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The Secret Ingredient Behind These Wine Brands: Mama

Wine entrepreneurs—including one King of Comedy—share how their mothers have impacted their career.

When my wine journey began six years ago, I remember my mom being surprised that I had become so fascinated with fermented grape juice. It seemed a bit out of the ordinary to her at first—wine wasn’t a dinner table staple in our household growing up. But as good mothers do, she supported her child’s endeavors.

Are you sure?” I recall her asking me. But that doubt didn’t last long. Years later she’d tell me, “As you started to learn more about it, I could see the excitement and enjoyment you had for it, and I knew you had found your niche.”

As I went on to make strides in the wine world, like earning my WSET Level 3, not only did she take note of the increasing skill and knowledge, she also acknowledged the challenges I overcame along the way. “You’ve always been a go-getter,” she once told me. “You’ve learned to deal with disappointments and failure, and not to let them take away from your enthusiasm, which is such a joy to see.”

Courtesy of Chasity Cooper
Courtesy of Chasity Cooper

And, in typical mom fashion, she constantly tells me: “Wine and Chasity are the best blend I’ve had the pleasure to experience.”

No matter how old we get, the support and encouragement from a mom, stepmom, grandma, auntie or any mother-like figure will forever reign supreme. Here are stories from two other women in wine and a “King of Comedy” who are also aiming to honor their number one fan: mama.

Celebrating Legacy 

Over the last decade, Chicago wine professional Chrishon Lampley has worked hard to cement her space within the wine industry, ensuring that as her company Love Cork Screw grows, it also continues to be enjoyed by wine lovers at all stages.

And that dedication has paid off. Love Cork Screw recently reached a milestone of one million bottles sold and is now distributed nationwide. But in true Lampley fashion, as she puts it, her work is far from finished. “The Lampley Reserve Collection was the next natural step for me,” she says. “I can’t think of a better way to carry on my family’s legacy than by naming this very special reserve collection after the family that shaped me into the woman I am today.”

Celebrating family and Black heritage, Lampley launched this collection with a wine that honors the matriarch of her family—her mom. Lampley describes her mom as “bright, effervescent and full of personality,” so it was only natural that the first wine in the Reserve Collection be a sparkling wine.

Pictured: Chrishon Lampley and her mother. Courtesy of Chrishon Lampley.
Courtesy of Chrishon Lampley.

The bottle label features a photo of Lampley’s mother looking over her shoulder in a beautiful white dress. The wine, which is composed of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varietals from California’s North Coast, is a demi-sec with a cascade of pronounced tropical notes on the nose and palate, while still maintaining a fresh, clean finish.

Lampley shares that the most important lesson her mother has taught her was to never give up. “No matter the odds, the setbacks or failures, my mom always encouraged me to keep going,” she says. “She modeled this resilience growing up and has always been there to give me a pep talk when the challenges, at times, have seemed insurmountable.”

A Touch Of Class

Known for making audiences worldwide laugh until their sides ache, Cedric the Entertainer’s love for wine commenced from a place of genuine curiosity. “Performing and traveling around the world,” he shared via email, “you get introduced to different wines by people who understand what the wines are, and that’s where I started to get interested.”

After a trip to Napa Valley three years ago, he connected with Ian Devereux White, co-founder of Smith Devereux Winery in Napa Valley, and expressed wanting to create a wine that he could share with friends and family, and pair with meals. “I wanted something diverse and boisterous,” Cedric shares. “Something to enjoy at lively dinner parties and social gatherings, creating a festive energy with laughter and love.”

Enter paying homage to his mother.

Courtesy of Cedric the Entertainer

 

The wine ZETTA, which is a classic Napa red blend, is a tribute to Cedric’s mom, the late Rosetta Boyce Kyles. Paying homage to his mother’s career as a reading specialist and passionate educator for over 30 years, ten percent of proceeds from his wine sales  support the RedRoseReads Foundation, a non-profit organization that facilitates literacy programs across the United States.

Courtesy of Cedric the Entertainer

Cedric adds: “One of my mom’s indelible quotes was, ‘Go forth and do great things!’ But when she would enjoy her glass of wine before bed, she would always say, ‘We toast our glass with a touch of class.’”

One In A Million

Kristin Taylor remembers her mom introducing her to the world of wine as a kid. An avid traveler, she remembers her mom bringing back beautiful bottles from all over the world. “I was never allowed to touch them, but they were displayed right in our kitchen, so I passed by them every day with wonder,” she recalls.

Years later, when Taylor went off to college, her mom gave her a special gift. “The bottle was a $20 Cabernet Sauvignon, which seemed very fancy to me at the time,” says Taylor. “I remember she told me that Cab Sauv is always safe to order. Whether I’m networking or hanging out with girlfriends, this was an easy go-to. I don’t know if she realized it, but that bottle would be a pivotal moment in my life that I would never forget.”

Partnering with tech entrepreneur Macie Mincey and head winemaker Brian Kosi, Taylor launched KT Winery in 2021. The brand has a MOM Juice line that consists of Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon; the grapes were grown in the Carneros region of Sonoma County and Lake County, respectively.

Pictured: Kristin Taylor and her mother. Courtesy of Kristin Taylor.
Pictured: Taylor’s mother as Lieutenant Commander. Courtesy of Kristin Taylor.

Taylor says one of the biggest lessons her mother has taught her is to be kind, something that has been extremely helpful as she builds her business and manages her team. “My mom makes a conscious effort to treat everyone through the lens that we’re all doing our best, and I think that’s admirable,” she says.

A former Lieutenant Commander, Ph.D. graduate, and most recently, a breast cancer survivor,  her mom’s resilience, perseverance, and grace is something that continues to inspire Taylor. “So, when you drink MOM Juice, let it be a reminder that you’re doing your best and to be kind to yourself,” Taylor says. “You deserve this.”

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