In the year 1999, 25-year-old Robin and 16-year-old Andréa McBride met for the first time at LaGuardia Airport in New York. The two shared the same father but different mothers, and weren’t aware they had a sisterly half until their father and other family members helped to unite them through an endless trail of handwritten letters and phone calls lasting five years. The process was inspired by tips from a private detective as seen on an episode Oprah, which Robin and Andréa’s family had watched. After all, Google really wasn’t a thing when the search began in 1994.
What they unknowingly had in common was that they both grew up in wine country: Robin, in Monterey, California, and Andréa in Marlborough, New Zealand.
A couple years following their first meeting, Robin moved back to California to spend more time with Andréa who had just started college there, and the rest came naturally.
Each sister had individual curiosities about the wide world of wine and an interest in producing delicious, affordable varietals. Most of the options from their two labels, eco.love and Truvée, retail for under $20 and are sold around the country at more than 1,000 retailers.
In honor of their brand-new Truvée rosé launch—a 2015 Grenache rosé from the Paso Robles region of California—we spoke with the sisters on drinking pink, food pairings, and the ethos of their sisterly wine labels.
What inspired each of you to go into wine?
Andréa: Coincidentally, we were both raised in emerging wine regions and that is how we each developed our own appreciation for wine. After connecting for the first time in 1999, we realized we had this shared passion for wine and it became such a central part of our bond, and we knew the universe had put us together for a reason to make a future together out of our separate pasts.
Robin: When Andréa was a junior in college, we both began working in the wine industry, our first business was as wine importers to gain experience and expertise in the business of selling wine, and then later launching eco.love wines from New Zealand and now Truvée Wines.
The wine industry can seem so complex for people who don’t already have an “in.” How does one go about getting educated?
We each grew up with an appreciation for farming and wine living in these newly developing wine regions and that is where our desire to learn about and work in wine came from. You learn a lot about wine just by tasting so we first started educating ourselves by visiting wineries and tasting lots and lots of wines to refine our palettes and noses. Working in the industry with our first wine import business surrounded by wine, winemakers, and wine professionals certainly helped too, so we’ve learned a lot along the way and have also taken classes to further deepen our knowledge. There is always something more to experience and learn about wine so we’re constantly trying to educate ourselves and perfect our skills!
You created your own family crest for the brand–can you tell me about that?
The McBride Sisters crest we’ve created, which is a part of each bottle’s label, really illustrates and captures our story quite perfectly. The MS stands for “McBride Sisters” with an S curled like the locks of our hair, with the two lionesses surrounding it representing our strong, supportive mothers, while the peacock depicts our bold and proud father. We included “Established 1999” because this is the year that we met for the first time and our whole worlds changed!
What’s your favorite thing about rosé right now?
That we have our very own!
What are some of your favorite rosé pairings?
Rosé is an incredibly versatile wine and really easy to pair with a number of different foods. Barbecue, grilled fish, meats, and veggies, burgers, French fries, fish tacos, fruits, cheeses, grilled cheese, and coastal cuisines like Mediterranean dishes and Spanish tapas.
What’s each of your favorite places to drink wine in the world?
Andréa: In the hills looking down on Queenstown in New Zealand.
Robin: Overlooking to rocky coast of Monterey Bay.
How do you seamlessly merge the heritage of both New Zealand and California together with your brand?
eco.love wines are made in New Zealand and Truvée is made in the Central Coast of California, so we have the best of both worlds with having two brands made in the places we both grew up in. Because we started in New Zealand, our wine-growing philosophy is rooted in sustainable farming and not diluting the purity of the fruit in the winemaking process, by covering it up with too much oak or other flavors that are winemaking tricks of the trade!
Do you have tips for wine neophytes who want to learn more?
Absolutely! The key to learning about wine is tasting, so try out new wines you haven’t had before and keep educating your palette until you learn what you like. While wine is excellent enjoyed on its own, food can really elevate a wine’s flavors so don’t be afraid to experiment with food pairings and don’t limit yourself to rigid rules like “red wine with meat and white wine with fish.” You’ll surprise yourself!