Wine for women

Chico’s Mood Swing Wines breaks out, gives to breast cancer fund

If you read my column regularly, you know I like to write about local businesses that give back to the community. In honor of October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, then, I tracked down Chicoan Mollie Macarthy-Openshaw, whose Mood Swing Wines is doing some super exciting things these days, one of which will benefit local women.

“The idea to do Mood Swing Wines came when one of my best girlfriends was going through menopause,” Macarthy-Openshaw told me by phone last week. “She was crying like a baby because of her hormones!”

To uplift the spirits of her wine-loving friend, she went right out to buy a bottle and searched the aisles for something, anything, with a smiley face or a silly name. Nada. Many restless nights later, inspiration struck. Macarthy-Openshaw brought her idea to a friend in marketing and before she knew it she was working with a vintner in Lodi to create her own line of wines.

That was two years ago. Thus far, she has Zin-o-Pause, Memory Lapse Merlot and Covers Off Chardonnay. A few weeks ago, she signed a deal with Kroger grocery stores and launched in three stores in Indiana. About the same time, after years of going after it, she was granted the exclusive rights to sell wine at Menopause The Musical at Harrah’s Las Vegas. Exciting!

This month, she unveiled Peach Bubbles, a sparkling wine, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “I always wanted to have a sparkling wine,” Macarthy-Openshaw said. “One day it hit me: One of my good friends passed away from breast cancer, and others are going through or battling breast cancer. I thought, ‘I need to make this Peach Bubbles something to honor these women who are going through this terrible disease.’”

So, she got several local restaurants on board: Forcella, Bidwell Perk, Red Tavern, Unwined at 980, Crush. She sold them the Peach Bubbles and a portion of each sale will go to the Compassion Fund at the Enloe Regional Cancer Center.

You can find Mood Swing Wines locally at S&S Produce and New Earth Market. And, of course, look for Peach Bubbles at restaurants around town this month. For more info, go to

Back to the bag ban ChicoBag CEO Andy Keller reached out to me recently to let me know that he’s speaking out in favor of Proposition 67 on this November’s ballot. Prop. 67, aka the Plastic Bag Veto Referendum (that’s not a confusing mouthful!), reinstates the state plastic bag ban (by overturning the veto). Obviously, Keller stands to benefit if the ban goes statewide, but it’s been working just fine in Chico, so why not reduce more unnecessary waste?

Keller says he has lawn signs available for anyone who wants one—pick ’em up at ChicoBag’s offices at 747 Fortress St.

More do-gooders October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in honor of that, employees at UnitedHealthcare in Chico organized a drive and last week donated more than 3,000 pounds of food and dozens of boxes of everyday items to Catalyst Domestic Violence Services.