As a wine professional, I have been active at wine press events in New York for the past five years. As a Latina, I always find the look of a Chef, a server, or a host starting the conversation with, “ Are you Latina?” “Si Señorita,” “Spicy,”. Yes, this still happens and is the worst way to start a conversation.
Ces Heredia wrote a piece about how we are still deduced to an outdated, incorrect stereotype of a Spicy Latina and wanted to share the valuable article to validate what we are stating. There are still a lot of stereotypes about Latinas. For instance, mass-produced wines think that Latinas only like sweet wines or prefer sweet cocktails. Moreover, marketing campaigns in the past had used an image of an outdated outfit of a Latina only interested in Spirits. At Latinas Wine Club, this stereotype of a Spicy Latina applies not only in the beverage and hospitality industry but to many spheres and moments. Even though we face these challenges with an empowered attitude, it is still very uncomfortable.
As food for thought, we wanted to open the conversation and speak about our uncomfortable moments during wine industry events, day or night jobs, and beyond. If you have any experiences, we would love to know and amplify this situation. Speaking up is not always easy, but starting to speak up about what happened is the only way to let go.
With wine education as the heart of our mission, we want to empower Latinas who love wine, wish to learn about the world of wine, or currently work in the wine industry. We are also responsible for bringing awareness that we, as a minority, still face many challenges while pursuing wine education or any education due to cultural clashes.