She's Not Even A Sommelier + a podcast? (Newsletter #8)
Wine is for everyone. Also I made a podcast lol.
Last week, I shared on instagram how somebody made a remark about Más Vino Please, saying that I "wasn’t even a sommelier and that they went to school for this." I’ve always joked around with the tagline: I’m not a somm, just a girl who drinks a lot of wine and likes to talk about it.
So let’s take this time to talk about gatekeeping. (everyone’s favorite word).
First of all, wine is for EVERYONE.
Wine is not for an elite few. Wine is not restricted to those who are “fancy” or rich or cultured or even to those with enough time and energy to study it. It is for EVERYONE.
Wine has become notorious for its exclusivity and this should be acknowledged. It is known to have excluded BIPOC and women for generations—this is a fact that until recently, was never unpacked or unlearned. While there is still a lot of work that needs to be done here, there is a new generation of wine drinkers, wine makers, sommeliers, and others are actively working to make wine more inclusive and more accessible, no matter your skin color, gender identity, and socio-economic situation.
Because of their efforts, I’ve seen an encouraging amount of support for those pushing toward inclusivity across the board. This deserves a whole newsletter in itself, which I plan on bringing to you in a few weeks.
Aside from the aforementioned fact, I do think that wine is severely misunderstood. There has always been this idea around it that it is not for everyone and that it must be gate kept. Wine should be INCLUSIVE in every sense of the word. Everyone is allowed to talk about wine, even if you’re only self taught. Even if you just discovered your first orange wine. Even if you’ve only recently been introduced to wine.
This idea that only sommeliers can talk about wine is exactly why people feel like wine is snobby or inaccessible. There is no mystery behind the learning of wine, varietals, terroirs, or production styles. Yes, it takes time and effort to learn all this information, but we live in an era of abundant information and he who seeks, shall find 😉 There are books about wine, there are blogs, online classes, and there are Tik Toks (lol). If you want to learn about it, you can.
If you’re just a guy or gal on the internet who likes to talk about wine and you’ve googled enough, talked to enough wine folks, and drank enough wine to apply this absorbed knowledge, you’re just as qualified to speak about it as the next person.
I’ve found that many friends and followers have felt intimidated by wine before. There’s a lot of terminology! Well, once upon a time (not that long ago) I was googling things like: biodynamic, pet-nat, and “how is orange wine made”. Everyone starts somewhere and no matter how little or how much you know, the goal is to be continuously learning and growing into your knowledge. And heck, the goal is also to teach! Teach the person next you something they might not have known about wine! The truth is, most wine industry folks think that wine needs to be MORE accessible and approachable. Being approachable is great for business. I hope you won’t feel intimidated by wine, I hope you’ll feel encouraged by the process of learning, no matter where you are in the journey.
I really, truly feel that wine becomes accessible and inclusive when wine knowledge becomes accessible. It should be shared! Good wine is meant to be shared with the people. My mission has always been to dismantle this type of judgement and make wine more approachable to ALL. Whether you’ve only just discovered natural wine, or just learned about how pet-nats are made, you are always invited to the table.
And no, I do not plan on becoming a somm.
Also! I recorded a brief, very elementary podcast. There are no frills, just me talking about wine for 14 minutes. If you’re into that kinda thing, give it a listen! AVAILABLE HERE!