Here’s to Looking at You, Mom

Photo: Mikaela Rose Photography
Photo: Mikaela Rose Photography

A tribute to a mother comes with cherished memories, and for Jordan Decker, each bottle of Memories Wine captures those moments. Decker’s journey to becoming a dedicated sommelier and entrepreneur is a story of passion, perseverance and the enduring bond between mother and daughter. Memories Wine is not just a wine company, but a living memorial that honors her mother through the shared love of wine.

Decker’s love for wine began in her childhood. “Ever since I was eight months old, I would travel the world with my mother,” Decker said. Her aunt worked in different countries, providing them the opportunity to live in France for a significant period. These travels allowed Decker to develop a deep appreciation for French wine, which she frequently enjoyed with her mother during their travels.

Decker’s mother passed away from cancer in 2022. That was the moment when Decker began to explore the possibility of creating her own wine label. “I wanted to do something I was passionate about and something that would honor my mother,” Decker explained. This desire led her to pursue a sommelier certification, which became an important step in creating Memories Wine.

The path, however, was not easy. “I reached out to over 30 vineyards, but many were reluctant,” Decker said. Vineyards did not want their grapes associated with private labels, preferring to maintain their own branding. Despite these setbacks, Decker did not give up. She eventually connected with a vineyard in Bordeaux willing to collaborate. Sampling different wine varieties, she found the perfect blend that resonated with her passion and vision.

Memories Wine was established in 2023 and specializes in a Bordeaux red blend, combining 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. “My favorite is French wine, and I am working on my certification for French wine to specialize even further,” Decker said.

The logo of Memories Wine holds profound significance for her. “I drew it myself, incorporating my love for art and creating a symbol that represents both the living and the departed,” Decker said. The logo, inspired by Michelangelo’s painting ‘The Hands of God and Adam,’ features a human hand and a skeleton hand connected by a red rope, symbolizing the eternal bond between life and death. Additionally, her mother’s birthday is inscribed in Roman numerals on the back of the bottle. “The name Memories Wine comes from the desire to remember my mom,” Decker said.

Photo: Mikaela Rose Photography

Starting Memories Wine was a challenging project, recounts Decker, especially while balancing a full-time job. Financial investment, regulatory approvals and the logistical challenges of importing wine were significant hurdles. “You need to invest a lot of time and money into this, thousands and thousands of dollars,” she said. “You also need to get a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) to ensure your label is copyrighted and compliant with regulations.”

Importing the wine added another layer of complexity. “It was very expensive, but fortunately my best friend’s father, who works as an importer, helped streamline the process,”  Decker explained. Despite the financial and logistical challenges, the emotional aspect of building the business was perhaps the most significant. “Achieving these milestones without having my mother here has been tough,” she admitted.

Decker manages all aspects of the business herself, from social media and event participation to wine tastings and deliveries. “It’s a lot of work being a one-woman show, but it’s worth it,” she said. Currently, Memories Wine proceeds are donated to cancer research.

The wine industry is highly competitive but Decker believes that having a compelling story and a strong community network sets Memories Wine apart. “The best way to stand out is to have a good network, a good community and not be afraid to post about yourself and what you do,” she said.

Decker urges aspiring entrepreneurs to seize the moment. “You only have one life, and your passions should take priority,” she emphasizes. “Money may come and go, but time is irreplaceable. If you truly desire something, find the time for it,” she advises. Decker has a tattoo in French that says ‘le temps n’ attend pas,’ which means ‘time waits for no one.’ It’s a constant reminder to act now.

Looking ahead, Decker dreams of eventually opening a wine bar, a place where memories can be made and shared. “I want to see Memories Wine everywhere and have a wine bar where people can come together, share a glass, and share a memory,” she said.


Theodora Tsevas

I am Theodora Tsevas, a Greek-American writer and photographer with a deep appreciation for Mediterranean culture and more. My work revolves around exploring new destinations, savoring local cuisine, and conveying these experiences through my writing and photography.



Leave a Comment