Women Are the Driving Force Behind Philly’s Wine Renaissance

They’re why this beer town is suddenly so into wine.

phlly wine week opening corks

Photo courtesy of Philly Wine Week

This article is one part of our look at how women are reshaping Philly’s food scene. Read more here.

This is a beer town, first and foremost: We’ve got breweries and brewpubs out the wazoo, and an event — Philly Beer Week (now called Philly Loves Beer) — that was such a hit that other cities across the country replicated the concept.

So why is this beer town suddenly so into wine? The movement was ushered in with the help of Philly’s small but mighty crew of female wine pros, who are seeking out creative bottles, remaking lists, and dropping grape knowledge on anyone who’s interested. Etinosa Emokpae, Friday Saturday Sunday’s wine director, hosts “Natural Perspectives” at the bar every Sunday, pouring natural and biodynamic wines at super-approachable prices. A few blocks away, at the Love, Alexandra Cherniavsky is the unofficial spokesperson for Pennsylvania wine. Vanessa Wong’s Fishtown Social is the neighborhood’s go-to wine bar. Even way up in Port Richmond, Emily Kovach and company are stocking spontaneously fermented gamays at Tinys, the bottle shop attached to one of the best wine bars in Philly, the Lunar Inn.

Philly Wine Week is coming up on its seventh year. It’s run almost entirely by women (Jill Weber, Sande Friedman, Chloé Grigri, Kate Moroney Miller, Kaitlyn Caruke, and local food writer Lari Robling). And you better believe it’s giving Philly Beer Week a run for its money.

Published as part of the “Women Are the Future of Philly’s Food Scene” feature in the January 2020 issue of Philadelphia magazine.