Food & Drink

On Women’s Day, We Drink Wine! Here’s How to Join Us

Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia is hosting an international blind wine tasting with a surprise slate of women winemakers and certified sommelier Alison Christ, on March 8. Sign up here.

Illustration by Candice Lin

Feb 23, 2022

We’re hosting a wine tasting via Zoom for T+L readers in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on March 8, in honor of International Women’s Day! We’ve got a slate of women winemakers and a female certified somm (and our editor in chief is a woman, too), but everyone is invited to this delicious drinkfest. 

For much of winemaking history up to now, women have been a rarity in the cellar (the widow Cliquot notwithstanding), but boy was that dumb. Karen MacNeil, James Beard–award winner, TIME 100 honoree, and author of The Wine Bible, sums up the research as to why on her website WineSpeed:

  • Women have almost 50 percent more olfactory cells in their brains than men
  • Women tend to taste, smell, hear, see colors, and feel textures more accurately than men
  • And women of childbearing age taste flavors more intensely than younger or older females, and that sensitivity also increased during pregnancy
  • Compared to men, women can more readily increase their sensitivity to odors through practice. With six to 10 repeated exposures, women (of reproductive age), not men, increased their sensitivity to an odor by 1,000 to 10,000 times
  • Thirty-five percent of women in the world are believed to be supertasters (having up to four times more tastebuds than average), compared with 15 percent of men

Women have been crafting fantastic wine all over the world for generations and during this tasting we’re going to meet three badass female winemakers from Italy, while guided by a superstar certified sommelier, Alison Christ.

A native New Yorker who’s worked in wine around the globe, Alison founded a wine-centric lifestyle company, and has worked as an assistant winemaker. In KL, where she’s now based, she ran the wine program at the award-winning Troika Sky Dining. She’s a natural-wine evangelist, and is a great guide in tastings.

On March 8, 2022, please join Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia for a very special Women’s Day blind wine tasting with Alison Christ and three female winemakers.

The Zoom event is open to anyone in Bangkok (6:30pm local time), and Kuala Lumpur and Singapore (7:30pm local time). Just fill out this quick form to sign up and contact the distributor in your city! Prices include one delicious white and two high-end reds. Cin cin! 

How Does the Blind Wine Tasting Work?

You’ll receive three wines wrapped in foil, and numbered. Do not unwrap the foil! But do chill one of them as instructed.

Alison will lead us through tasting each bottle sequentially, using our senses of sight, smell and taste to try to figure out what the wine is and where it’s from. It’s a fun and open group chat, and everyone is invited to participate as much or as little as they want — no pressure!

Once we’ve decided on the wine, it’s time for the big reveal. As we unwrap the bottles, the winemakers themselves will join the call from their vineyards around the world, to share their insights and experiences, and to answer any juicy questions.

PS: If you want to take your wine education further, you’re not alone. Women now account for about half of the graduating classes from prestigious programs like the Institut des Sciences de la Vignes et du Vin at Bordeaux University and University of California at Davis’s viticulture and enology department, according to Bloomberg Quint.

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