You know when you meet someone (or, more realistically, stumble upon someone’s Instagram or YouTube channel, let’s be honest) and you just instantly want to be their best friend?! That is exactly how I feel about these seven women. They’ve each created empires of their own in the beverage industry and also seem like they’d be really, really fun to have a drink with. I hope they serve as a little inspiration for you too! Talk about #squadgoals.
Marissa Ross – Los Angeles native Marissa Ross is a comedy writer-turned wine enthusiast who has risen to the top of wine reviewers. The winner of Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice for “Best Wine Coverage” at the 2015 Savuer Blog Awards, Marissa has used her wit and experience drinking wine to go on and become the Wine Editor at Bon Appetit. She has also been named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40, and has authored her own book titled Wine. All The Time.: The Casual Guide To Confident Drinking (which I nearly finished in one sitting!). Do yourself a favor and follow her on Instagram, her stories are gold!
Whitney Adams – Whitney is a writer, blogger, YouTube host and sommelier based in Los Angeles. Her passion for wine began on a trip to Italy, which she furthered by becoming a certified sommelier and working with chefs and restaurants back home in LA. Her YouTube channel, which has more than 36,000 followers, shares her (super approachable and very easily digestible) wine knowledge and humor in segments like “Alco-Haul” and “Drunk Dating Advice.” She is a winner of a Savuer Magazine Blog award and was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40. Be prepared to go down a YT rabbit hole the first time you check out her channel, it’s so good!
Marianne Barnes – Marianne Barnes is Kentucky Bourbon’s first Master Distiller. With an interest in math and science during high school, Marianne went on to pursue a job chemical engineering where she developed a passion for whiskey. After moving on to a position with Woodford Reserve, she was offered a job at a brand new distillery that would require her to build everything from the ground up, Castle & Key. Her lineup of gin, vodka, bourbon and rye are currently in production and will be released over the next few years. I can’t wait to go visit once the doors officially open.
Annie Lawless – Along with three other partners, Annie Lawless launched Suja Juice in San Diego, CA, which has quickly become “the fastest growing organic, cold pressed and non-GMO beverage company in the US.” Annie was disappointed with the lack of adequate organic juices on the market, and teamed up with other local San Diegans to bring a juice line to life. Using high pressure processing, they have created juice from non-GMO produce and are on a mission to improve lives through nutrition. The company was named second on Forbe’s list of Most Promising Companies in 2015. Not beverage industry-related but equally as badass, Annie recently launched an all natural and non-toxic beauty line called Lawless.
Deborah Longo – Deborah and her (then) husband Justin Baldwin founded JUSTIN Winery in 1981, which has grown to become one of the largest wineries on the Central Coast. As President of Baldwin Real Estate Corp, Deborah also handled all marketing and sales efforts of their winery. She has been a member of several Paso Robles wine boards, and was named Paso Roble’s Wine Industry “Person of the Year.” I can’t wait to see what Deborah does next, specifically multi-concept development projects in downtown Paso!
Christina Tosi – Christina is a chef, author, and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar, a bakery based in New York City that is a part of the Momofuku Group. The bakery now has 7 locations throughout New York, Toronto, and Washington DC, and has an international presence due to it’s successful e-commerce platform. Her innovative ideas have shaped dessert trends, such as her naked cakes and cereal milk ice cream. A two-time James Beard award winner, Christina is author of the books Momofuku Milk Bar and Milk Bar Life, and has appeared as a guest judge on Master Chef. Christina also just recently closed her first round of funding for Milk Bar and has plans to expand her e-commerce presence.
Named a 40 under 40 Tastemaker by Wine Enthusiast, Jordan is the Beverage Director for Momofuku Group (sensing a theme here?), a family of restaurants that have earned top markings for their wine programs. An entrepreneur as well, she founded her own “socially and environmentally conscious” wine company, Bellus. Each bottle comes with a PALA-TABLE that her company developed, geared towards breaking down the characteristics of a wine so consumers can have a better idea of the wine style. She has also released a successful canned product, Ramona, which is an organic grapefruit wine cooler.