What Women Want Out of Their Wine: The Results from Our First Girls' Wine Night, Featuring Wine from Four Chicago Wine Shops

Note to Self: Don’t serve Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc before a tasting. That cat’s-pee smell stays in the glass.

Note to Chicago Wine Stores: Women want more from their wine. We’re ready and willing to go beyond the sparkling, the white, and the rosé.

Last Friday, I hosted the first of (hopefully) many She Sips Girls’ Wine Nights. Seven friends and I tasted the “Girls’ Night Picks” from the four local wine shops that we’ve reviewed since this blog’s debut on May 22.

Before I get into the results, here’s the list of stores and bottles, including links to our original reviews, where you can find links to their websites and more information about each shop:

Fine Wine Brokers (2008 Dubaril Gamay Romand, $12.95)

Provenance Food and Wine (Dibon Cava Brut Reserve, $11.99)

Cellar Rat (2008 Domaine de la Petite Cassagne, $11.99)

Que Syrah Fine Wines (2008 Vin du Lac Sauvignon Blanc, $14.95)

Thanks to all of these stores for their picks–and thanks to my friends for their tasting notes.

The Results

1st place: Vin du Lac Sauvignon Blanc

Average Verdict: Buy a bottle
All-About It: “Smooth with a nice finish. Cool and refreshing.”
Dissin’ It: “Doesn’t taste like a Sav Blanc more like an unoaked Chard.”

2nd place: Dubaril Gamay Romand

Average Verdict: Buy a bottle
All-About It: “Delicious. Very drinkable. Not too sweet.”
Dissin’ It: “Still lacking any flavor.”

3rd place: Domaine de la Petite Cassagne
Average Verdict: Have a glass
All-About It: “Easy and enjoyable.”
Dissin’ It: “Goes flat in my mouth.”

4th place: Dibon Cava Brut Reserve
Average Verdict: Have a glass
All-About It: “A perfect summer, sitting outside, not-worrying-about-food kind of wine.”
Dissin’ It: “You have to work hard to get any taste out of this.”

What Women Want Out of Their Wine

In sum, my friends were disappointed in the picks. They wanted more flavor, more robust wines. They felt these bottles were too stereotypical. They felt labeled as wine-cooler drinkers.

As Lisa said, “They should give us credit for wanting to drink more than Bartles and James.”

I don’t think any of these wines deserve that label. They were light and refreshing, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, especially when you plan to drink lots of them. I also believe that any of these wines tasted alone would have been hits. Comparing wines is difficult, especially tasting them back to back.

It’s probably my fault for serving that Kim Crawford, since none of the wines stacked up to it flavor wise. He Sips even told me that tasting outside was also a bad idea, but I did it anyway.

Next time, I’ll listen.

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