wine down

Wine Down LIVE replay: Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

This week’s episode of Wine Down Live was so much fun! We had more live views than ever before and I’m so happy because I got to share wine made by a Black woman! Brenae Royal is the vineyard manager of Monte Rossi vineyards and is doing a phenomenal job! Check out the deets and catch the replay below 💁🏾‍♀️🍷✨

Wine: Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

Pickup Location: Libbie’s Market

Price: $44

Rating: 10

Reigning Title: The Girlfriends Wine (Pros Only)

Wine Down Live Recap: Buttercream Chardonnay

This week I reviewed another tasty varietal that caught me completely by surprise! You’ve got to catch up on this week’s show!

WINE: Buttercream Chardonnay

Location: Total Wine

Rating: 10

Pairing: popcorn or truffle fries

Have you tried this one? Did you love it? Talk wine to me friends!

10 things your winery needs to bring in more DIVERSITY

Hello winefriends!

This is a topic I felt so passionately about I needed to wait for the creativity to hit me for the best way to deliver what will be a fun but sensitive topic. I recently visited a vineyard here in Virginia (formerly Upper Shirley plantation) currently known as Upper Shirley Vineyards and received less than impressive service. This was my second time visiting the winery and both times I witnessed the manager (or maybe he was the owner) walk around to greet all the tables around us except ours.

My friend and I were the only people of color in the bar/restaurant area (there weren’t even any black employees). We were not greeted warmly like the guest around us at other tables and our waitress acted as if when we ordered our food and wine that it was no absolutely no rush. Basically— sis took an hour to bring us everything. Literally.

This annoyed me but instead of bothering to make a fuss— because sadly this is nothing new I thought I would ask the wine friends what are some things they look for in a good winery visit. I pray many wineries around the world read this and get their act together!

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Welcoming & Knowledgeable Staff

This was the #1 answer I received on the gram when I posted this question. Educate your staff to know the wines, the history, and details about the process. But more importantly make sure they are kind and love people. Wine is a connector of persons. Don’t let your staff ruin that.

Tour of the Property

Most people visiting the winery want to feel it inside and out. They don’t just want to taste the grapes. They want to see where they’re grown, touch the vines, and not just hear the history but feel apart of it. Take interest in making your space beautiful.

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Wine Shop

When tasters come to have a great experience we want to spend money! Have the wines readily available so we can take them back home to relive the experience. A cute little store with wine trinkets wouldn’t hurt either. 😉

Events & Entertainment

Create an experience around your wine! You make a Pinot and so do a million other people. What sets your Pinot apart? Change the way I experience your Pinot and I’ll buy it forever. 🥰

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Ship it… Ship it Good!

Purchasing your wine is one thing but not having to worry about how to get it back home is a whole other story. Bless your wine friends and make sure you can send the wine right to their door. This will also eliminate the decision process- now I can buy them all!

Great food for pairing

Do not have me try 10 different vintages with no menu in sight. The charcuterie is great but invest in a brick oven so I can soak up some of this wine with a good pizza. (shout out to Charles Krug for getting me right in Napa)

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Diversity In Staff

If you’re a winery owner and you’ve never read “Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria” you should read it. When your staff lacks diversity your customer base most likely will too. Who’s going to go back and invite a more diverse community to your space if there’s no diversity on your team? In this year 2019 not only is there no excuse but it’s sad.

Partnering with diverse influencers is another great way to shake up your customer base. Wine lovers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Do better with diversity & inclusion.

Good Backstory

Teach your staff how to really tell your story. A good story is what will keep your tasters engaged and give them something to share when they go home. A good story = word of mouth. Then everyone will want to visit your winery!

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Cute Winery Dog

While I’ve yet to meet a winery dog I can call friend, I totally understood this response when it popped into the comments. Make sure she’s absolutely adorable and thinks people are adorable too!

Great Wine

Make sure your wine is at its best and ready to serve. The wine friends also requested healthy pours. Don’t be stingy.

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Experience is everything.

Your biggest focus should be how your customer is experiencing your wine + your brand. Put effort into making each customer feel special and your efforts in diversity & inclusion will go along way.

Cheers 🥂 to everyone getting right!

Sipping Joyously,

Shayla V

VinPop Snacks Review

Summer snacks are needed from the beach to the wine festivals and they can be nothing less than tasty! While I’m not a huge snacker my husband and I are big movie watchers so popcorn is always the first thing I grab when I’m looking for something to satisfy that movie food craving. I was so excited when my friends at VinPop shared this new snack with me!

Check out my latest review and find out which bag was my favorite from VinPop!

Then head on over to pick up your bag here!

Have you had VinPop before? What’s flavor is your favorite for summer? Let’s talk snacks in the comments!

Napa Valley Vlog: Charles Krug Winery

The power of social media is getting on Twitter one day, tweeting my little heart out when all of a sudden I get an inboxed message! Sonoma Wine Guy and I chat it up and I get invited to Charles Krug Winery. The oldest running winery in Napa. I’m delighted. I say yes and that I’ll be there soon. Here’s a look at what happened next!

Wine Down LIVE episode # 003: Unboxing the January Collection #SnuggleUp

Our first collection of 2018 was all about the cozy wine down experience. The January box was curated with a cold winter night in mind no matter where you are or who you with it’s always fun to Snuggle Up. 

Watch the replay of the episode to get an inside look at what’s included in the The Lifestyle Collection! (You can also click here to watch: https://www.facebook.com/BlackGirlsWine/videos/1272086116225650/ )  

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