Lindsay Perry: The $10K/ Month Wine Contest Winner Hoping To Diversify The Industry
Photo Credit: Lindsay Perry

Photo Credit: Lindsay Perry

Lindsay Perry: The $10K/ Month Wine Contest Winner Hoping To Diversify The Industry

united States:california , wine
Nasha Smith
Nasha Smith Aug 13, 2021

Lindsay Perry and her three cats are getting ready to hit the road this Fall for Sonoma, California, where they will live rent-free for the next year while earning a cool $10,000 per month salary. Perry is one of two winners selected from 7,000 applications and 17 finalists as part of Murphy-Goode Winery’s “A Really Goode Job” contest. The Pennsylvania native will be making the move from Austin, Texas, where she has spent the last four years working in sports marketing for cheerleading events.

It’s those same marketing skills that she used to set the wheels in motion for her new gig. For her application, Perry drew inspiration from another young, spunky woman determined to succeed.

“I just had the idea of Legally Blonde where Elle Woods does this super crazy video application or video essay for Harvard,” she told Travel Noire. “And I was like, that would be so funny to kind of recreate and bring into the wine world. I was like, alright, I got my idea, I’m gonna go for it.”

The clever bit got her foot in the door, but her passion for wine took care of the rest. Perry is a longtime lover of the spirit. Her Instagram account, Lindsay Wines A Lot, bears the same name as the inscription on her college graduation cap.

After moving to Austin, her days were typically filled with work and events, but the COVID lockdown presented her an opportunity for some personal development. She started the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) diploma course — arguably the most prestigious professional accreditation — and attained both Level One and Two certifications. When she got the “really goode” job confirmation call after her interview, Perry had just returned home to Pennsylvania for the first time since before the beginning of the pandemic.

“I was holding my friend’s baby and I said, ‘Yeah, I have a second to talk,'” she recalled of that unforgettable moment. “I’m holding my friend’s newborn, but yeah, I can talk. They were like, well, you might want to give the baby to somebody else before we continue.”

It was then she knew that the life-changing opportunity was hers. Perry said that she’s most looking forward to learning all the nuances and intricacies of winemaking so that she can effectively promote the products.

“I have a background in cheerleading from before I started marketing it. One of the things with marketing is you have to really know your product. I wanted to learn the [wine] product before I began to market it. So I think just putting those two pieces together set me apart.”

But she’s also looking forward to becoming part of a shift towards inclusivity in the industry.

SevenFifty Daily is an online platform dealing with the business and culture of the alcohol industry. They conducted a survey of approximately 3100 beverage alcohol professionals in October 2019 and found that while 84 percent of respondents were white, only 2 percent identified as Black or African.

One of the biggest barriers to entry for people of color in the wine industry is money. From professional certifications to classes to traveling abroad for wine tastings, it is expensive to become a wine connoisseur.

Perry was able to take the WSET certification courses thanks to scholarships from organizations like Wine Unify and The Roots Fund, which seek to amplify underrepresented voices in the industry.

“One of the reasons that I did start the Instagram account was because there are a lot of Black and people of color voices in the wine industry, but I feel like there are still just not enough,” explained Perry. “I want to be a part of this. I want to be a voice in here. And I think that it has changed a lot, especially after last May. I think that people have opened their eyes to the fact that there is a place for Black people and people of color in the wine industry.”

She continued, “There is such a stigma, that wine is stuffy and overpriced and things like that. But I feel like I really do need to applaud all the Black voices in the wine industry right now because they are slowly chipping away at that stigma. And it’s working.”

And now she’s preparing to add her voice to the mix armed with a dream job and new digs.

“I think the house that I’m staying at is really, really cool. It’s a really nice house, sits on top of the vineyard and has a beautiful view. But I’m also really excited to work with Dave Ready Jr. He’s the winemaker. And just to see everyone that I met during the interview because they were all just so nice and supportive. It’s a really cool feeling for someone or for a company to be so excited to have you. I’m really excited to be working with people who really want to work with me.”

Follow Lindsay Perry and her Sonoma adventures over the next year on Instagram.