Open up TikTok and search the term “wine mom,” and an endless supply of videos stamped with the popular hashtag appear. Views of TikTok videos with #winemom have collectively racked up more than 30.1 million views.
The #winemom content is booming on Instagram too. Accounts like Mommy Time Wine and Real Moms Who Wine have thousands of followers, with musings about motherhood, lack of sleep, and the occasional need for a glass of something delicious.
Enter the wine mom club — an unofficial grouping of mothers who get together and drink wine.
@deenanicolebuckner Nothing like a nice red before bed 😂 #momsoftiktok #mom #wineo #winemom #redredwine #momlife #wine #foryou #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – DeenaNicoleBuckner
Club wine mom
“We see each other and get together a lot. We do playdates with the kids, but we also do mom dates,” says Marisa Hillman, a Long Island mother of three who has formed a wine mom club of her own with a few of her neighbors.
“Sometimes after we drop the kids off at school, we’ll come back to someone’s house and have mimosas and just hang out for a while.” She goes on, “It’s nice to have those friendships and bonds and know that you can just talk, unwind, and relax with people who get you and not feel judged.”
There’s no denying that wine has the power to foster a sense of community. Wine has always brought people together, from religious ceremonies and weddings to a five-course business meal at a Michelin-star restaurant. So it’s not surprising that mothers are forming networks of their own and using a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for camaraderie.
However, not much about being a part of a wine mom club is actually about the wine.
While some members are connoisseurs and spend their time comparing the differences between Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and Burgundy, the average wine mom is there for the friendship.
“I enjoy wine, but I’m not the kind of person that takes a sip and can tell you, ‘oh, I taste notes of this and that.’ When we get together, it’s more so for the conversations. We talk and vent a lot and bounce parenting questions around,” says Hillman.
For Juanita Cowans, a mother in Atlanta, having quality time with a good bottle and her friends is her way of feeling like a normal human.
“Having other people who know and understand your experience that you can sit with and talk to just makes you feel like your single self, like who you were before the kids and spouse,” Cowans says.
Although many mothers get a kick out of #winemom culture, there are others who denounce it, as they believe the wine mom memes promote excessive drinking. Numerous blogs and op-eds have been written about the dangers of using wine as a coping mechanism for parenthood. And several Facebook groups advocate against wine mom culture.
While it’s true that high-risk drinking — having four or more alcoholic beverages in a single day — has risen among women, according to a 2017 study published in JAMA Psychiatry, there’s no evidence it’s mom culture that’s driving the statistics.
Also, the wine part of the wine mom club is optional. Hillman and her troupe of mothers love their midday mimosas, but sometimes the mood calls for coffee or tea. It’s not about what they’re drinking. It’s about having time together away from their kids.
“I find it really annoying when women judge other women about drinking wine. It’s one thing if someone actually does have a problem, but that’s not necessarily the case for a lot of these women,” says Cowans. “It’s just moms finding a moment to have a break and have some fun for themselves with people who know that those kinds of moments are fleeting. It seems wrong to me to bully women for having a glass or two when she can.”
Motherhood can feel a little lonely, says Hillman, who notes that building a community amongst mothers can help ease some of the anxiety and challenges that people face when raising children.
“As mothers, we can get really overwhelmed, so to have a group of friends who are also mothers that you can vent to and who understand what you’re going through, it’s just a really nice thing to have. It makes you feel a little less alone in your fears as a mother,” says Hillman.
Sarah McKetta, an MD-Ph.D. candidate at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors, told The Atlantic that, “It’s not something about motherhood that drives women to drink more.” Instead, “We should be concerned about people binge-drinking, but we shouldn’t be focusing all this concern on moms.”
“It’s just moms finding a moment to have a break and have some fun for themselves with people who know that those kinds of moments are fleeting. It seems wrong to me to bully women for having a glass or two when she can.”
What are they drinking?
No matter what the naysayers may feel about wine mom culture and the clubs and groups wine lovers are forming, moms are still sharing bottles with friends. And they’re having a good time exploring a variety of wines.
“We’ve been adventuring through the Rieslings lately, and it’s been fun to try different bottles. I was a big Chardonnay fan, but I drank so much of it during COVID that it was time to move on to something else,” says Cowans.
For Hillman and her group of wine moms, Prosecco is always the go-to. But more than the wine itself, it’s the time together the women truly appreciate.
“It never really matters what we’re drinking. What matters is that we’re having these moments, just being girls, and just being together,” says Hillman.
And, of course, the best advice when drinking wine holds as true for moms as it does for anybody else: Drink less, but drink better.
Mom club wine picks:
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling 2021 (~$10)
This dry and elegant Riesling hails from the Columbia Valley region of Washington state. It’s a fan favorite among drinkers and critics, and previous vintages have received scores of 90 points or more from Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits reviewers thanks to its enjoyable fruit character and dazzling minerality.
La Marca Veneto Prosecco NV (~$17)
Here’s a Prosecco that’s perfect for mixing with orange juice for a mimosa, but it’s also good enough to drink entirely on its own. Made from Glera grapes grown in the Veneto region of Italy, the sparkling wine has persistent pelage and features apple and peach aromas and flavors that get a lift from crunchy acidity.
Sun Goddess Friuli Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio Ramato 2021 (~$19)
A celebrity wine worth exploring — this pale rosé is produced by award-winning singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige with Pinot Grigio grapes grown and maintained by the Fantinel Winery in Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia region. It’s aromatic, easy-drinking, and fruit-forward. And everyone loves it. Even critics at James Suckling have given this Pinot Grigio a 90-point score.
Duckhorn Vineyards Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (~$22)
Produced by Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards, this Cabernet Sauvignon may be big and bold, but it’s balanced with luscious fruit flavors like blackberry, blueberry, and black cherry. Cocoa nuances and notes of spearmint linger in the background while refined tannins maintain the wine’s structure through the long finish.
Orin Swift 8 Years In The Desert 2020 (~$46)
For the moms who like to sit and contemplate with a wine that isn’t necessarily sweet, but has a nose with a perception of sweetness, grab this red blend from California producers Orin Swift Cellars. The aroma is intense with sugary fragrances of red fruit juice and preserves, but that sweetness doesn’t extend to the palate. Made with a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah sourced from vineyards across Napa Valley and Sonoma, the wine displays a palate full of spicy white pepper and plum nuances. Grippy tannins and a beam of acidity carry the wine through the long, slow finish.