Forget ladies’ night. If you want to have a drink in support of women and to celebrate Women’s History Month with wine this March, start by drinking quality bottlings made by female winemakers. From wine tastings and paired dinners to monthly showcases and annual special menus, these venues put female-made selections front and center.
A16 | San Francisco
Each spring for the past 13 years, James Beard Award-winning sommelier and owner Shelley Lindgren has invited Italian female winemakers to gather and pour their wines for a fabulous evening. This year’s event is scheduled for March 8, which is also International Women’s Day, or Festa della Donna in Italy. Proceeds from the event go to La Cocina, which benefits low-income entrepreneurs that are primarily female.
Alcove | Boston
A newcomer to the Lovejoy Wharf, this restaurant has a dedicated space for women on its wine menu. Aptly classified as “Pantsuit/Ladies We Love,” it features up to six bottles from female winemakers. Among them is Kate Norris of Division Wine Co. in Portland, Oregon, who produces a private label for the restaurant.
Brass Heart | Chicago
This uptown restaurant features both seasonal and vegan tasting menus crafted by Chef Matt Kerney, formerly of Longman & Eagle. To pair with each spread, Beverage Director Sarah Traynor crafts a wine list devoted to small producers, but especially female winemakers. Traynor believes that female winemakers are often overlooked, so she seeks to provide a spotlight.
Ruffian Wine Bar & Chef’s Table | New York City
In June, natural wine geeks should head to this East Village venue for its annual Women Winemaker Month, during which the by-the-glass list is composed of only female-made wines. Selections come from all over the world, including regions like Georgia, Croatia and Hungary.
Little Donkey, Coppa, Toro Boston | Boston
September is when these sister restaurants add a section solely featuring bottles from female producers to their menus. Also, as part of their Vino Veritas: Truths About Wine educational series, Jodie Battles, beverage director of JK Food Group, hosts a class and tasting on the second Thursday of each month. Featured wines are noted on the menus throughout the month and recent subjects include pét-nats and wines from islands.
The Riddler | San Francisco
Along with its team and investors led by women, this Champagne bar usually has a dedicated section of “fierce females” on its by-the-glass list. It also hosts bimonthly tasting events that honor women in wine, like Madame Clicquot (who invented riddling) for Veuve Clicquot’s 200th anniversary, as well as Samantha Sheehan of Mommenpop Vermouth and Poe Wines, and Faith Armstrong Foster of Onward Wines.
Vinatería | New York City
From a collaboration dinner born at the Harlem Eat Up neighborhood food festival, Vinateria’s monthly Uptown Girls Dinner Series features a female-led supergroup of chefs, sommeliers and industry experts. February’s dinner will be headlined by Chef Elizabeth Falkner, while past events have included cameos from Top Chef finalist Adrienne Cheatham, Tuscan winemaker Caterina Sacchet of Carpineto, and Argentinean winemaker Erika Goulart, owner of Bodega Goulart.