In Steve Heimoff’s story, called Beyond blogging, he talks about fellow blogger Jeff LeFevre of Good Grape. Steve wrote:

I was glad to see that Jeff LeFevre, the author of Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto wine blog, now is writing an column for This is a big step for Jeff, whom I’ve come to know through the tight little world of blogging, and I congratulate him. His first post was to introduce Forbes readers to what he calls “the best of the best” of wine blogs, and I’m pleased to say he included

Being naturally curious, I skimmed Jeff’s favorites, looking for that one glimmer of hope that he’d be turned on by at least one woman:


It seems that we creatures primarily write for our own gender, and is no doubt the reason that some clever women have successfully written with a male pseudonym, from time to time.

  • Mary Ann Evans wrote as George Eliot
  • Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë published under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, respectively
  • Most recently, women are using initials, the most famous of whom we know as J. K. Rowling.

After seeing Steve’s blog, I told my husband/partner Jose, I’ve got to write a similar story and call it “Living.”

“Living?” he asked.

“Yeah, living… you know, we’re living over here, too. We’re always in the ‘Living’ section of a newspaper. We get to write about the heart and soul of family matters (and politics), new fashions (and socialnomics), home decorating (and architecture), family cooking (and biochemistry) craft projects (and non-profits)… And for me and many others, wine.

Jose’s light bulb went on, and he said, “Oh… like Martha Stewart Living.” Yeah… he got it. I knew he would. He adores women the way I adore men.

And so, thanks for a great idea, Jeff, through my dear friend Steve, whom I also greatly admire as an author. I’m going to take on four women of grace and style, who are blogging and have sites that really matter.

[Left to right: Megan Kenney, Sondra Barrett, PhD, Alana Gentry, Gwendolyn Alley (and her son)]

  • Megan Kenney ~ Heart ~ Wannabe Wino, aka Sonadora
    • Megan mostly writes about wines that she’s just tasted. Before she had her daughter, she was very proud to have been publishing every single day. Obviously, a baby is a game (and diaper) changer; however, Sonadora is still keeping up. Her iconic images of wines bottles is her rustic charm. Her descriptors are informational and inspire her Millennial audience. She’s got a solid, loyal fan base, and is bringing a lot of new people into the world of wine as enthusiasts. They’ll grow with her.
  • Sondra Barrett, PhD~ Soul ~
    • Sondra is going to challenge your way of thinking, most especially if you have a scientific mind, because she discusses wine’s soul. “What?” you might ask. “How can wine have soul? It’s doesn’t have consciousness!” Notice the PhD behind Sondra’s name? She’s a biochemist, cancer researcher, and has also looked into the living, microscopic cellular* structure of wine. You need to read Wine’s Hidden Beauty. Let’s review how all of us, men and women, talk about that wine is a living beverage… how it continues to evolve in a bottle, how it ages – like we all do – and then how it’s light goes out – like ours does. If you believe in God, you should believe what Sondra’s discovered.
    • *EDIT FROM SONDRA: One exception to the description of my look into wine – it’s not cellular, it’s molecular. What I capture are the molecular collaborations changing with life (and death) of wine. And in keeping with your placement of me with the soul of wine – some scientists including Nobel prize winner Christian de Duve suggest that we have life because of molecules – molecules evolved so that they were able to contain life, as if they have a consciousness.
  • Alana Gentry ~ Mind ~ girl with a glass
    • Don’t be fooled by Alana’s seemingly girl-next-door look… that she’s all sugar and cream, lighthearted and not to be taken seriously, because you think she’s a girly girl. She’s a full blown woman with serious credentials and a passion for writing that gets to the bottom of most details. Recently, she wrote an amazing story that she shared, before sending it to an editor. It was brilliantly written; however, the editor sent it back, rejected because he was looking for something exactly as he would have written it… And that would have been a bit juvenile, just from my own observations. Rewriting it would have compromised the integrity of it, which she later publish as originally written. Her mind is brilliant; so is what she writes.
  • Gwendolyn Alley ~ Body ~ Wine Predator, Art Predator, Biker Go Gal, Compassionate Rebel, The Write Aley, and Whisper Down The Write Alley (Yeah, she’s that prolific.)
    • Gwendolyn, like the others, is in a class by herself. We shared 10 days in Portugal, so we bonded in ways that neither of us anticipated. I love watching all that she does… As you can see (above), she does a lot. You might think, “Wow, she’s pretty scattered.” Nope, not so. She loves wine, art, travel, and writing, and has segmented what she writes into different sites, so one blog doesn’t become unfocused. Her poetry is poignant. She gave a copy of her book to me, middle of the night ~ poems from daughter to mother :: mother to son. Her poems make my eyes mist over. She wrote this book in loving memory of her mother’s recent passing away. Her grief is still so raw and she grabs her readers. Her body is here, there, and everywhere (she just officiated a wedding for the first time… it won’t be the last), but her mind is constantly constant.

    [Left to right: Pamela Heiligenthal, Gabriella Opaz, Jancis Robinson, Leslie Sbrocco, and Karen MacNeil]


Two women who support [“share” is a better word than my original word “support”] a male writing partner, whom I enjoy:

  • Pamela Heiligenthal ~ Enobytes ~ A breath of fresh air, who dares to ask controversial questions.
  • Gabriella Opaz ~ Catavino ~ Another daring young woman, who dared to leave the states when George Bush thought war would be good for our country, and has taken up residency in Spain.

And, one group that need to be mentioned, because they have really developed their thang… (yeah, thang…), having started out professionally as wine writers first, and are now also blogging:

  • Jancis Robinson ~ She’s an icon… period. 
  • Leslie Sbrocco ~ She’s a neighbor, and she’s gone national on NBC – You go, Girl! 
  • Karen McNeil ~ She’s been writing and educating for years. She’s also from the Boston area, so I get that Yankee in her that we both love and share.
  • Let’s hear it for the girls!

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