On a daily basis, statistics show that more and more Black women are rolling up their sleeves after work to make time for a side hustle, passion project and/or full-blown business. No stranger to hard work, Cha McCoy, sommelier and owner of Cha Squared Hospitality, became one of these women when she decided to continue her career in architecture and venture on a journey to figure out how she could drink wine for a living. Though some may take that lightly, wine is a serious matter for McCoy who received her MBA in Italy, where her love for wine first began. After being exposed to a variety of experiences and an undisclosed number of wines, McCoy’s taste buds were ready for a new challenge.
The New Yorker later went on to study wine and became a certified sommelier from the Court of The Master Sommeliers. She now hosts The Communion, a pop-up wine dinner that makes wine education accessible and fun. Not only is McCoy debunking wine myths and educating consumers in real-time, but she is doing so on a global level, with dinners from Harlem to Lisbon. It might be safe to say that wine gives McCoy nostalgic feelings of her time in Italy and she comes close to recreating those moments by staying connected to her craft and her path.
When Loves Collide
She has always been privy to the possibilities of food, enjoying escargot with her parents before she was ten and trying the city’s finest restaurants with her dad, who was keen on exposing her to new things. Wine, however, was a new world for McCoy and one she hopes to stay in for a while. McCoy started Cha Squared Hospitality to expand and combine her love for food, wine and travel.
When you head over to her Instagram page, you’ll see her passion for all three peppered throughout the photos that chronicle her journey as a wine globe trotter. Features in Food and Wine as well as Industry Rules magazine celebrate Cha’s pivot and approach to bringing wine to the community in a way that makes everyone feel like family. Catching the attention of Wine Enthusiast, she’s adding another accolade to her resume as one of the magazine’s 40 under 40 in to watch the industry for 2019.
She recently embarked on a move to Portugal which she says has some of the best wines in the world. We sat down to learn about the best Portuguese wines that her palate fancies. If you’re ever in the area, give her a ring and try some of her recommended wines.
Sensor Uva – Natural Wine Bar & Vegetarian Restaurant
BA Wine Bar – All Portuguese Wines
Niepoort in the Douro Valley
Wines Cha Loves
Herdade do Rocim Amphora Red 2017, Alentjo, Portugal
A&D Monologo Avesso, Vinho Verde, Portugal
Divai Alicante Bouschet Alentejo, Portugal
We’re always keeping up with McCoy and you should too. Be sure to try her suggested wines and connect with her on Facebook. Stop by https://www.chamccoy.com for upcoming Communion events in the U.S. and Europe.