“The spotlight on Black voices in the wine world is overdue but so welcome,” TJ Douglas, owner of Urban Grape in Boston, wrote in an email to HuffPost Finds. “My hope, however, is that when this spotlight inevitably dies down — and it will — that the media and customers will still seek us out. Not to talk just about the Black experience in wine, but to utilize our expertise and knowledge about wine itself.”
In addition to buying from Black-owned wine brands, you can make sure these brands are stocked on store shelves in the first place.
Robin McBride, one of the owners of the McBride Sisters Collection, recommends telling your favorite wine shops, restaurant and bars to carry Black-owned brands in their stores and online. It’s one of the ways to make sure this is “a movement and not a moment,” she said.
If you want to stock your wine rack with a few bottles by Black-owned wine makers but aren’t sure about where to start, we asked wine experts — including sommeliers, owners of wine stores or those with their own wine lines — for their recommendations of Black-owned brands that everyone should try out.
Pitts recommended Okapi Vineyards, which is based in Napa, California, and has wines for just about anyone — including this cabernet sauvignon that has notes of raspberry sauce. Prices range from $30 to $125.
We thought you'd want to know about Armand de Brignac, which has a Beyoncé connection. Jay-Z bought the brand — which is French for "Ace of Spades" and has been around for centuries — in 2014.
Salcito said the brand "represents one of the most interesting Champagnes available right now." However, bottles are pretty pricey, like the top-rated Brut Gold that's $300, so you might want to save them for when you really feel like celebrating. Check out Armand de Brignac.
This wine label was recommended by Douglas and Coly Den Haan, owner of L.A. wine shop Vinovore.
Douglas said the brand by Kristen Scruggs — who was profiled in Bon Appetit last year — has "natural and experimental wine."
Den Haan said Zafa Wines is among her favorite brands, but warned the "wines are very hard to get your hands on." That's definitely true — all of the wines in the line are currently sold out — so you'll want to bookmark the brand for when the shop's stocked up again.
Salcito recommended the McBride Sisters Collection, a label that was started by two sisters who were raised separately (and didn't know each other) in New Zealand and California. They found each other and went on to start their own wine label with offerings like "She Can."