“Join” us for a virtual wine tasting

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“Join” us for a virtual wine tasting

Categories: Blog, Get Involved, Give, News

By popular demand, we’re hosting a second Vine to Online on June 12! Register now at ywcadayton.org/vine.

Grab a glass, grab a (socially distant!) friend, and “join” us April 17 for our first-ever virtual fundraiser: Vine to Online, a virtual wine tasting to support YWCA Dayton. Hosted by Tender Mercy sommelier Lauren Gay, we’ll join together in a Zoom video chat where Lauren will expertly walk us through three specially-curated wine tastings from woman-led wineries. Following each tasting, you will be transitioned to a private chat with just your friends to enjoy your vino and catch up with socially-distanced friends.

As an essential nonprofit, YWCA Dayton continues to remain open and available 24/7/365 to shelter and serve the most vulnerable among us: survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking; women transitioning out of homelessness; and women in need of safe, supportive housing. Your support ensures these critical safety nets continue, uninterrupted.

Gay has worked as a beverage professional for more than a decade, focusing on wine in particular since 2014 and holds a Level 1 through the Court of Master Sommeliers. (The program rises to a Level 4, which only 172 people have achieved. Of those, only 16 percent are women.) She cites gender equality, prevention of violence against women, and access to healthcare as missions that she feels passionately about, inspiring her to work on this event. “YWCA has been championing these causes for well over a century,” she notes.

Two ticket options are available, and both include an entry into the evening’s wine raffle:

  • $100 (Individual Package) – Includes (3) 3 oz. tasting bottles + 3 full corresponding bottles
  • $110 (Couples Package) – Includes two sets of (3) 3 oz. tasting bottles + 3 full corresponding bottles

“Wine is a time capsule. It is a living thing. It is a political statement. It is a reflection of a people and a culture. It is an agriculture product. It is a combination of science, nature, and art. It is influenced by geography, culture, and business. To study wine is to study all of those things. To drink wine is to partake in this long, rich history — one that extends as far back as civilization, one that may have been a driving force behind civilization itself,” Gay said.

A 2015 survey from Santa Clara University notes that 10% of lead winemakers at California’s 3,400 wineries are female. Another 2015 academic study reported only 15% of lead winemakers nationwide were women. However, those numbers are growing.

The three producers that will be featured during Vine to Online all have female winemakers and focus on organic, biodynamic, natural, and/or sustainable wines that have little environmental impact. These wineries were chosen not just for these qualities, but because they are innovative, experimental, push the forefront of the wine industry, and create consistent and delicious wines. Included will be Old Westminster Winery (Westminster, Maryland), Day Wines (Willamette Valley, Oregon), and Maz Caz (Rhône Valley, France).

“We wanted this experience to be a celebration of women, but also to push people a bit outside of what they might normally gravitate towards in wine,” Gay said. “Expect to try some wines that are interesting and exciting.”

$30 from each ticket benefits YWCA Dayton. Register at www.ywcadayton.org/vine by April 10. Make sure that you and your friends use the same group name when registering; if you are signing up on your own, you will be placed in a group with new friends.

“Everybody in the world is struggling in some way right now,” Gay said. “However, some members of our community have been utterly destroyed by COVID-19, losing their jobs, healthcare, and even homes. While some of us might be trying to manage tight finances, we shouldn’t lose sight of how we can be helping others that are struggling more than we are. Dayton has shown time and time again that we are a tight community that lifts each other up. YWCA hasn’t given up on their fight during these trying times, and we as a city need to support them on their mission however we can.”

Marshall Weil, director of development at YWCA Dayton, said this event also allows YW to support a local small business during a particularly challenging time. “Tender Mercy opened its doors three days before the statewide restaurant closure. The YW needed continued support from our amazing community, Tender Mercy needed to keep doing business to provide for their brand-new staff as long as possible, and individuals need some kind of structure to maintain their social lives while we are physically distant. This event gives us the perfect trifecta of helping the YW, helping small businesses – several that are women-owned – and providing something in turn for the community that so generously provides for us.”

What is Gay’s advice to prepare for this event? Clean and get comfortable. She recommends making sure your glasses are clean; don’t surround  yourself with heavy scents, like candles or perfumes; and enjoy: “This should be the best guided wine experience ever. You get to interact with your friends, drink wine, and do it from the comfort of your own home. Expect some delicious, unique wines. Expect me to mispronounce anything that is in French. Expect to learn a few new things. Expect some surprise guests. Expect to spend the evening catching up with friends. And expect to leave the tasting with a new favorite wine or two!”

Visit our YouTube channel for a behind-the-scenes look at Vine to Online preparations and how we’re making sure your wine is safe and sanitized before it gets to you.