Last week we held one of our favorite virtual wine events yet. We partnered up with celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager and Morgaen Hoxsey of Ghost Block Wine for an offbeat evening of sipping Napa Valley estate wines while learning the ins and outs of hair styling from a seasoned pro.
1. When it comes to wine – and style! – context is everything.
Some wines are perfect for sipping out of a Yeti tumbler on the beach, while others are meant to be decanted and savored. And neither scenario makes one wine superior to the other.
However, when we say, “context is everything,” we don’t mean that only certain wines are meant for certain situations – it’s actually all about what feels right, which can sometimes surprise you. An entry-level wine can be transcendental in the right setting, with the right people, the right music, the perfect lighting… Conversely, a 100-point wine may disappoint if you’re sampling it in a tense, unwelcoming situation.
In fact, if that $150 single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is what you want to be sipping by the pool in your red solo cup, and that $12 Pinot Grigio you got at the grocery store is your go-to dinner party wine, all that matters is that you like what’s in your glass at that moment.
Ditto for hair. In our session with Bridget, we learned that sometimes a sleek, streamlined, Red Carpet outfit ends up being too austere when partnered with an overly structured ‘do. But, sometimes that elegant coif is just what is needed to take a look from glam to shazam.
If you love what’s in your glass, and the mood feels right, then you are drinking the perfect wine for you. If your look makes you feel great, then you chose the right style for the moment.
2. Wine – and style – don’t need to be complicated to be elegant or memorable.
In our virtual event, Bridget demonstrated two looks that were relatively simple to execute: A fun, beachy wave, and a more elegant, structured curl achieved with an unexpected styling tool. This wasn’t hair origami, requiring extensive expertise or equipment. They were easy looks that had impact because they seemed effortless.
Sometimes, the simpler the better. We sipped Ghost Block’s 2020 MorgaenLee Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and it was packed with mouth-watering, juicy fresh fruit, some Sancerre-esque brininess, floral notes, and a pleasant backbone of crisp acidity. But it was by no means overly complicated. There was no heavy oak influence or funky elements. It was a bright, clean, layered wine that was perfect in its straightforward, quaffable appeal.
3. Wine – like a “look” – can easily transition from day to evening.
Bridget showed us how to take a beach wave from daytime to date night with some quick tricks and a few simple secret weapons (hint: bungee cords aren’t just for thrill-seekers, and a silk scrunchie is your friend).
Great wines can do the same thing. We tasted the 2019 Elizabeth Rose Chockablock, a tasty blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, which was juicy enough to pair with the messiest Jersey Mike’s Italian Sub, but complex enough to easily transition over to an elegant dinner wine.
4. Starting with high quality ingredients is important.
During the event, we had a dynamic conversation about the trend toward cleaner ingredients, organic components, and transparency when it comes to telling consumers what’s in the products they use and consume. Bridget shared with us that she is always seeking out wholesome, sustainable, or eco-friendly products, and prioritizes the minimal use of harmful chemicals and additives when it comes to providing the best options for her clients (who include the likes of Kate Bosworth, Sarah Paulsen, Millie Bobby Brown, Chris Pratt and more) and her family. She feels the same way when it comes to selecting wines.
Morgaen pointed out the use of 100% organically-farmed grapes in the wine we were sipping. Interestingly, the bottle also listed the ingredients in the wine, something that is uncommon in the wine industry, despite being required in most other packaged foods and beverages, as well as beauty products.
Just as high quality beauty products start with the best ingredients and minimal use of harsh chemicals, great wines start with healthy vines and quality fruit. The result? Often better wines, and healthier, easier-to-style hair.
5. Wine is meant to be fun and inclusive. There are no rules… including the ones above.
Most wine lovers would likely never think to pair the wines in their glass with various hairstyling options, but we went for it – and we had a blast. We met new people, we sipped, we belly laughed, and we learned a thing or two in the process.
The wine world can be a scary place – just as the world of celebrity style can be – and it’s easy to feel like we don’t belong or aren’t welcome. But by sipping some great wines and letting our hair down (pun intended), we can bring wine back to what it’s meant to be: a delicious product designed to bring pleasure, help us to connect with one-another, and spark conversation.
While we love to pair wines with cheese and charcuterie, not to mention gourmet cuisine, we also sip wine during so many other occasions – like while watching the Academy Awards and putting together our own “Best Dressed” lists. Or, while engaging in business conversations, taking in concerts, reading the new NY Times Best Seller, or simply relaxing after a yoga class.
Like pairing red wine with fish, and white wine with meat (which we approve of!), or throwing on sneakers with your elegant updo, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to enjoying a glass, and showing off your own style.
Got a favorite offbeat wine pairing? Let us know @joinmelier!