Austin women make Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Under 40 list

Jessica Sanders and her husband, Mike, are preparing to open their second bar in Austin in the spring.

Jessica Sanders, of Drink.Well and Backbeat, was named to Wine Enthusiast’s recently announced 40 Under 40 list.

The publication Wine Enthusiast scoured the country to find the top 40 “tastemakers” who are changing how America drinks — and two local women in Austin’s bustling bar scene made the cut.

Wine Enthusiast published the list yesterday, including a mix of winemakers, distillers, importers, distributors, sommeliers and cicerones. Jessica Sanders, co-owner of Drink.Well and Backbeat along with her husband, Michael, was featured, as was June Rodil, a master sommelier who oversees the wine and beverage program for McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group.

Both of them were highlighted for their love of wine. The magazine, which will hit newstands next week but has the 40 Under 40 list in full online, noted about Sanders that her newest bar, Backbeat, has a much wider selection of drinks than the first one.

“Backbeat boasts room for 100 and a dynamic wine list,” Wine Enthusiast writes. “That includes a champagne program with a rotating selection of grower producers and a ‘break-even bubbles’ program that offers select wines at cost. With a reputation for inventive cocktails that use trendy bases like vermouth and rhum agricole, the two bars are at the top of Austin’s tippling game.”

Rodil is in charge of the beverage programs of McGuire Moorman’s seven restaurants — no small task, as Wine Enthusiast notes.

A seventh (restaurant), June’s, opened this summer,” according to the publication. “‘Yes, I’m pretty embarrassed about the name, but I got outvoted, and now it’s growing on me,’ says Rodil. The namesake bar is a kind of place ‘where you can drink champagne while wearing shorts and flip-flops,’ she says.”

For the full list of 40 Under 40 notables, visit winemag.com.

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