With Women’s Day coming up this weekend, there is no time better than now to honor the amazing women of the Chicago food world. From chefs and restaurateurs to bartenders and sommeliers, women are owning the food scene! They’re bringing a new expertise and perspective to classic techniques and putting their own spin on changing seasonal menus. That includes bar and wine menus across the city! From James Beard nominees to natural wine experts, these women will help you fall in love with wine at every sip…

Kat Hawkins from Shaw’s Crab House {21 East Hubbard Street, Chicago; 312.527.2722}

Though she is originally from Detroit, Hawkins is now part of a Chicago institution as the Assistant General Manager and Beverage Director at Shaw’s Crab House, a River North favorite since 1984. As Beverage Director, she is in charge of selecting wines for Shaw’s extensive list, choosing each bottle to complement the carefully-sourced seafood that Shaw’s is famous for.

She raves about Shaw’s selections, saying their “wine program is roughly 300 bottle selections and 30 by the glass selections. Although we offer wines from around the globe, it is focused on great producers and classic Old World regions that lend themselves to the delicate nature of the fresh seafood we bring in daily. […] You can come here and drink a $50 bottle or a $350 bottle and it was selected with the same amount of care.”

That care and planning has led to Hawkins being named one of America’s “Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2019. Though she personally loves the wines of Alsace, Northern Rhone, and Rioja, Hawkins has worked hard to make Shaw’s a spot where wine-lovers of all kinds can find a new glass or bottle they’ll love.

“Shaw’s is a special place for many people and if I can help to continue to make their experience a great one by providing a versatile and serious wine list then I am doing my job.”