women's alchemy of wine

Until recently, it was the man who decided in a restaurant which wine to choose. It was to him that the waiter poured them into a glass so that he could check and make a final decision. Today, those days are thankfully passing. It’s up to the women to decide and choose for themselves what they will drink for dinner. More and more of them are also choosing to become sommeliers, or rather, sommeliers. What does a woman’s wine alchemy look like? Check it out for yourself!


what does the woman feel?

In the world of wine producers, women are doing better and better. Their position is more firmly established, among others. thanks to the Italian association Le Donne del Vino, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. The successes of women at the Polish Sommelier Championships are also becoming more and more famous, and the International Women and World Wine Competition in Monaco is very popular. However, the presence of the fair sex in an industry previously dominated by men should not surprise anyone. Research at the Yale School of Medicine and the Clinical Smell and Taste Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania, found that women have a better sense of smell and taste than men. Although the art of winemaking is not racing, women are quicker to recognize aroma and more efficient in distinguishing the palette of flavor nuances. Women also make up 65% of the group referred to as “supertasters” – people capable of sensory insight. “In most cases, even if men pay for the purchases, the wines are chosen by women,” says Monika Bielka-Vescovi, founder of the Sommelier School. 

profession: sommelier

Anna Botting has been appointed head sommelier at London’s Murano restaurant, which is located in Covent Garden, an area known for its meetings of artists, musicians and art-related people. Her story began in Poland, where she studied sociology at the University of Szczecin, while honing her oenological knowledge aboard luxury ships. She has lived in Italy, France and Spain, in each country learning about different types of wines and grape varietals. Anna’s knowledge and “nose” have been recognized at top British restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where she worked. Anna has excellent credentials, and her enthusiasm for fine wine is contagious.

women's alchemy of wine
A cheese board and wine is the perfect recipe for a Sunday picnic in nature.

With wine in the trunk

There is another specialist living in London. She is Ruth Spivey. After 10 years of traversing the world as a model, Ruth embarked on a career as a sommelier, starting work at places like the Anthony Demetre and Will Smith-managed Arbutus and Wild Honey restaurants. At the time of the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) exams, she was associated with independent wine sales in the trade and procurement department. In 2013, Ruth entered the market as an independent retailer and founded the Flight Club tasting nightclub and Street Vin wine bar. At the same time, she started the gaining popularity of wine tasting in the trunk (Wine Car Boot). Held twice a year, the event serves to promote London’s independent producers. The secret of Ruth’s success is accessibility “I always try to use simple language and avoid professional vocabulary and tasting notes. It’s all based on the sensation of taste and smell, but unfortunately not everyone can immediately recognize and name them.” The British woman also consults on wine lists at Rotorino, an Italian restaurant in Dalston owned by Stevie Parle, and at his newly opened CRAFT restaurant in London. 

Grafted love

Stephanie Jordan’s parents were in the wine and spirits trade. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – Stephani has also become an expert in this field, gaining experience around the world. She obtained her WSET qualification while studying in Lyon, where she simultaneously worked at the prestigious Burgundy Wine Festival. After studying in France, Stephanie studied the oenology of Indian wines in New Delhi. In 2009, she began working with Diageo, a premium spirits producer, where she started as a young talent, being the beneficiary of a European graduate program. The company introduced her to production at the Zacapa plant in Guatemala, Don Julio in Mexico and Katel One in the Netherlands. The quality and heritage of Tranqueray gin, produced by Diageo, has rekindled Stephanie’s love of the strong drink and its history, securing her current position as Global Brand Ambassador for Tanqueray.

women's alchemy of wine
Many wineries offer on-site wine tasting.

Wine in the spotlight

Julia Oudell grew up in the picturesque town of Pau, France. At the restaurant and hotel that her parents ran, she tried and learned new flavors of wines and dishes. A summer job in a family business gave her experience and insight into how the industry works. In 2009, Julia was awarded the title of best student in France in the field of Sommelier, which gave her the opportunity to work in top restaurants. He currently oversees wine selection at Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in London and at Experimental Beach in Ibiza. Julia meets the expectations of her customers – she often spends time at the wine bar and asks guests about their preferences to help them choose. CVS also offers good quality wines from independent producers, which Julia finds as she travels around France and beyond. The Frenchwoman stresses that every day is different for her, but wherever in the world she happens to be, her life revolves around one thing – wine. 

The strength is in the gentleness

Increasingly, women are choosing to work in the wine industry for the obvious benefit of the industry. “We care about wine like a child, we don’t care as much as men about competing, taking part in competitions, medals and honors. Anyway, I always prefer wine to seduce me, not just show strength,” is how Delia Viader sees the differences in how men and women view wine.


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