Welcome to Miami

Welcome to Miami

Everyone’s work experience is different but most industries including wine are overrun by men. but in Miami, they have women and incredibly inclusive groups of people, who are excited to show off a new side of Miami that not everyone gets to experience–but should. These women run the gamut from Nicole Hope curating natural wines at Hometown BBQ to Bianca Sanon and Veronica Slabicki, the two ladies helming the beverage program at Miami’s not-so-hidden gem, Boia De, and Karina Iglesias, the owner of Niu Kitchen who makes you want to bury your face in rice dishes then wash it down (and off) with bubbles. 

There’s something fermenting here in Magic City that’s worth traveling for. During my time here in Miami, I found a natural wine haven, a group of incredible women that are running the scene, and a bunch of culinary and hospitality geniuses that are bringing it all together. When I first arrived in Miami I was searching for all my favorite wines on lists because it reminds you of seeing an old friend on social media living their best life. It’s a wine that says, ‘Everything’s gonna be great’. What I found was more than great. I found familiar bottles, and with the help of Amy Atwood, Los Angeles’ longstanding natural wine distributor, partner in Future Gin, and all-around great human. I made actual friends too. I met Bianca through Amy and, just like that, I found myself meeting a bunch of new pals that shared a deep love for all things wine, food, and actual shine theory. The women I’ve met in Miami not only support one another in business but honestly want to see them shine bright.

I asked one of the coolest women I know, Veronica Slabicki about the women in Miami pioneering the way and, honesty, hearing her talk about them makes me want to just clap and yell “YES KWEEN!” while giving them all my money. Here’s what she had to say:

“There is no question that the Miami wine scene is led by women, and there are many worth noting. My two friends and mentors, Bianca Sanon and Karina Iglesias, have played a huge role in putting this city on the map. They have traveled both within the US and abroad to make sure people know we care about wine in Miami, and I am grateful to both of them for lifting everyone up. They are true leaders and have helped create a more nuanced image of Miami. What I love most about the women in the wine industry here, is that we support each other without pomp or pretense.”

As for what the future holds for natural and biodynamic wines, I asked Karina Iglesias what she thinks about it how it will play out in Miami. She shed light on the exposure given to the city by Isabelle Legeron, the founder of RAW, the now-ubiquitous natural wine fair. Iglesias emphasized the importance of Legeron bringing RAW to Miami for the first time this year and how big an influence it was for the community. Brining RAW to Miami helped solidify a sense of union and family in the natural wine community, which will allow them to continue to prosper.

My point here is book a ticket to Miami. Visit these women who are elevating Miami, support their businesses (because they’re delicious and you’ll contemplate moving just for them and their menus, and just feel inspired by them. Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing better than women, wine, and a lot of shine. 

Thanks for reading this piece on Miami. A shout out to all these incredible people including the importers and distributors in Florida who keep the fresh glou flowing!