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Windy City Live, Amazing Women and A Logo Makeover

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Hi Wine Lover,

The Shall We Wine team is excited to share our monthly newsletter. Our goal is to introduce you to our favorite wines, winemakers, varietals, wine regions and places to buy and drink wine.


The Shall We Wine Team


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Shall We Wine Tribe, if you haven’t heard by now our logo got a makeover! We are proud to reveal the new logo as part of the ongoing evolution of the Shall We Wine brand. It’s a different look, with the same soul. Just like any other kind of makeover, it is call to a change, an uplift… we #leveledup, but we’re still Shall We Wine. This is a reflection of who we are today, new and improved, with a dynamic future ahead. Certified fresh! (Designed by Mark-Anthony Marshall)



April is National Poetry Month! Take some time to think about and celebrate how much poetry infiltrates your day, even though you may not think it does. Poetry is an artform, embedded in the aisles of a bookstore, on the lips of a poet and their readers, the start of some great love stories, behind the genius of catchy advertisements, the backbone to what can make song lyrics pop.

As both a sommelier and poet, I also see wine elevated by words and vice versa. On the surface, wine and poetry can seem unrelated. Searching for Cloves & Lilies: The Wine Edition is one way of showing the congruence of the two. Seemingly different mediums can be more intertwined than you think. Challenge yourself to see likeness, positivity and common ground.

On April 28th, we're doing just that by hosting a Words & Wine event with City Winery Chicago! If you missed the last SOLD OUT City Winery event we did, this is your chance to make up for it. It will be a fabulous poetry, music and wine pairing event - a perfect way to celebrate National Poetry Month! Entry includes wine and a copy of Searching for Cloves & Lilies: The Wine Edition. Sounds by The Lab3l. [ Click here to learn more & RSVP NOW! ]



Windy City Live what a time! Val Warner & Roe Conn thanks for wine-ing with me, I had a blast. Last, but certainly not least, this segment would not be anything without the #WomenInWine featured!

Joy Sterling, Iron Horse Vineyards

Louisa Rose, Yalumba Family Wines

Kathleen Inman, Inman Family Wines

Stephanie Putnam, Raymond Vineyards

Theodora Lee, Theopolis Vineyards

Important Segment Clarifications: 1) I would like to take the time to correct and share my apologies for what was mentioned on the WCL segment, as I said Jennifer instead of Stephanie Putman of Raymond Vineyards! I have the utmost respect for the Raymond brand, nerves just truly got the best of me on live television.

2) I have my Level 2 Certification from the International Sommelier Guild. While I am certified and a sommelier in my field, the distinction of “Certified Sommelier” generally is thought to be a level of the Court of Master Sommeliers. While some may not see this as a big deal, I want to make the explanation clear as to not mislead the fellow viewers, but to also respect the certification distinction of the Court.

For more information on the wines featured during Windy City Live, check out the "Drink This" section below in this newsletter.

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Missed the segment? Click on photo above to watch!




5/3 Astro Book Signing Event, Santa Rosa - Poetry reading with free admission & complimentary tasting!

The Astro
323 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

5/11 Chocolate & Wine Experience, Sugar and Ice, D.C. Area - A guided chocolate and wine tasting! 2 timeslots available, RSVP now: 12-2PM OR 3-5PM

Sugar & Ice
5481 Wisconsin Ave.
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

5/12 Cooking & Wine Pairing Party with Heartfelt Catering, Chicago - Learn to cook the Heartfelt way and select the best wines that pair with your meal! RSVP now: 1-4:30PM

Heartfelt Catering
1640 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60622

5/21 Lucille's Words & Wines Event, Houston - A specially curated wine tasting experience, pairing poetry and wine together! RSVP now: 6:30PM

5512 LaBranch Street
Houston, Texas 7700

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Save the Dates - Wine & the Spirit Series - As you know, Shall We Wine has teamed up with Uncommon Ground for a series of events. The first event for Valentine's was a blast! If you missed out, there are more chances for you to participate. More details to come!

Sunday, May 26th - Lauryn Hill Birthday Tribute
A Tribute to Lauryn Hill’s Birthday, join us for a listen party featuring live music and curated wines.

Wednesday, August 14th - Food and Wine Cocktails
Our friends from Coquetel Spirits will partner with us to create unique wine inspired cocktails, paired with a delicious three-course meal.

Saturday, October 19th - Bubbles & Birds
Featured sparkling wine pairings for the fried goodness that is fried chicken!

Sunday, November 10th - Veterans of Music
Veterans Day weekend we honor Chicago Veterans of Music with a music & wine pairing event.

To remain in the loop with upcoming happenings and cool info, make sure to follow us on social media!



Women of the Vines and Spirits (WOVS) hosted their Fifth Anniversary symposium March 11-14, 2019 at the four-star Meritage Hotel and Spa in Napa Valley, California. Women of the Vines and Spirits is the vision of author and social entrepreneur, Deborah Brenner. The organization is "dedicated to empowering and advancing women in the alcohol beverage industry, worldwide.”

I was encouraged to attend this event by one of their sponsors, and further motivated by the brutal Chicago weather! Tickets would sell out quickly (they usually sell all 700 seats within 7 hours), so on January 21, 2019, I was at my computer at 10:00 AM CT ready to buy.

The symposium organizers offered a lineup of powerhouse keynote speakers whose messages were well coursed, one building on top of the other. Starting with Jennifer Brown, Author and Founder of Jennifer Brown Consulting. Ms. Brown’s topic, Finding Your Voice in the Workplace advocated for inclusion in the office and building environments where all kinds of talent feel welcomed. She defined and introduced the audience to the concept of “identity covering.” This is when an employee hides their true self in the workplace,”to lessen attention to a given characteristic. It's not about hiding something for untoward purposes, but downplaying pieces of your identity, such as race, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, to avoid feelings of anxiety, frustration, fear, or something else.” Brown discussed how prevalent identity covering is in the office space and its impact on the bottom line.

Brown lit a fire, and we 700 attendees, about 99% women, were amped and ready to kick exclusion in the butt! Up next was Ana Ines Mendy, Partner and Kevin Dolan, Senior Partner to discuss results from the McKinsey & Company: Women in the Workplace 2018 Survey. Do you know that feeling when your pants are a little tight and you know you need to drop a few pounds, but you’re not too concerned until you hop on the scale?! There’s nothing like seeing those numbers that forces you to face the truth about where you are and where you need to be. Seeing the results from McKinsey & Company was like seeing a 12 lbs. weight gain when you're only expecting 2!

“The Women in the Workplace 2018 survey is the largest comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. Since 2015, Leanin.Org and Mckinsey & Company have published this report annually to give companies and employees the information they need to advance and improve gender diversity within their organizations.” The good news is that the study found that gender diversity is not only the right thing to do, it is the profitable thing to do. Bottom line, companies that are diverse in their gender make up "financially outperform their non or less diverse competitors by 10%.”

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The future might be female, but according to the survey, for Women of Color the future is bleak. Mid presentation statistics like, “although women of color are more interested in getting promoted, they are less likely to be offered a higher position,“ were presented. As a woman of color, I felt a gut punch that left me breathless and grateful to be an entrepreneur. The weight of the numbers was physical. "Now what?" was the discussion at lunch.

We returned to hear the invigorating Leadership Speaker/Author Dr. Mary Kelly, Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy (ret). The WOTVS organizers must have sensed the data from the Women in the Workplace 2018 Survey was going to sting. Kelly’s topic was appropriately titled A.R.M.E.D: How to Attract, Recruit, Mentor, Evolve and Develop the next generation of leaders for corporations and associates. The Millennials are our future, literally - by 2020 they will make up 50% of the workforce and that number will jump to 75% by 2025. Maybe they will get it right.

Retired Race Car Driver turned Winemaker, Author and Fitness Enthusiast Danica Patrick was the final keynote speaker. In a fireside style interview with Susan Kostrzewa Wine Enthusiast Editor-in-Chief, Patrick’s echoing message was clear simple and effective, "YOU GOT THIS.” In addition to the speakers, there were breakout sessions including; Networking Skills with Peggy Noe Stevens, Peggy Noe Stevens and Associates. Stop Being Indispensable with Sarah Bettman, Constellation Brands. Why Supplier Diversity Is Good for Everyone, Heather Cox, Co-founder Certify My Company, Moderator - Panelists: Arnice Lamb (The Walt Disney Company), Kenyatta Lewis (MGM Resorts), Heather Manley (Crooked Water Spirits) and Amy Bourne (Marriott International), among other offerings.

WOVS 2019 Symposium also hosted two general session panels; Women Leading the Way featuring high profile women in business such as Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility, Caesar’s Entertainment, Robyn McBride of the McBride Sisters Wines and Stephanie Gallo, Chief Marketing Officer of E. & J. Gallo Winery, sharing their experiences and best practices. Of course you’d expect to see a panel of women such as these at a conference about women in the wine and spirits industry. What I did not expect was the session: The Power of the Male Ally: Engaging Men, Advancing Women. This all male panel of executives sought to explore strategies for male executives to increase gender diversity in the wine and spirits industry.

I applaud the WOVS for attempting to shake things up with a panel of men. What was missing in this gender inclusion talk was diversity. As a woman of color, I could not help but to wonder, “where are we?” Does gender inclusion mean making room for women of color, or is our industry satisfied with checking one box?

Despite the lack of racial diversity in the speaker line up and attendees, this conference gathered a tribe of participants who were there to advocate for change, for themselves and for women who do not look or think like them. Women who were generous with advice, contacts, and their time. We did not hold hands and sing kumbaya, but we women of all colors, abilities, and orientations openly acknowledged the gender, race, sex, disability inequalities. We were vulnerable, asked the tough questions - even when there was an attempt to silence - we stood up for ourselves and each other shouting, “you will hear us!” This is progress.

Other Women-Focused Wine & Spirits Conferences to Consider:

The Wonder Women of Wine (WWoW) is a brand-new two-day conference advocating for gender equality in the wine industry. The conference took place March 2019 in Austin, Texas. The WWoW conference is looking to affect change “through solution-based discussions, networking, and scholarship opportunities.” per their website.

Bâtonnage is a forum opening up a conversation about women in wine. "Bâtonnage is the brainchild of all those who identify as women working in all the different facets of the wine industry... even (especially) those who have traditionally been overlooked or spoken over. We strive to educate wine professionals as well as wine industry supporters on the unique challenges and opportunities that women in the field--winemakers, vineyard workers, writers and marketers, salespeople, sommeliers, collectors, and drinkers--have faced both historically and present-day. We simultaneously seek to propose pragmatic solutions for charting a positive, inclusive course forward." per their website.


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Being a #solopreneur takes lots of hard work and dedication. There was so much amazing energy from the speakers and entrepreneurs at the SoloCEO Summit! Sometimes all we need is to be amongst a network of great people who can inspire us or that we can inspire. Honored to have been invited to speak, looking forward to next year!




Tired of hosting the same kind of events and looking for something to make them different?

Shall We Wine also plans experiences for corporate events! We work with our corporate clients to create wine, beer and spirit-focused experiences. These experiences include: wine dinners, wine tastings, team building "cocktail" exercises and more!

Just some examples of the some themes we’ve hosted:

15 Wines for Under $15

Mixology Class

Bourbon Basics



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Here are the wines which were featured on Windy City Live:

Name: Iron Horse Vineyards
Female CEO: Joy Sterling, CEO
Origin: Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Wine: 2013 Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut (Sparkling)

Name: Yalumba Family Wines
Female Wine Maker: Chief Wine Maker Louisa Rose
Origin: South East Australia
Wine: 2018 Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay

Name: Inman Family Wines
Female Wine Maker: Kathleen Inman
Origin: Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley
Wine: Inman Family 2018 Endless Crush Rose

Name: Raymond Vineyards
Female Wine Maker: Stephanie Putnam
Origin: Napa, California
Wine: 2016 Raymond Vineyards Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet

Name: Theopolis Vineyards
Female Vintner: Theodora Lee
Origin: Mendocino County’s Yorkville Highlands
Wine: 2013 Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah






So you know us for our pop up events, but did you know that our consultants host mini pop-ups every weekend at your local wine shop and/or grocery stores? Next time you're tasting wine at Binny's, Whole Foods, Mariano's or your local wine shop, ask the consultant if they are with Shall We Wine.

Sounds like a fun gig? We are hiring wine and spirit enthusiasts! Send your resume to and follow the link (in photo) to apply.

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Learn, Drink, Repeat!
The Shall We Wine Team

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