FRONT PAGE NEWS
Theresa May joined the long list of politicians advised to do the inadvisable when she danced her way to the lectern before her conference speech last week.
It's pretty painful to watch, so if you've not seen it and are squeamish, it might be best avoided. But, politics aside, there's something quite enjoyable about someone happily making a complete tit of themselves.
Straka strikes again - Helen McGinn recommended our Blaufränkisch in her Knackered Mothers' Wine Club in The Daily Mail see here.
THE SISTER'S BROTHERS
Working in wine as a sister of brothers
by Rebecca @ The BIB Wine Company
In a recent article Caitlin Moran said "The luck of a woman with brothers is that she gets to be around boys, without being a girl. Girls are not girls to their brothers. And brothers are not men to their sisters." This is definitely true for me. I was just as likely to punch as be punched, just as likely to tie them up and lock them in a cupboard, and definitely more than comfortable bossing them around. And when they got older and stronger than me, I resorted to non-violent torment instead, easily making any of them cringe with talk of stuff like b**bs and p****ds (they’ll probably censor this out).
All of this has made me inherently not afraid of men. Not of the shouty boss who theatrically and repeatedly fired me in front of colleagues. Nor of the male dominated building sites I've worked on when, at best, you walk around all day with 'Beks loves it xxxx' penned on your hard hat (they'll probably censor this as well) and at worst, you face lewd and downright sexist comments like being told 'don't worry about it love, just take the meeting notes'.
None of this has ever worried me, because at home there was a balance. When we spend time together, we tend to revert to being children, teasing and laughing at a lifelong series of jokes about each other (not always appropriate in meetings). Never having knowingly shied away from a glass of wine, and with no fears of working in male dominated industries, joining forces with my brothers to start The BIB Wine Company seemed like a no brainer. It never even crossed my mind to consider what it meant to be a woman working in wine.
Like many industries, wine doesn’t have the greatest record when it comes to women. There are notable exceptions of course. One of the most famous is Madame Clicquot who, in the early 19th century, took over and transformed the Cliquot champagne house, and champagne in general. Historically, women who did manage to break through, had to work much harder to prove themselves and win the respect of their peers. In fact, in much of Europe it took centuries for women even to be allowed into wineries - mainly thanks to an old myth that a menstruating woman had the power to turn wine sour by her very presence (as well as blunt steel and kill bees!).
And then there are some fairly silly, or at least lazy, uses of gender in wine descriptions - like 'voluptuous' for ripe and fruity whites and 'masculine' for rich and powerful reds. Women winemakers are still outnumbered by 10:1, yet over 50% of regular wine drinkers are women. Which is something to consider next time you see a chardonnay described as ‘busty’.
Thankfully, more and more women have become successful winemakers, winery owners, writers, sommeliers and experts. Many of the most respected wine journalists are women, and female wine producers are making some exceptionally good wines (all kinds of wines, not just dainty, perfumed and flirtatious whites!).
And for my part, since starting the company, I have only met people excited by innovation, talent and collaboration regardless of gender. And anyway, I am safe in the knowledge that I have the protection of my merry band of brothers, who would stab someone in the eye for suggesting I ‘just take the meeting notes'.
... although, thinking about it, they seem to find it quite funny to say it themselves.