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A New Kind of Wine Club

On International Women’s Day the courtyard of the Westin Versa in Napa Valley is a lively scene with people having a great time sipping, eating and talking. As you walk around to the 30 or so tables where wines are being poured, you don’t see any men. These are the Women of the Vine, and they have a compelling story to tell behind their own wine labels. Deborah Brenner is what you would call a connector.  She’s a dynamo, and has managed to court some of the best vintners in wine country for Women of the Vine, a venerable a who’s who list:  Gina Gallo, Pam Starr, Milla Handley, Genevieve Janssens and more. It all started as she was researching and writing Women of the Vine, published in 2006, where she explores the contributions women have made to the American wine landscape. While her book was successful, she wanted another way to connect…

The One Wine Trend I Want To Go Away

Be flirty

First we had “critter” labels for wine — you know, Yellow Tail, Little Penguin, Dancing Bull, Smoking Loon.  Then came what I call “dessert” labels — Cupcake, Layer Cake. Let’s not forget the “mommy” labels – MommyJuice, Mommy’s Little Helper.  Now we have what I’m calling “identity” labels – Middle Sister, Bridesmaid and Skinnygirl.  Do we really need a wine label to tell us who we are or how we should Be?

I cringe when I see these labels.  There’s the Be. label, where each varietal is labeled something different.  There’s Be. Flirty, Be. Bright and so on.  The line of Middle Sister wines breaks it down to Drama Queen, Goodie Two Shoes, Forever Cool and more.  I’ve also seen Bridesmaid and Mad Housewife wine labels. Please please wine gods, make it stop.