The Sip Files

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

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!

National Wine Day

Winefriends! It’s #NationalWineDay and I’m so excited!!! Let’s kick off the celebration sharing our fave wines! Talk to me in the comments! Mine are listed below! 💁🏾‍♀️🍷✨

In honor of #NationalWineDay my top 8 at the moment (in no particular order):

1) @fantescawine King Richards Reserve Pinot Noir

2) @charleskrugwinery Malbec

3) @mcbridesisters Brut Rosé

4) @shoecrazywine Sweet Harmony

5) @marcusjohnson360 FLO Wines Red Blend

6) @vine_wine_club Exclusive White

7) @veuveclicquot Brut NV

8) @ruinart Blanc de blancs


Let me know your favorites so I can try them too!  

Where to buy Wines by Black Wine Makers

Winefriends!

A list has been put together for us by Marcee Jones and if you join the movement and buy one bottle each month from a Black Wine maker on the list it will take you through to December 2020! Check out the list below, join the movement, and SIP with us! #DiversityInWine #BlackInWine

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May, 2019 - Abbey Creek Vineyard & Winery, Bertony Faustin  – www.abbeycreekvineyard.com

June, 2019 -@Bakerfamilywines, @Dusty Baker  – www.bakerfamilywines.com

July 2019 - Bodkin Wines, Chris Christensen – www.bodkinwines.com

August 2019 - Brown Estate, David Brown – www.brownestate.com

September 2019 - Caldwell Vineyard (not Black owned, but winemaker is), @Marbue Marke – www.caldwellvineyard.com

October 2019 - @Charles Wine Company, @PaulCharles – www.charleswineco.com

November 2019 - Corner 103, @LLoyd Davis – www.corner103.com

December 2019 - Darjean Jones Wines, Dawna Darjean Jones– www.darjeanjoneswines.com

January 2020 - Frichette Winery, Shae Frichette– www.frichettewinery.com

February 2020 - Indigené Cellars, Raymond Smith – www.indigenecellars.com

March 2020 - J. Moss Wines, James Moss– www.jmosswines.com

April 2020 - L'Objet Wines, Dan Glover – www.lobjetwines.com

May 2020 - LOBO Wines (not Black owned, but winemaker is), Victoria Coleman – www.lobowines.com

June 2020 - Longevity Wines, Winery, @Phil Long – www.longevitywines.com

July 2020 - Maison Noir Wines, Andre Hueston Mack – www.maisonnoirwines.com

August 2020 - Okapi Wines, @Dan Johnson – www.okapiwines.com

September 2020 - Sip & Share Winery, Nicole Kearney – www.sipnsharewine.net

October 2020 - Theopolis Vineyards, Theodora Lee – www.theopolisvineyards.com

November 2020 - @Tymphany Wines, @Louis Jordan – www.tymphanywines.com

December 2020 - @VisionCellars, Mac McDonald – www.visioncellars.com

 

Happy Sipping!  

Being Mary Jane + Gabrielle Union’s Virtual Wine Tasting

We couldn’t be more excited about the Being Mary Jane Finale tomorrow night! So excited in fact that we’re hosting a watch party tomorrow night in our super-secret-not-so-secret Facebook group tomorrow night! You can join our group here to hang out with us during the show!

The show starts at 8 pm on BET so don’t be late!

Here’s a fun video of Gabrielle doing a wine tasting of a few different varietals. What will you be drinking tomorrow night? Leave us a note in the comments and share! 

When you’re finishing watching don’t forget to come hang with us in our group right here on Facebook. 

Sipping Joyously, 

Team BGW

Monday Wine Q&A: Celebrating Max

I had the privilege of actually joining my wine bestie for her show! Catch up on this birthday celebration 🍾 We’re drinking a FLY wine in honor of the expert herself!  

Have you ever had a Ruinart Blanc de Blancs? If you haven’t I’d highly recommend it for you own birthday celebration this year! 

This was a ton of fun to try and my BGW wine rating is a TEN 💁🏾‍♀️🍷✨ 

Please ignore my blinking statue posture in the beginning 😂  

Happy Monday!  

Wine Down LIVE: Girlfriends Wine

This week we have officially found our first Girlfriends wine! What’s a girlfriends wine you ask? It’s a wine perfect for a night in with girls paired with a few good cheeses (Havarti   and Goat cheese are a few of my recent faves) You’ve got to pick this one up! It’s also a fave of our resident wine bestie Maxine. 

  • Varietal: Trivento Amado Sur
  • Wine Rating: TEN
  • Suggested Pairing: Havarti or soft goat cheese
  • BGW label: Girlfriends Wine
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Have a wine you think our founder would love? Leave it in the comments or email her directly for details on sponsorship!  

Meetup Fun: The Winefriends take RVA!

This weekend we hosted our first meetup for Black Girls Wine in Richmond Va and we had a ball! We ate aaaaaalllll the food and drank all the wine. We may have just left Richmond dry 😉 Here’s a visual recap of our entire weekend!  

Friday night dinner + wine station

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Brunch + Winery Saturday  

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Sunday brunch was so good we forgot to get photos but know that brunch was bomb and we are officially planning a meetup tour!

Stay tuned for more details winefriends!  💁🏾‍♀️🍷✨

The World Famous BGW Sangria recipe

At every BGW event our founder makes her famous Sangria and though the recipe switches up regularly there are a few staples that she never leaves out. This recipe is perfect for rescuing a bad bottle of wine too! (If you watched the recent episode of #WineDownLIVE you’ll catch this reference 😩😭) 

 Shayla’s Sangria MUST

2 Frozen Fruit pack

- (1) that includes pineapples + 1 that includes berries

1  bottle of Cran-apple juice  

1 Red Wine 

1 Moscato (or sweet white wine) 

1 Rosé  

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Mix all above ingredients in large pitcher and pour it up,pour it up! 

Did you make your own version of this Sangria? Comment below and let us know! 

- Team BGW

Holiday Draaanks: Talk 30 to ME

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 Talk 30 to Me, created in honor of my 30th birthday for my blog launch party, is my take on my favorite drink, a mango mojito. I mixed premium white rum, mango nectar, lime, mint, and Cocktail Artist simple syrup. Instead of club soda, I topped it with prosecco... to make it snobby (wink).

 TheCocktail Artist (@cocktailartists) Premium Simple Syrup made by Sadiyyah Iddeen (@saddiatlbartender) really added the right amount of sweetness to the drink and the best part is that it’s only 10 calories, doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial coloring. All their products were developed by award-winning mixologists to help people elevate their cocktail game at home. Pick up a bottle at Walmart!

 Ingredients:

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 5-10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 oz of simple syrup
  • 3 oz mango nectar
  • prosecco

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint with lime juice

2. Add mango nectar and shake

3. Strain into a glass with ice

4. Top with prosecco

5. Enjoy!

 

Happy Sipping,

 

The Cocktail Snob

IG: @thecocktailsnob_

www.cocktailsnobnyc.com