Meg Murray and her husband Jerry were working on a little oeno-project of their own when one day, there was a presidential debate that… spawned a lot of memes involving Hillary Clinton and Janet Jackson. The famous “nasty woman” quip quickly became a feminist rallying cry, and in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, one Nasty Woman decided that nasty times called for… well, a drink. The couple was launching a rosé in 2017 under their own brand, Project M Wines, but for Murray, there was a clear need to give vinous support to the world’s Nasty Women, and some of that juice was diverted into Nasty Woman’s Progress Pink.
Working at lightning speed to assemble a cogent and high-quality portfolio and a brand-new brand? Yes, in fact it does take a village, and the Murrays sourced additional grape goodness from trusted and supportive friends in the Oregon winemaking community to complete the outfit, as it were, with Pantsuit Pinot and Pave the Way Chardonnay, Represent Red and Boss Lady Bubbles. A bit of a rollercoaster ride, to be sure, and not one Murray saw coming, but the election-not to mention her young daughter asking when she’d be eligible to run for President-galvanized a little paradigm shift.
Some questions you might have about the program:
How nasty do I need to be in order to drink this stuff?
Murray defines Nasty Women as “women, and men (in spirit), who are strong, powerful, do good, say what they mean, don’t take guff, watch out for the little person, can admit when they are wrong, and not gloat too much when they’re right. They are leaders and fighters, and they believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, creed, and sexual orientation. They are not just women on the left. They’re on the right, in the middle and all around us. If these are your ideals, you’re a Nasty Woman.” So you probably qualify. If you identify as non-nasty, Nasty Woman Wines still welcomes your patronage, as their dedication to inclusiveness and equality are not remotely skin-deep.
Does it taste nasty?
No! Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is great and only getting better, and in the Murrays’ crafty hands, you will get a really great taste of the region many people are calling the Burgundy of the New World, but which we west-coasters prefer to simply call “Oregon.” West Coast pinots are generally cherry-forward; with this one I also got a little blackberry upfront. The approach was a teensy bit hotheaded but when you consider the… current climate, what else would you expect, really? I expect that might have dissipated with a little more time to open up in the glass-frankly, it had been a long day and I was rather eager to put the stuff in my mouth! Pretty classic notes of black fruit, forest floor and a hint of cola follow. It’s a very solid wine, especially when you consider the frenetic pace of its release. I have not tasted the others, but if the Pinot is predictive, you can confidently stock your… oh say it: cabinet with any and all of them.
OK, so it’s tasty and it is branding-awesome. Now what?
Folks, we’re not just leveraging the opportunity to leverage puns and create hilarious hashtags here. First and foremost, this is wine on a mission for both quality and equality. According to a recent Nasty Woman Press Release: “I decided it was time to get nasty,” says Murray. As did many of her friends and colleagues. Meg posted her idea on Facebook and it took off. “It struck a nerve. We live in a country where women comprise 51% of the population but only hold 20% of seats in the senate, and even less than that in corporate leadership positions throughout the world. People were ready to fight for this cause – both men and women.” …NASTY WOMAN WINES will be donating 20% of their net profits to help get more women to the table. One of the recipients is The Women In Public Service Project, a nonpartisan program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center that is dedicated to “accelerating global progress towards women’s equal participation in policy and political leadership.”
“Selecting the Women In Public Service Project as a recipient just made sense,” says Murray. “They’re doing amazing things in their pursuit to reach 50% of female representation in all elected and appointed policy and leadership positions by 2050. We’d like to help accelerate that,” adds Murray. “The ultimate goal of NASTY WOMAN WINES is to get more women to the table.”
Can I make Nasty Woman the official libation of my rally/protest group/Women’s Studies Department Faculty Meeting/#writersresist poetry reading/ WNBA team?
Meg Murray very much hopes that you will.
Upshot? Tasty wine made by forward-thinking folks on a mission. Join them in raising a glass to equal opportunity, defiance in the face of injustice, and a well-structured and pleasing mid-palate with soft-but not too soft-tannins. Win-win! (Um, electoral college notwithstanding.)