Red w/a Side of Sass

Carol Shelton

Sass. Sassy. Saucy. Sassier. Sauciest. Noun or adjective, comparative or superlative, and no matter how you spell it, the meaning is the same: lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky. Now I know you'll find this super shocking, but at Pour Richard's, we're big fans of sass.

For example: Carol Shelton, the unapologetically sassy and truly awesome owner and winemaker of Carol Shelton Wines. Sass was de rigueur when Carol was starting out. She first developed her elevated sense of smell as a 6 year old in her mother's kitchen, and has worked as a winemaker since 1976. Do you know how incredibly few female winemakers there were in 1976? Practically none. Other sectors of the beverage business had-and still have-similarly disparate numbers. At my first position in wine sales, the VP who hired me was beside himself with self-congratulatory glee because he now had two female salespeople...on a staff of 53. (Fact: I am not 90, so that was ridiculous.)

Even now, approximately 10% of California's wines are made by female winemakers. Worldwide, that measly percentage actually goes down. Interesting...especially when 57% of wine purchases are made by women. And while numbers have risen more rapidly in other sectors, there is nothing even approaching parity. So when I can buy delicious beverages that also happen to support raising that percentage, I do. Which brings me back to Carol-she's pouring seven of her wines and signing bottles at the store from 2-5 PM this Saturday.

Carol makes amazing, supple, velvety, bodaciously delicious wines, equally perfect for pairing with summer cookouts or squirreling away for cold winter nights. She specializes in Zinfandel, but she also specializes in fun. She's not going to tell you what brix the grapes were harvested at-unless you want to know-but she will tell you tales of discovering old, neglected vines, seeking out the owners, and turning them into wine. Between the wines and the stories, it's a rollicking good time.

Her supporting cast for this tasting is Sheri Carl, co-owner of distributor Terroir Wines. For anyone who hasn't already met Sheri, she's pretty sassy herself. Cassie and I *probably* fit that category, too. We're calling this tasting Four Sassy Wine Wenches. We're thinking of getting T-shirts. We promise it will be fun.

Det's: Saturday, June 15, 2-5 PM. Tasting is free. 21+, please. Dog-friendly. All Carol Shelton wines at special discounts during this event.