The Diva Grapevine; with Style and Charm, 10 Savvy Friends from Boston Are Changing the World of Women and Wine, One Glass at Time

By Starr, Mark | Newsweek, April 5, 2004 | Go to article overview

The Diva Grapevine; with Style and Charm, 10 Savvy Friends from Boston Are Changing the World of Women and Wine, One Glass at Time


Starr, Mark, Newsweek


Byline: Mark Starr

The dishes are sublime, from the salmon and caramelized onion dip that whets appetites to the classic caramel flan that caps the meal. So, too, is the dish, a veritable tour of sex and their city, from the surprise Vegas elopement by kids of famous parents to the senior-citizen couple spied smooching in the car. Still, the centerpiece of the recent festivities at a suburban Boston home is the drink. Stephanie Browne, the host of this month's wine-club gathering, has chosen five different Spanish vinos, served along with a four-page primer she produced on Spain's bodegas. The wine chat is both serious ("with a lot of Spanish wines, you can taste the cement") and silly ("friends don't let friends drink white zinfandel") and the evening is a raucous success. Browne, the club founder, notes that when they began wining together five years ago, their second tasting was Spanish wines. "I'd like to look at the notes handed out that night," she says, "just to see how far we've come."

They are 10 women of a certain age who call themselves Divas Uncorked, and in 1999, what they knew about wine was that it came in different colors--red, white and that other one--and that they enjoyed drinking it. So the Divas, all African-American professional women from the Boston area, decided to use wine as a social lubricant for their friendship, hosting monthly tastings at their homes. "We even thought we might build a wine cellar by putting away one bottle from each tasting," says Browne, an information-technology executive, "but we always wound up drinking it."

While they can talk fluently of "ripe currant and blackberry" flavors in the Rioja and hints of "peach blossoms, honeysuckle, green apples and tangerines" in the Albarino, they are decidedly and deliberately unpretentious. Browne describes the group as "wine savvy, not wine snobs." The priciest bottle at her Spanish supper retailed for an affordable $18. And the women don't go in for nuanced Robert Parker-style ratings. After sampling a wine, they simply hold up fingers--one to five--in judgment and move on. From their very first gathering, the highest praise a wine can garner remains "yummy."

They've educated themselves by country, grape, vintage and vintner, building up to bigger adventures like a group jaunt to the Napa Valley. Sending back a bottle of zinfandel at the legendary Chez Panisse in Berkeley marked a milestone. (The restaurant was charming about it.) As the club has aged, it has--just like fine wine-- opened up, resulting in even bigger taste sensations. Although the original group still meets for private celebrations, Divas Uncorked now has a public face, too. It stages wine dinners in Boston restaurants, helps sponsor and mentor a minority culinary student and maintains a Web site (divasuncorked.com) that provides both tips and terminology. And just last month, the Divas organized a daylong conference at a luxury hotel near the Boston waterfront. "Wine, Women and..." included nine seminars ranging from "Yin and Yang Repast" (wine and food pairings) to "Dazzling, Dramatic, Delicious!" (tabletop design) and ended with a sold-out dinner for 165 wanna-be divas of both sexes. "We've had so much fun with this," says Callie Crossley, a producer of the award-winning documentary "Eyes on the Prize," "that we decided it was time to expand the circle. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Diva Grapevine; with Style and Charm, 10 Savvy Friends from Boston Are Changing the World of Women and Wine, One Glass at Time
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.