“Mondays suck,” is the usual consensus among working adults, but DC local Madison Mellish is on a mission to brighten up the first day of the workweek with Your Weekly W(h)ine.
The newsletter, which hits subscribers’ inboxes every Monday morning, features two things: wine and dogs. Each week, the newsletter shares information about different wine varietals, regions, bottles and more to educate subscribers on the topic (“I am often featuring Virginia wineries, including Paradise Springs,” Mellish says), plus a healthy dose of dog photos, videos and links to bring a smile to your face.
The brand is currently hosting virtual wine tasting classes (with hopes of in-person classes to come to fruition after COVID-19), and proceeds from the wine classes are being donated to Miriam’s Kitchen and World Central Kitchen, helping to feed in-need residents in the DMV and around the nation.
We spoke with Mellish, below, about the newsletter, the weekly wine classes and what keeps her motivated.
How did Your Weekly W(h)ine get started?
I’ve been working on it since the beginning of this year; it launched in January. By day, I actually am a trainer facilitator. I’ve been working on a wine certification for the last three years. I also have a dog of my own who came from a rescue. It all started organically. My friends and I at work had this fun thing going where we would send each other pictures back and forth of dogs and dog videos that made us laugh over the week. And then I had a bunch of people who would just come to me asking what kind of wine they should be drinking that week. So, it kind of started organically that way, just launching with my family and friends in January and then it’s grown from there. Right now, I’m at about 1,300 subscribers.
How do you describe the newsletter to others?
When people ask me about it, I say, “Who doesn’t love to start their weeks off with a bunch of really cute dog videos and photos?” But most importantly, I think you want to deliver wine education in a way for people that’s bite-size and easy to digest and will make them feel more confident making wine decisions.
What is the wine section of the newsletter like each week?
I try to mix it up by talking about a part of the winemaking process so that people can understand what it is they’re tasting and why. I think, especially since we’ve all been at home, there’s been a few that have been a few recent newsletters focused on what might be fun to drink; what might be easy to find while you’re at home and quarantined. It’s all been focused right now mostly on what I’ve learned throughout the years. We haven’t quite gotten to the point of coordinating with wineries yet, but I’m sure we will in the future.
During the pandemic, how do you think your newsletter serves as a positive point in people’s lives?
I think it’s the dogs. I get so many messages after the email goes out about what people’s favorite dog was. There’s always something lighthearted about the dogs and the joy that they bring us.
Tell me about the wine classes you’re hosting virtually.
I’ve been doing them via Zoom and then the money’s not benefiting wineries currently, but they’re benefiting community kitchens. I’ve been doing classes between three to five times a week.
How do you stay motivated?
I think it’s fun. It brings people joy, and that brings me joy and keeps me motivated. I’ve gotten such a good response to it and I’ve had a lot of fun with the wine classes. The class that I’ve been doing that’s benefiting the two organizations I mentioned started with the idea that we were all going to be inside for some prolonged period of time, and we probably don’t want to go into the grocery stores frequently. So the idea is really about what wine you could pair with whatever you had already in your kitchen. It’s really kind of funny just because I give people categories of food to bring and it’s fun to see what people end up having. Some people will have sour gummy worms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. We’re pairing wines with that. It’s fun!
What are your hopes for the brand’s growth?
We’ll definitely continue. We, of course, hope to reach more people and bring more joy to people to talk about wines every Monday morning. I think Monday mornings have always been kind of dreary, now maybe more so than ever. But I think even before this pandemic, people were always telling me, “Monday morning always stinks, but the best part is when I get your newsletter.” And, I am definitely planning to expand the wine class offerings.
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