The wine industry, both in production and distribution, has long been a male-dominated industry. This has slowly been changing over the last few decades. This panel is made up of women who have push the boundaries and found ways to create their own places in the world of wine.
Erica Archer — Sommelier Erica Archer is the owner of Wine Wise and the founder and presenting sponsor of Portland Wine Week. Archer is a true oenophile, having obtained high levels of certification in her field. In 2010, she was awarded the Wine Spirit and Education Trust Level Three Advanced Certification in Wines and Spirits (with merit), became a Sommelier in the American Court of Master Sommeliers, and received her Certified Wine Professional award from the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California.
Lauren Friel — Lauren Friel is a freelance writer and sommelier living in Boston. She is a wine and lifestyle columnist with both ChefsFeed and Boston.com, the Boston Globe’s digital vertical, and her writing has appeared with Eater, The Kitchn, Terre Magazine, Bravo TV's The Feast, Thrillist, GOOD, Wine Advocate, and Gear Patrol. A digital portfolio of her bylines is available here.
In the capacity of a beverage consultant Lauren has written wine programs for retail and restaurant establishments up and down the East Coast, including Committee Restaurant, The Wine Bottega, BAR New Haven, and Michelin-recognized Dirt Candy NYC. Lauren’s wine programs have been featured in Food & Wine, Forbes, Elle Magazine, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Eater, VinePair, and Serious Eats, and she’s proud to say that the all-female wine list she developed for Dirt Candy is currently the only existing program of its kind in the US.
Previously, Lauren held the position of Wine Director at award-winning Sarma and Oleana restaurants, where her eclectic beverage programs received local and national recognition. including Wine Enthusiast's 100 Best Wine Restaurants Award and Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Award. She does hold Advanced Certification with Distinction from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
Lauren is now taking the jump into opening her own wine bar, to be called Rebel Rebel, in Somerville's Bow Market and slated to open July 2018!
Jen Lakari — Jen Lakari has worked in the restaurant and wine business for decades and taken on all kinds of roles. From being wine buyer at Browne Trading, to working as a private chef, owning her own wine shop, and now being the wine expert at Bow St Beverage's new Portland location Jen has made wine her career while at the same time raising children and trying to find a balance.
Tabitha Perry — Tabitha Perry started working as a wine sales person in CA after university but then decided to make the leap into owning her own business and returned to the New England to found Crush Distributors. Tabitha boot strapped the company: starting out of a storage locker and worked nights in Portland Restaurants to get Crush off the ground. Crush is the first solely woman owned wine distribution in Maine. they supply restaurants and shops all up and down the Maine coast and have an excellent reputation for interesting and thoughtful wines that are great values.