Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Profile: Swirl Girls


Spotlight: Girls Who Swirl

Natasha OrtizFortier
Contributing Writer
WomanScope Newspaper

Note: I am very pleased to announce the addition of Swirl Girls to the Food & Wine Section of WomenScope. Swirl Girls will spotlight women wine clubs/groups, wine tasting events for women and notable women doing interesting and creative things in the wine business.

Jody Buffington Aud is the founder of The Prio Group, a virtual communications firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. She has more than 25 years experience in strategic communications. Her clients include companies in the education, insurance, publishing, healthcare, plastics, and technology industries.

As an entrepreneur, Jody is no stranger to the value of networking. However, many events she attended she felt like she was “always on,” constantly going from person to person in order to “get business.” It was difficult to really connect with people and have a good time. She thought it would be fun to get a group of working women together to learn about wine, enjoy good food and casually network. “I wanted to meet other professional women in a low stress environment and make friends. I don’t play golf, but I do drink wine.”

In 2005, Girls Who Swirl was born. The website reads “an informal group of professional women who like wine and who like to meet other interesting women. We’re creating our own “good ol’ girl’s network, one glass of wine at a time.”
The first Girls Who Swirl event began with a group of 15 women who met at Baldwin Station in Sykesville, Maryland. They were served an eight course wine dinner. “It was pricey but good.” She has since experimented with a variety of formats and venues to suit the participants.

In July, the wine event took place at Trapez in Maple Lawn, Maryland and featured special guest Laurie Forster, the wine coach. Events have been held at Pazo in Fells Point and Corks Restaurant in Federal Hill.

The average cost is about $50 which includes meal, tax and tip. Most of the events are not sit down. Jody wants to encourage high levels of interaction and mingling. Often food is set-up in stations, buffet or served butler style. Wine is poured or self-serve. Participants on average will sample about 5-6 wines.

Women who attend the events are working women, business owners and executives ranging in age from 35 to 55. Jody remarks her events are “Open format and casual in attitude not in dress or atmosphere. The only expectation is to have a good time. There is no agenda except to pair nice wine with good food and meet new people.” All are welcome.

For more info and the lastest events:
or e-mail Jody (