We see stories that seem impossible play out so often through various forms of media, whether it be books or movies, that the lines of reality start to blur when an impossible story turns out to be possible. Two sisters grew up for years on opposite sides of the world, but somehow both fell in love with the wine regions in which they were raised. Andrea was raised in New Zealand with her mother Pauline before she passed away from breast cancer. Robin on the other hand, was raised in Monterey, California (one of my favorite AVA's & also known for having the cleanest air in the United States). Both women had made it a point to make their mark in the winemaking industry-----an industry typically defined by gender & tradition, and, in some cases, race.
The birth of the McBride Sisters Collection happened as the result of the two young women connecting with each other in 2005. The McBride sisters had only one goal in mind and that was "to shake up the industry with a blend of old-world elegance and new-world finesse". That shake-up led to them becoming the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States. The brand places a huge focus on sustainability, accessibility (many of their wines can be purchased for $20 or less), inclusion, and social awareness. From the BLACK GIRL MAGIC line-up to the SHE-CAN wines, the sisters are providing wines that live up to the goal of fusing old world & new world elements.
With vineyards located in both New Zealand & California, the sisters are able to produce a range of varietals. Plus, they are able to break into two markets on different sides of the world. Though I've known about this producer for some time now, I had yet to see any of their wines breakthrough the Charlotte market. So I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon the bottle while perusing the shelves in Trader Joe's while grocery shopping. My inner wine head (or outer, however you'd like to view it) geeked out and put back all the fresh veggies, essential ingredients, and meal prep items in my cart on their respective shelves. I was foregoing a traditional dinner to have a huge cheese & charcuterie board to graze on with a friend! With plenty of leftover accoutrements for me to graze on throughout the week as I delved into their wine. The red blend from the Central Coast AVA is 67% Merlot & 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, and boy does that Merlot show beautifully. I mean nothing but vanilla, black forest cherry, and dark chocolate laced all throughout the nose that playfully intermingle with baking spices & softened tannins on the palate. It was gorgeous! The elegance of the wine felt very old world, but the fruit forward character vibed new world & acted as a showcase of the region in which it was produced.
I encourage you to give this producer a try to 1) experience some genuinely great juice and 2) support black businesses. There are not many of us in this particular field of work. We aren't quite at full on unicorn status, but close enough! The McBride Sisters have really outdone themselves in creating a brand that is approachable for newcomers to wine & a thrill for experienced wine enthusiasts like myself. And for only $20? What are you waiting for? Go buy some of their wine for the holidays and score some great deals while you're at it!
Check out their Wine Club: https://www.mcbridesisters.com/Wine-Club
AND while you're shopping, support other businesses: https://www.mcbridesisters.com/Blog
Distributors in NC: Mutual Dist./Johnson Brothers
Known Retailer(s) Charlotte, NC: Trader Joe's on Metropolitan Ave.
AVA = American Viticultural Area (a designated wine grape growing region in the US)