Table Wine gives back with wine fundraiser during Women’s History Month

Table Wine is celebrating women throughout March with a fundraiser for the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness.
two bottles of wine with others behind it
Courtesy of Molly Moran
Table Wine's featured wines this month, made by women winemakers, are part of a fundraiser for the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness.

Molly Moran, owner of Table Wine, has celebrated Women’s History Month at the shop with a “Women in Wine” tasting since March 2017. “It’s one of my absolute favorite events of the year,” she says. Last year’s event, held on March 13, was Table Wine’s last in-person event prior to the pandemic’s start. The tasting was “well-attended, which is a little scary,” Moran says. She remembers telling people that night that it would probably be the last event of the year.

Although there is no in-person tasting this month, Table Wine is celebrating women throughout the month with a fundraiser for the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, a nonprofit committed to eliminating health disparities and other barriers impacting the lives of Black women and girls. When people purchase a bottle of either Christina Grüner Veltliner or Belasco de Baquedano “Llama” Cabernet Franc — both made by “two younger women winemakers who are rock stars in their own regions,” Moran says — Table Wine will donate $1 for every bottle sold, with Moran also personally matching the donation.

Since opening the store in 2015, Moran knew that she wanted to focus on women in the wine industry. “It’s always been on my mind to amplify the voices that aren’t being heard,” she says. “And it has ramped up as I have gotten more committed to that. Customers have also showed up and been more supportive and it’s been a wonderful, organic growth in that way.”

The wine industry, much like the beer industry, continues to be male-dominated and Moran says there are many barriers to women getting into wine making, including the fact that land inheritances often go to sons and not daughters. “For many women the way that you get in is through restaurant work or bar work, and once you get in to the industry [there is the belief] that women can do marketing, communications or be the face of the winery,” Moran says. “There is definitely the belief that you can’t put the boots on and go out into the vineyard … there are some old-school beliefs about that stuff.”

She can canned wine in Table Wine

Table Wine’s owner, Molly Moran, has strived to feature women-led wines since she first opened her shop in 2015. “We recently started working with McBride sisters. Their wines are amazing and they are Black women in the industry which is even rarer to find,” Moran says. (Courtesy of Moran)

While she didn’t set out to own a “feminist wine shop,” Moran says, as a feminist, it has turned out that way. “Prior to 2016 I [felt like] I don’t need to be so overt in my own personal political feelings, let’s not rock the boat, I was a little of that ilk,” Moran says. “But after the election in 2016 I’m like, ‘oh I don’t care about rocking the boat. My boat just got rocked — I’m not going to hold back now.’”

While Moran has become more outspoken about the causes she cares about, she hopes Table Wine is a welcoming space for everyone. “I want everyone to want to come to Table Wine and learn about wine, I’m not trying to keep anyone out. But this is a safe space for people who might not feel space in other places,” she says.

In addition to this month’s fundraiser, Table Wine is also celebrating women this month with its new “women-led” category, including women winemakers, owners or leadership at the winery, which is now searchable on Table Wine’s website. While doing research and designating all of the women-led wineries, staff members realized just how many wines there were. “It’s hovering around 100 of the 350 wines that we have,” Moran says. “It’s exciting!”

Erica Krug is a Madison-based writer.

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