The world is sick right now. In multiple meanings of the word. And the wine industry is not immune. While wineries and tasting rooms long to welcome back guests—and many are, indeed, reopening their doors—the coronavirus continues to spread amongst winery employees.
Concurrently, a whole segment of our industry—our black colleagues—are fighting against racial injustice, discrimination they experience within our industry, and fighting for their right to be seen and heard for who they are and what they contribute as black wine professionals.
I’ve compiled a list of wine-newsy items as I usually do, but I want to call out a few specific articles that, for me, provided a ray of hope amidst all the other feels I am feeling at the moment.
Shakera T. Jones‘ first person account, published in SevenFifty Daily of being an under-represented black professional also dives into how the wine industry can step up and truly be an ally their black colleagues—action, influence, inclusion.
My piece for Wine Enthusiast looks at how wineries—all around the world—worked to keep their hospitality staff members working during tasting room closures by training them to work in the vineyards, rather than temporarily (or permanently) suspending their employment.
And if you only read one blog post this week, please let it be Amber LeBeau‘s “Why the Wine Industry Shouldn’t be Color Blind.” I’ll just leave that there.
Please, be kind to one another. Please take care of yourselves. And please please please
Please help heal our world.
Wine Enthusiast: No Tasting Room, No Problem
Wineries Train Hospitality Staffs to Work the Vineyards
By bringing their front-of-house teams into the field to help with leafing, wire removal and other agricultural pursuits, these wineries impart useful skill sets to those who might have been otherwise unemployed during the shutdowns. READ MORE…
SevenFifty Daily: What Being an Ally Really Means
How the drinks industry can move from words to actions when it comes to supporting POC drinks professionals
As a Black woman with a full-time career in the tech industry, I am all too familiar with Black professionals being underrepresented. I was drawn to wine initially by my love of food, and through my work as a wine educator and blogger, I soon saw that the drinks industry was no different. I—along with many of my Black colleagues—recognize what real inclusion looks and feels like, and understand what the industry needs to do to get there. READ MORE…
wine-searcher: A Black Winemaking Revolution in the Making
As Black Lives Matter protests drive more business to black winemakers, some wonder if a change is going to come.
George Floyd’s death at the hands of police has set off a chain of reactions across the globe, even in the notoriously unwoke world of wine.
But as hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets calling for systemic change and racial equality, and debates swirl over police department funding, well-meaning but clueless white writers (including me), sommeliers, distributors, importers and restaurateurs post black boxes on social media with all of the wrong hashtags and flail about unsure of how to – but very much willing to – support black winemakers. READ MORE…
Press Democrat: Sonoma County health officer reveals second coronavirus outbreak at local winery
On the same day Sonoma County’s health officer confirmed she plans to reopen more businesses Friday, Dr. Sundari Mase on Monday revealed a second coronavirus outbreak in the wine industry involving three employees who have contracted the infectious disease. READ MORE…
Wine Spectator: Italy’s New Normale
The reopening of the country’s restaurants has come with a chill vibe—and no reservations required
It’s nearly summer, and things look almost back to normale in Italy these days. Many Italians are out in the piazzas sipping colorful spritzes at outdoor cafés; dining al fresco in restaurants, pizzerias and trattorias, or strolling with scoops of gelato.
Of course, this June is different. The tourist throngs—make that tourists in general—are gone. READ MORE…
Harpers: WSET branches out into beer qualifications
WSET Level 1 and 2 Awards in Beer would be created with both trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in mind, with the courses exploring the main types and styles of beer, key methods of production, tasting technique and food and beer pairing, following the same well-established principles as the Level 1 and 2 courses in wines and spirits. READ MORE…
SF Gate: Second American citizen and youngest person to become a Master Sommelier, dies at 71
Richard was the second American citizen and youngest person to become a Master Sommelier in 1975 at the age of 26, and was a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, of which there are only 240 in the world. During his illustrious 44-year career, he served as Master Sommelier for The Mark Hotel and Tavern on the Green in New York city, and for the Taj Campton Place in San Francisco. READ MORE…
Blogs Worth a Read
Taken from the list of Blogs I follow regularly, here are just a few posts from this past week I think are worth a read. Shoot me a note if you have suggestions or want your blog included.
SpitBucket: Why the Wine Industry Shouldn’t Be Color Blind
I don’t know if the people who advocate “All Lives Matter,” saying that they don’t see color or want to see color, realize that what they’re advocating for is a disability. Achromatopsia (i.e., color blindness) is a disorder, a limitation.
People that suffer from actual color blindness don’t get to see the world in all its vivid richness. They can adapt and make do, but there will always be things that they’ll never be able to experience fully–the colors and context that enliven life.
Why would we want to aspire to that?
Why would we want a world that will always be less than what it could be? READ MORE…
The Gray Report: Four Black Gallo Employees Talk About Racism and Progress in the Wine Industry
Rather than write a story about our conversation, thus putting my voice foremost, I’m just going to run the transcript, very lightly edited. READ MORE…
VinePair: Why It’s No Longer Politics as Usual in the Wine Business
Wine Twitter was ignited two weeks ago after the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) shared lists of the wine industry’s “Top 20” contributors to President Trump, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. The AAWE stated that, according to its interpretation of the data, the wine industry “overwhelmingly” supports President Trump. READ MORE…
Jancis Robinson: Wine country reopens, cautiously
I should probably come clean at the start. I broke the law to write this story. READ MORE…
The Wine Economist: Wine & Coronavirus Recession: Three Questions
Q1: Recession Uncertainties
It is clear that the conoravirus pandemic and its health and economic effects have produced a global recession of historic proportions. Income and wealth have declined and unemployment increased. There is no way that wine cannot be affected by such an economic downturn. Many questions about the recession beg for answers. How deep? How long? The Great Depression made a indelible mark on the people who lived through it. Will the coronoavirus recession do the same? READ MORE…
The Wine Economist: China’s 10-Point Scale—Wine Ratings with Chinese Characteristics
Much of the discussion about the China ratings system focuses on the fact that it uses a 10-point scale for maximum clarity rather than the 20-point or 100-point scales commonly used elsewhere. I think the real news is that this is moving toward a national rating system that would potentially assign an official score to each wine on the market taking into consideration, it is said, Chinese tastes, cuisine, and culture. READ MORE…
Jancis Robinson: Italy’s overflowing cellars – COVID or chronic?
With the pandemic having blocked the global market and shut down the hospitality industry for almost two months, Italy’s wines risk remaining unsold. READ MORE…
Concurs Mondial: Is Slovenian Sauvignon Blanc the next big thing?
Sharing its northern border with Suid-Steiermark, Slovenia can do Austrian Sauvignon style, but it can also do a variety of Štajerska styles shaped by warmer, spicier, more passionate Slavic attitudes. READ MORE…
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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**