Let it Be: Wine, Women & Song at Laissez Faire

Women are the wind behind the natural wine movement, and their efforts will be on offer at Laissez-Faire, a natural wine social in DC this Saturday. Organizers Pineapple Collaborative and Please Bring Chips hope the day makes natural wine more accessible and understandable – and WineGame, the first blind-tasting game for your phone, will be there to further the cause.

Call it natural, biodynamic, organic or sustainable – there are no regulations for putting any of these claims on a label, but that is a story for another post – in practice it is wine made as the Romans did, with little intervention. That means leaving additives, chemicals and basically anything ending in –cide out of the equation, both in the vineyard and in the bottle. Letting the grapes and the sugar do their biz in the barrel.

Event sponsor Pineapple Collaborative celebrates women in food and beverage, highlighting their contribution and inciting convo around feminism and food. Pineapple has been hosting natural wine events since 2017; an initial discussion featured BonAppetit magazine’s wine editor Marissa Ross, herself a champion of natural wine.

“There are no natural wine fairs in the DC area so this was a response to that, to galvanize the burgeoning natural wine community here in restaurants, bars and shops as well as vineyards in the region,” says Pineapple founder Ariel Pasternak.

“There are so many women making it available and accessible and making it fun. That’s been the problem with wine for so long, people feel they have to be a connoisseur – but we’re saying no, just be curious, get to know the producer, the story.”

Felicia Colbert, sommelier at A Rake’s Progress at the Line DC, will host an all-natural WineGame at the corner booth throughout the day. Players will have the opportunity to answer multiple-choice questions pinpointing the grape, country, region and vintage/label of each pick. Points are scored on each question and tallied on a running leaderboard to accentuate the competition. Tips and trivia in app up the educational quotient in game.

Besides learning from WineGame, players can meet producers and distributors, on hand to tell their unique stories and share their wine. Because in the end, that is what differentiates them from many big producers – values and transparency.

“Quality is not just a Wine Spectator score, but: how is this made? How is the land treated? That measures quality,” says Pasternak. “Consumers want to purchase and consume things in line with their values that have a great story, and natural wine is in line with that.”

Visit Laissez-Faire from 2-7 p.m. Saturday June 30, 2018, in a pop-up gallery at 1402 H St NE, Washington, DC. Tickets HERE.