Two podcasts are turning their attention to Michigan’s wine industry.
Red Wine & Chaos and Music in the Bottle are run by the creative pairs of Ashley Rach and Laura McDonald and Jamele Favorite and Darryl Matthews, respectively. The podcasts pair talk of wine with laid-back conversations about life, culture, music and everything in between.
Emily Dockery, executive director of the nonprofit Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC), is excited about partnering with each podcast to produce two series just in time for Michigan Wine Month, which is in progress.
“I love podcasts; I’m a big podcast person. We did a series like this a few years ago, and it was super popular,” Dockery says. “All the wineries loved doing it, and with COVID and everything, I just felt like this was a really good way to get the wineries a little bit extra promotion, especially while the tasting rooms aren’t open all the time and they have reduced hours.”
Dockery adds that both Red Wine & Chaos and Music in the Bottle were products of quarantine: “(It was) two people realizing their love for all of these different things and talking about it.”
The MWC is using this opportunity to introduce the podcast hosts, who all hail from Southwest Michigan, to Michigan wines and wineries. The aim is to get them and their audiences hooked, since all four adults are relatively new to the industry.
“What I really like about both of these podcasts is that they’re kind of on each end of the spectrum,” Dockery says.
Red Wine & Chaos lends a feminine touch to conversations about parenting, relationships, health, wellness and more. Music in the Bottle focuses on a mixture of culture and hip-hop from a Black male perspective.
Both help make wine seem more accessible and increase the impact of the industry statewide, Dockery says — major goals of the MWC.
Dockery met Favorite and Matthews through her friend George Walker, who owns Graped Out, an organization designed to take “the boujee out of wine.” Walker, who is also Black, helped create the MWC’s Inclusion and Expansion Committee in June 2020.
Meanwhile, after Rach and McDonald learned about the MWC’s advocacy work, they got in touch with Dockery via Facebook to ask for advice for integrating Michigan wine content into their podcast.
“We’ve been so hard at work this last year just doing really, really cool things and meeting people and introducing people to Michigan wine,” Dockery says.
The special Music in the Bottle episodes are releasing this month, while the special Red Wine & Chaos podcasts will begin recording this month and will come out closer to June.