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Sip & Swirl Events Brings Together Bay Area Wine Lovers

By Pamela Sosnowski

When April Richmond became disappointed with the lack of diversity in the Bay Area at wine events, she decided to take matters into her own hands. In 2011 she founded her own San Francisco-based business, Sip & Swirl Events, which plans premiere wine tastings and related events aimed at minorities. From tastings to custom tours, Sip & Swirl is bringing together wine lovers where they can learn about new wine, make new friends, and most importantly, have fun.

"There weren't a lot of winemakers of color or any large scale wine events that catered to diverse wine consumers," she said. "Keeping that in mind, I combined my passions for wine and event planning into what is now Sip & Swirl Events."

Sip & Swirl regularly organizes wine tastings, fundraisers, winery tours and more. The private wine tastings are one of the company's most popular events and provide everything for the guests including food and dinnerware in a setting of the client's choosing. The tastings can take on a theme such as the traditional cheese and wine pairing, wine and chocolate, or dinner and wine. It can also be combined with a day at a spa or salon (Sip & Spa) for the ultimate indulgent experience.

The winery tours take place in the heart of nearby wine country usually at small, boutique wineries in Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Monterey, and beyond. Sip & Swirl also started the Urban Wine Run, tours that take place in downtown urban locations, for those that prefer the vibrant energy of a city tour. Custom tours are available for groups of eight or more people and are suitable for any special occasion including birthdays, showers, holidays, or just a fun day out with friends. Some of the featured wineries include ones managed by minorities such as Charles Wine Company, The McBride Sisters, and Taste Collection Cellars.

All of this including exceptional customer service has made Sip & Swirl a very popular choice for a wide variety of wine connoisseurs.

"In addition to hosting our own events, we work with several corporate clients, small businesses, nonprofits and private clients providing everything from winemaker dinners and corporate happy hour wine tastings to pop-up wine bars and celebratory wine tours," Richmond said. "Usually clients choose us because we're very responsive when they contact us, we customize every service based on each client's needs/budget, we have a lot of established relationships with other businesses so it allows us to create an entire event without clients having to contact multiple vendors, and most importantly, we're affordable."

The company's next event will be its "ultimate girls night out" evening, Cupcakes & Corks. Held at ImpactHUB in Oakland, the event will feature local vendors, live entertainment, gourmet cupcakes, and wine samplings for a fun night of shopping and sipping for only $20 per guest.

No matter what wine event a client attends, Sip & Swirl strives to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience.

"Our events have a very upscale vibe without feeling sterile or unapproachable," Richmond said. "We really want our guests to feel special, but also feel like they're hanging out with old friends and family."

Photos by Zoe Moore
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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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