Curious Vines founder Queena Wong has spoken out about the continued prevalence of sexism and harassment in the wine industry following a recent piece in The Times.

Kate Spicer’s feature in The Times, ‘Is the wine industry about to have its own MeToo movement?’, shared the stories of women working in the trade who had been victims of harassment to highlight the extent of the issue. It detailed experiences ranging from sexist language and microaggressions to sexual harassment and assault. One woman also said that she was dismissed by her former manager when sharing that she had been assaulted by a male sommelier. 

Spicer’s piece cited the first-of-its-kind Curious Vines Women in Wine report, launched last October, which found one in three women have faced harassment working in the wine trade, including one in two 18-34 year-olds. 

Responding to The Times article, Wong said that the experiences shared by the two women “aren’t isolated incidents”.

“Kate Spicer’s hard-hitting article highlights an issue which I have exposed and am now pushing hard on, that women in the wine industry face unacceptable levels of sexism, gender bias, and harassment,” she continued.

She urged the industry to acknowledge the ongoing issues faced by women in the trade, adding: “I’m now working with the drinks industry’s leading bodies; The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, The Drinks Trust and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust to set real change in motion. To this end, there will be a meeting at Vintners’ Hall on April 16 to discuss next steps, including a proposal on aims, early priorities, coordinating structure and potential funding for an industry EDI programme. The industry bodies will also be looking for ideas and volunteers.

“Over the next few months we will set out a programme to support industry wide culture change to ensure the industry can attract, nurture and importantly retain women within it.”