I didn’t want to say anything about this.
Not because I don’t think it is extremely poor judgement by the designer to represent The 50 Most Powerful Women in Wine with a silhouette under a glass like some sort of rare insect in the shape of the neon sign advertising for the local strip club. No, it’s because I thought we were beyond this. A long time ago.
But I must.
The truth is I started this blog (and this is one of my first posts) as a reaction to a website project I was copy writing for in 2007 called “Women 4 Wine.” The only catharsis was to write what I really thought about after the spending the day writing through the lens of “women” or what was perceived as what they want. For this project, the wines always given to me were Rose, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio (!). Also, my brief was to de-emphasize the technical aspect in the copy and emphasize the lifestyle. I could feel all this talk about picnics and lunches with girls seeerrrioussssly accentuating my first class honours degree.
I’m glad to hear the website has now folded.
The fact is the wine world is full of men. Yet I have always felt like my opinion has been valued because it is not a man’s opinion. There’s nothing worse than a table of only men at a wine dinner. Even the men at the table don’t like it. And how many times I have been told, it would be nice to balance the group with women rather than just men. I am not saying there are problems if you don’t have enough self-knowledge to be confident in your tastes (which is a particular affliction to some women). But I am saying, if you have any moxie and technical knowledge, it can be a serious advantage. Over half the population, and wine drinkers, are women. FFS, my manager is the Director of the Board and that is very cool.
The downside of being a woman in wine is that there are many late nights, lots of rich food and I can’t drink as much as a man. But there are ways around this. The best advice I ever heard when I was first starting out from an italian woman winemaker, drink San Pellegrino every second drink – the high calcium and sodium will help you the next day, too (and that’s good advice for everyone!). When the “Les Trois Dames des Bibendum” as we were called last year, went to taste 2010 Burgundy En Primeur we drank a hell of a lot of Badoit. In fact, it was quite a serious trip – no jolly, I feel we all had a personal commitment to the beauty of Burgundy.
It has been said already, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again – do we really need a women in wine list at all? Because the wine world is over-populated with awards and lists, and I so desperately want to keep this hegemony going (joke), here are my top women who I have had the pleasure to know in a professional capacity who have knowledge and moxie.
In fact, NO.
There are so many women in wine now, when I thought about it, and idea of a list is redundant.
Please leave me a note and let us know who you think is doing a brilliant job. Male or female or whatever. x
PS Lucy Shaw, who wrote this piece, sorry to see your good work ruined by a poor choice of image by the designer. I look forward to reading the list and I know many of my friends are.