This month, Striker chatted with Rebekah Pineda of Domestique Wine. Headquartered in DC, they are one of Wine Enthusiast’s “top five natural wine shops in America.” Let’s see what we can all learn from how Domestique is building their brand!
Natural wine has some amazing Labels! but some can be a bit risque, do you think any of them ever go too far? or too sexualized?
Interesting question. I am sure there are tons of labels with images that rely on stereotypes and symbolism to sell wine, but I don’t think this is something specific to natural wine or wine in general. Think Aunt Jemima or Chiquita Bananas. In art school, I studied the Virgin of Guadalupe for two years and contemporary representations of her that really pissed people off…but these controversial images were actually being used by Chicana women to reclaim power that dated back to the 18th century. Imagery is very powerful and impactful. For me simplifying it to ‘sexualized’ doesn’t really address the issue. Really, what we are talking about is an imbalance of power. So long answer to your question, no I don’t have issues with sexual images on wine labels or expressing sexual freedom in any way, but when there is an unequal power balance then those aren’t labels I like to sell or carry.
I have $40 in my pocket, I need an amazing natural wine and dinner combo, what’s your choice?
I love, love, love, beans. They are incredibly cheap and delicious. Right now I like the Iacopi Farms Gigante bean sprouted with a little kombu and olive oil…and some aleppo pepper. I don’t really do many ‘pairings’ at home, but the Capriades Pet Sec would be awesome. Both are delicate, subtle flavor profiles. umami (beans) vs. floral salinity (pet sec).
You get to enact a law that bans someone from asking this question to women in wine. What’s that question and why?
Oh gosh, I am not a law person.
What I like about Domestique is that it’s an experience for everyone, beyond just a purchase. How can traditional wine establishments create actual experiences for their customers?
Tons of ways! I think restaurants do this really well. When Jeff Segal opened the shop, he really thought about this when designing the physical space. There is a nice place to sit for anyone to wait for their friends and many time parents to finish shopping. It immediately sent a message that this isn’t just a transactional space and it’s ok to talk about beans, bikes or offensive labels at Domestique.
Design matters: make the bathroom beautiful, give people a place to sit, and don’t hide the prices.
As we move post Covid- where would you like to see Domestique go in 2021?
Well! I have recently moved to Sunset Park in Brooklyn, NY and now split my time between working for Domestique’s partner, wine importer Selection Massale and only doing content (web, IG, newsletters) for Domestique. So I have tons of plans and ideas! More videos, a broader reach, lots of support for young producers, and hopeful time in France!
Be sure to follow Domestique on Insta, where they do a great job balancing expertise, delight, and personality. *chef’s kiss*