A Crowd-Sourced Women in Wine List Has Sparked a Whole D.C. Movement

For the duration of one particular of Tom Sietsema’s weekly Q&A chats in late July, the tenured Washington Write-up foodstuff critic struggled to title a solitary woman sommelier in the D.C. region. Spotting a skipped prospect to shout out expertise, a uncomplicated Google doc was born to identify community ladies leaders in wine.

Sietsema’s summer season snafu has snowballed into some thing special. In a make any difference of months, the group-sourced record has ballooned to 300-in addition female sommeliers, winemakers, specialists, consultants, suppliers, and educators throughout D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. The grassroots group, dubbed Women of all ages of Wine (WOW), hosted its 1st bought-out event in October at Bottles Wine Garden. To make a lot more home, the second a single will be at Union Sector district’s sprawling La Cosecha food items hall on Sunday, December 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

WOW’s feminine founders consist of 3 sommeliers (Vanessa Cominsky at Status Ledroit Erika Parjus at Bottles Wine Backyard and Maxwell alum Niki Lang, now a wine advisor and real estate agent) Angie Duran, director of operations at Bottles Wine Yard and Tammy Gordon, a marketing consultant at Weygandt Wines.

The increasing spreadsheet incorporates a Google map tab to pinpoint females-operate wineries and dining places with woman-led courses. Members listing their Instagram deal with as their call information and facts. It’s a one-quit industry source that incredibly was not available in D.C. right until now.

“It turned even larger than the Tom tale,” says Gordon. “It turned this full optimistic factor. I have fulfilled so a lot of females in wine from sourcing the checklist and pursuing people today on it.”

The list has also laid out the groundwork for the makings of a model new nonprofit in the new calendar year. WOW’s a few-pronged mission is to “create community” by using social media and hosted gatherings “educate a lot more women of all ages in wine” by funding scholarships for wine certifications and offering mentor-mentee options and “support sector job growth” with a position bank and connecting females to media and business journeys.

“You discover these groups in tech, science, and all distinctive forms of industries. It is normal there ought to be just one for wine,” claims Gordon.

Restaurateurs can flip to the list to arrive at out to opportunity hires or inquire about buying bottles. If an everyday consumer needs to keep track of down the individual wine they liked at a cafe, they can DM its sommelier.

The group also provides recently accredited sommeliers a likelihood to get their names out there.

“Since COVID there’s been an influx of expertise. We’re acquiring anyone collectively who have never ever even achieved every single other,” claims Lang.

The perk of a publish-pandemic world is the return to encounter-to-encounter interactions that were constrained to at-dwelling Zoom tastings just two years ago, states Duran.

Wine industry experts “sometimes really do not get the credit history for all the time, funds and strength they devote into their craft,” states Duran. Her months-outdated West Stop wine bar Bottles Wine Back garden caters to severe oenophiles and novices alike with curated picks from both equally groundbreaking and soaring wineries around the world.

“Erika [our sommelier] is generally putting out a little something enjoyable and astonishing me. She’s always tasting and trying to set points on people will be psyched about,” states Duran.

Lang claims the group options to meet with nonprofit facilitators and lawyers in January to get its 501(c)(3) status rolling and determine how to dole out donations toward points like scholarships and instruction. WOW is presently collecting feedback on existing sector needs and how the nonprofit can assistance.

At WOW’s very first function in Oct, 12 female sommelier names picked out of a hat discussed their pours of decision. Two legendary neighborhood sommeliers — guide and Charlie Palmer alum Nadine Brown and Cork’s co-operator Diane Gross — each individual shared a wine from their alternatives by the glass.

“I was blown away by how several men and women needed to be there and assistance it and just the electrical power in the space,” claims Lang, of WOW’s 130-individual inaugural party. “We seriously want to continue to keep momentum likely and distribute the term.”

The next function is made to be more of a meet up with-and-greet occasion alongside pours from La Cosecha’s resident Latin wine bar and retailer Grand Cata: