Breaking into the white male dominated wine industry isn’t easy, especially if you’re a woman or a minority. But Monikka Jenkins did just that after working for different distributors and wine shops.
In 2010, Jenkins started Monikka Moscato and said she wanted to bring something that was refreshing, risky, and competitive in the market.
“I took a leap of faith—I wanted to create something that belongs to me and something that relates to customers,” said Jenkins.
Even though winemaking has traditionally been dominated by men—both in the States and abroad—women in the U.S. have made important strides to catch up to their male counterparts in terms of creating complex wines that connoisseurs love. Still, a gender gap remains, said Jenkins. “It’s hard to break into the business. I was lucky enough to do it and have my own brand.”
As a self-distributor Jenkins hosts events and wine tastings throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where customers can sample pink, regular and sparkling moscato. Prices range from $7.99 to $10.99 per bottle.
To create her signature sparkling wine Jenkins travels to her vineyard in Spain, where the grapes are harvested.
For food pairing with her sparkling wine Jenkins suggests dishes like salmon, shrimp, buffalo wings, a cheese plate or fruit tarts.
“All I know is wine. I have the wine language and the Monikka language,” said Jenkins. “I’ve been in the business for so long, I’m lucky enough to make it work.”
As a black-owned business, Jenkins said she hopes to raise awareness for other minority-owned businesses and support entrepreneurship.
“It’s not easy being an entrepreneur. It’s about hard work and getting the foundation started. I’m always happy to help people,” said Jenkins.