on how to host a summer wine tasting party, and combine that with Charades, Cards Against Humanity or Twister for a night to remember.
SHE CAN embodies all of us, the adventurous, life-lusting goddesses that we celebrate daily from the moment we wake up. From women leaders to athletes to mothers and lifelong friends, we value and appreciate you and are thrilled to see where SHE CAN Wines will take you this summer.