How many years have you been in the business? Tell me briefly about your background and your current position today.
Over the course of 15 years, I’ve had a lot of different hospitality jobs. I’ve been a bartender, line cook, freelance journalist, content editor in tech, and, most recently, staff editor for beverage publications. My previous post was at VinePair, where I was the editor in chief, and last November, I joined Wine Enthusiast as an associate managing editor.
Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?
Wine was always at the periphery of much of what I did, so when the opportunity arose for me to dig deeper into it, first in culinary school and then at VinePair, it felt like a natural progression.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The opportunity to work with people on their first bylines, and with writers who have different experiences and perspectives than my own.
Can you describe any prejudices you’ve experienced in this industry as a woman?
When I tended bars and worked in kitchens, sexism was pretty rampant. In media, in my experience, anyone who identifies as female and is visible on the Internet is held to much tougher standards than their male counterparts. It’s exhausting. That said, the prejudices I experience day to day are considerably less than what’s directed at women of color, queer people, and gender-non-conforming wine professionals.
Women are victims of the patriarchy as well, and often are more judgmental of other women as a result. How can we as women become more aware of our own prejudice towards each other and change that behavior?
There’s plenty of room for all of us so long as we make space for one another. If you find yourself harshly judging other women, take a look inward. What’s actually happening? Is this about someone else, or are you going through something you need to address internally? We’re all works in progress. Be accountable for your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward.
When it comes to wine, what benefits do you think we’ll see as a community by better supporting women?
I would be hard-pressed to think of any community that benefits from excluding people or diminishing their contributions. Supporting and engaging people who are marginalized in wine will culturally, creatively, and financially improve the industry.
What changes do you hope to see in regards to women in the wine industry in the next five years?
More intersectionality. I’d love to see women in wine elevating each other as well as other marginalized people in the field.
What message do you have for women entering the wine profession?
Welcome! If you ever want to talk, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?
I’m more interested in equity than equality. While it’s useful to have equal claims to assets and advantages, I think we have to ask: who decided who gets to dole out the assets and advantages?
In what ways would you say you are contributing to equality in wine?
My priority as an editor is to use that position to amplify others’ voices. There are so many stories to tell in food and beverage!
What are some defining characteristics of a wonder woman of wine to you?
Generous and open-minded.
What other women of wine do you admire and why?
Ah, so many! Regine Rousseau is one of the most intelligent and dynamic people I know, in wine or otherwise. Chasity Cooper has such a smart approach to wine tasting and writing. Nadea Mina is insightful about beverage and life. Jancis Robinson is an O.G. expert. Ashtin Berry has unparalleled perspective, her mind is always 17 steps ahead of everyone else. And my colleagues Lauren Buzzeo and Layla Schlack are inspiring people to work with every day. Despite knowing seemingly everything, they’re always eager to learn.